The Guardian 7 September, 2005

Telstra workers walk out

Telstra labour-hire workers walked off the job for 24 hours last week after moves to cut their pay by up to $9 an hour. About 800 BDS Recruit workers voted to go on strike after learning the firm and its client Telstra were cutting their wages up to 12 per cent.

Electrical Trades Union telecommunications organiser Garry Rogers said neither company would claim responsibility for the cut.

"Telstra say ‘it’s not our problem’ and BDS Recruit say they have been negotiating with the union in good faith", Mr Rogers said.

BDS Recruit is the largest of four labour hire companies providing casual workers to Telstra for work on its general phone network infrastructure, mobile phone towers and broadband infra­structure.

Mr Rogers said industrial action would continue until the workers’ wages were restored.

"We want Telstra pay for Telstra work", he said. "Is it any wonder Telstra is recording record profits when it and its contractors treat working people like this?"

Telstra recorded a $2.3 billion half-year profit in the six months up to December.

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