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Telstra ships 400 jobs to India

Last updated on: October 20, 2004 19:27 IST

Australia's IT and telecom major Telstra has decided to shift about 400 landline billing jobs to India, a move criticised by the trade unions in the island.

Defending the move, Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski said "We have to make decision with our suppliers that leave Telstra cost competitive at the highest possible standards of quality."

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Moreover, there is a worldwide trend towards shifting IT jobs to India, he said adding "I am not at all surprised that providers to Telstra are on that path."

Telstra had announced it had renewed a "global delivery" contract worth up to $100 million with EDS Australia to manage its landline billing systems with the proviso that it transferred 400 jobs to India over the next 15 months.

The move is a part of the company's plans to save $700 million in technology costs. In January, Telstra had come under fire over its plans to move 450 jobs to India.

Lashing out at Telstra for shipping local jobs to India, Community and Public Sector Union assistant national secretary Paul Ingwersen said "These jobs are in addition to those that went offshore earlier this year."

"There is no honesty here from Telstra or the Federal Government, who are a major shareholder. It should have been out in the open that the Government supported Telstra shipping jobs offshore. Federal Treasurer Peter Costello should have brought Telstra into line on this because it undermines our IT industry," Ingwersen told daily 'The Age'.

A spokeswoman for Information Technology Minister Helen Coonan said outsourcing was "an operational issue for Telstra based on commercial considerations."

"It is disappointing, and the government does not like to see jobs go offshore, it's a two-way street," Coonan said. EDS spokeswoman said Telstra's wish to streamline services would mean billing services will be provided at EDS offshore in India.

She told national daily, 'The Australian', that employees had known this has been on the cards for a while and the company would provide them with options of redeployment and training opportunities.

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