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Issue #1454      12 May 2010

Telstra workers take action

On May 5 Telstra workers gathered for a mass meeting and protest rally outside Telstra’s main telephone shop in Melbourne. Community, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) members in regional centres throughout Victoria were connected to the mass meeting by landlines.

Telstra workers had voted unanimously to continue their campaign of strikes, bans and other disruptions in order to win a new enterprise agreement.

The major issue in the dispute is the discriminatory pay increases on offer to workers on the union agreement, compared to workers on an earlier non-union contract who do the same work.

“Our members are angry about this discrimination and they are even angrier because of Telstra’s recent announcement of 900 more job cuts,” said Len Cooper, Victorian secretary of the CEPU.

Marching through the CBD in Melbourne, Telstra workers demanded equal pay with the non-union members in Telstra. They also demanded that Telstra management start to treat its unionised employees with dignity and respect.

Telstra workers handed out leaflets to the public warning them “to look before they buy” and asking for their support by sending a “postcard” to the Telstra CEO David Thodey. 

Next article – The Henry Review – Prescription for unfettered plunder

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