Federal Opposition leader Kim Beazley stands in Glen Eden's empty phone box.
Federal Opposition leader Kim Beazley stands in Glen Eden's empty phone box.

Telstra workers strike over wage cuts



BREAKDOWN service for Telstra customers will be all but non existent today as telecommunication workers go on strike over Telstra's decision to cut wages.

Workers employed by Telstra labour hire provider BDS Recruit are facing a $15 per hour pay cut.

ETU state organiser Craig Giddons said about 20 contractors left Glad-stone yesterday to travel to Brisbane for the industrial action.

Mr Giddons said if residents' phones broke down there would not be any contractors to fix the problem.

'Today Telstra employees will have to handle any maintenance issues on phone services,' he said.

'And as we already have such a poor service it will certainly impact upon Telstra's customers in this area.'

The pay cut is being enforced under the current federal workplace laws and will affect about 800 workers throughout Australia.

BDS Recruit is the largest labour hire provider to Telstra. 'To impose such severe pay cuts on its employees is outrageous given the record profits recorded by Telstra,' Mr Giddons said.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley yesterday reinforced this message during a whistlestop tour of the Gladstone region.

Speaking at Glen Eden, Mr Beazley said the National Party had rolled over for their Liberal masters' by voting to sell Telstra.

Mr Beazley was in Glen Eden to launch the ALP's "Don't hang up on Telstra' campaign.

'Once Telstra is privatised its motives will be profits and not people,' he said.

He said the empty phone box he was standing in symbolised all that was wrong with the proposed sale of Telstra.



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