Telecomms union slams Telstra job cuts

The government should stop relying on market forces and sharemarket pressure to maintain vital infrastructure such as the Telstra network which is falling into disrepair, the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) said today.

Responding to Telstra plans to shed a further 3000 jobs next financial year CEPU communications division president Colin Cooper said the cuts spell disaster.

He said Telstra has already shed more than 11,000 jobs in the past three years and further job cuts will have a detrimental effect on the network.

"We think it's a disaster . . ., particularly when the network is in great need of investment and maintenance," Cooper said.

The CEPU is currently considering industrial action and warned further privatisation will worsen the situation.

Meanwhile, Telstra group managing director for regulatory, corporate and human relations Bill Scales has admitted the telco has commissioned a survey to find out why the Labor opposition is so hostile towards the telecommunications giant.

Telstra engaged the company Essential Media Communications to sound out the views of the Labor Party at a cost of $40,000.

Scales described ALP comments about Telstra as highly aggressive and said he wanted to find out why the ALP has failed to see improvements in Telstra's performance.

He said there is a disconnect that goes beyond normal issues of politics and chose an organisation outside of Telstra to undertake the survey, the results of which are yet to be published.

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