The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has called on the federal government to intervene and stop Telstra from cutting up to 12,000 jobs over the next five years.
Stephen Jones, CPSU assistant national secretary, said the cuts were an outrageous attack on Telstra workers.
Earlier today Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo announced 10,000 job cuts following a four-month strategic review of the telco's operations.
As part of a major restructure the company plans to cut the number of full-time equivalent positions by 6000 to 8000 over three years and 10,000 to 12,000 over five years.
Currently Telstra has a total workforce of 52,000 and Jones said the cuts would affect every part of the company and customers would be the big losers.
"We don't see how [the telco] can continue to provide the services that Australians are currently expecting from Telstra by slashing that number of jobs from the company," he said.
"If this is the price of privatization then the price is too high for Australians to be expected to pay."
Jones called on the federal government to use its majority shareholding in Telstra to stop the job cuts.
The government holds a 51.8 per cent stake in the company.