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When Telstra boss David Thodey said the company’s future is in Asia, he was right. That’s where many of the company’s jobs are headed.

Australia’s biggest – and easily its most profitable – telco has made another move in its continued process of moving jobs out of high-wage Australia into low-wage Asia.

More than 670 Telstra jobs will move to Asia, mostly India. 463 existing full time jobs and 208 contractor positions will be affected. “To compete effectively internationally, we need to have resources in the region and the capability to scale rapidly to meet demand,” said David Burns, head of Telstra’s Global Services division.

“This proposal involves outsourcing of functions and services to industry partners in Asia. These are not decisions we take lightly

“We will consult and work closely with our people on this proposal. We will aim to redeploy as many affected employees as possible.”

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The cuts, were announced internally late Wednesday afternoon. They will occur over the next 12 months. They are the latest in a long string of job cuts and outsourcing announcements as Telstra continues to restructure to face changing business and technological imperatives. The biggest push is into Networks Applications and Services (NAS), especially in Asia.

Over a thousand jobs went last year (CommsWire, 26 September 2013) after a major restructure in May 2013. Telstra now employs about 37,000 people, half the number it had in the 1980s.

CPSU (Community and Public Sector Union) president Michael Tull is unimpressed. He said staff were “shocked and saddened” by the announcement. "The cuts are from a very profitable and growing part of the business so it's shocking to see that Telstra is prepared to outsource its future. We are moving into a very worrying phase of offshoring.

"It's bad news for workers, and bad news for the economy as we offshore our capacity for future innovation. Offshoring started with call centre and help desk roles, which has cost thousands of jobs, ruined careers and denied young Australians entry-level jobs.

"As Telstra was doing that it was working to build the skills of offshore companies so that they could take more jobs. Now it is moving into ever more highly skilled work.”


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.