Thousands sign Saffin’s Telstra Call Centre petition
September 24, 2010
Page MP Janelle Saffin has thanked the thousands of Clarence Valley residents who have signed her petition urging Telstra CEO David Thodey to halt any plan to axe up to 108 local jobs at its Grafton Call Centre.
Ms Saffin said the response from Grafton’s business houses, eateries, clubs, hotels and large employers like Clarence Valley Council and Country Energy had been overwhelming, with a total of 5539 signatures collected in little more than a week.
“This strong show of support for the 108 Telstra staff and their families sends a very clear message to Telstra management: abandon Regional Australia at your peril,” Ms Saffin said.
“If Telstra goes ahead with its ‘review’ and on Tuesday gives its long-serving and loyal workers a minimum six weeks notice of redundancy, the telco risks losing many business and residential accounts in a community backlash.
“I hope that commonsense prevails and that Mr Thodey intervenes so that the call centre, which former Labor Member for Page Harry Woods and others fought to keep viable in the early 1990s, does the right thing by the workers and the Greater Grafton area.’’
Ms Saffin particularly thanked former Grafton City mayor Shirley Adams OAM and her husband John for staffing a petition booth at Grafton Shoppingworld since last Saturday.
“Like me, Shirley and John have had enough of the gradual closure of major enterprises and the retreat of mainly State Government agencies over the past few decades,” she said.
“If ever there was a time to turn that trend around and to encourage decentralisation to regional centres like Grafton, it is now.”
Ms Saffin also thanked Clarence Valley Mayor Cr Richie Williamson, State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell, Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Daily Examiner, The Clarence Valley Review and Radio 2GF for throwing their support behind the community campaign.
A parcel of signed petitions, together with some letters of protest, were express-posted to Mr Thodey’s corporate office in Melbourne late this afternoon.
Locals can still sign the petition at a community rally, organised by the Community and Public Sector Union, in support of the Telstra workers in Grafton’s Market Square from 10am tomorrow (Saturday, September 25).