Community campaign to save Telstra jobs
August 29, 2012
Page MP Janelle Saffin said it has been encouraging to see the strong community opposition to Telstra’s plans to close its call centre in Goonellabah.
However, she says Telstra CEO David Thodey’s response about the reason for the planned closure is totally unconvincing.
“The local branch of the NSW Nurses Association has come out strongly in support of the Telstra workers and is calling for a show of support at the Lismore Workers Club at 6pm on Thursday night (30 August),” she said
“The Northern Rivers Social Development Council has an online survey about the impact of the proposed Telstra closure, and whether Telstra’s action is influencing people to change providers.
“And Kyogle Shire Council has passed a resolution to investigate other providers, in the light of the Telstra decision.
“Within a few days, more than 2000 people had signed petitions around Lismore calling for Telstra not to go ahead with the closure.
“The petition highlights that the decision to axe 116 Lismore jobs came within weeks of the corporation announcing an increased net profit of $3.4 billion, and less than 12 months after the CEO received a $2 million salary increase.
“Many people signing the petition have expressed how appalled they are by Telstra’s actions. In particular a number of business leaders have expressed anger about the Telstra proposal because of the effect the loss of 116 jobs would have on our region.
“We want Telstra to show its commitment to country Australia by supporting its employees outside of the city areas.
“Mr Thodey has sent me a letter in response to the joint letter sent by State MP Thomas George, Mayor Jenny Dowell and myself. In it, Mr Thodey said staff are being offered jobs in capital cities.
“That is not what we want. The 116 employees facing the axe at Goonellabah are people who live and work in Lismore.
“I have heard a Telstra executive on radio saying this is not a financial decision, but is about changed demand.
“Mr Thodey has not given any credible reason why Telstra can’t adapt the Goonellabah site to other Telstra work.
“I’m told Telstra has agreed to fund a local jobs expo to help axed workers find jobs.
“That is well and good but we need to keep the pressure on Telstra to keep jobs in Lismore, to keep jobs in regional Australia, and to keep jobs onshore.”
The petition is available outside Janelle Saffin’s office in Molesworth St, Lismore, at Lismore Base Hospital and at the Goonellabah shopping centre.
It is also now online at www.janellesaffin.com.au/petitions/2012/