Thousands of employees have walked out on Australia’s biggest telco today, in the hope that Telstra will offer its staff bigger pay rises and better working conditions as laid out by the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU).
Today’s 24-hour strike is in response to the telco allegedly threatening any worker who partook in a minor form of industrial action – a 30-minute protest outside of business hours – by cutting an entire day’s pay.
The employees that are actioning the strike are mainly within the maintenance division, and include roles such as NBN connections, fault repairs and investigations, and diagnostics, although Triple Zero and other emergency service staff will not be affected.
Telstra has stated that the strike is unlikely to affect its customers considerably, but if customers waiting for a new NBN connection or a line diagnostic mysteriously find the service postponed, this is likely the reason.
The negotiations between Telstra and the CEPU has been ongoing for over a year at this stage, with the Union arguing that the proposed 1.5% pay increase per year amounts to a pay cut as it’s below the current rate of inflation.