Up to 351 jobs to go at Hutchison Telecommunications

The telecommunications industry shakeup continues with Hutchison Telecommunications announcing the scraping of its GSM network and the sacking of up to 351 workers.

A Hutchison spokesperson has confirmed that up to 240 jobs will go from its GSM mobile business and a further 111 positions from its CDMA business may be made redundant.

"There has been a slowdown in this area [CDMA] and we need to improve efficiencies."

The spokesperson said some of the staff from the GSM mobile business would be offered positions within the company, and that those employees that are made redundant will finish up with the company on Friday November 2. The possible 111 job losses within the CDMA business would be across the board -- in call centres, sales, technical and management, the spokesperson said.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) said it had been told the company had earmarked job losses in most cities: 103 in Sydney, 116 in Melbourne, 28 in Adelaide, 37 in Perth, 60 in Brisbane, three on the Gold Coast and four in ACT.

Hutchison employs about 1900 people across Australia.

The CPSU last week sought orders in the industrial commission to prevent the redundancies from taking place without union consultation.

An interim redundancy award hearing before the IRC has been set down for Thursday November 1 and will proceed if negotiations between the CPSU and Hutchison fail to deliver a package acceptable to staff.

Hutchison has written to the CPSU stating "the redundancy package will include financial assistance, the payment of all statutory entitlements, outplacement and counselling."

CPSU organisers are expected to meet with staff tomorrow to offer support and consider a response to the situation as it develops.

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