Telstra G'bah call centre to close
TELSTRA wants to close its Goonellabah call centre, which employs 116 people, the telco has announced.
The company broke the news to workers this afternoon and is saying it will spend three weeks consulting with unions and staff before making a final announcement about the closure and the number of jobs that would be cut.
Today's announcement comes nearly two years after Telstra announced it would close its Grafton call centre, starting with a similar "consultation process" that ultimately ended in the centre's closure despite a wave of protest from residents, both in Grafton and elsewhere across the Northern Rivers.
At the time, Telstra guaranteed the future of the Goonellabah call centre, saying Grafton had to close because it was too small but Goonellabah, because it employed more than 100 people, was safe.
In a statement released a few minutes ago, Telstra blamed the market for the new cuts (punctuation is Telstra's):
"We recognize that there is never a good time to announce proposed staff cuts however Telstra operates in a fast moving, highly competitive market.
This proposal is a reaction to changes in the telecommunications industry, and changes to the ways in which Telstra serves our customers.
"We're a changing business, with some parts of the business shrinking and other areas growing due to changing technologies and customer trends. As we continue to improve our service, the number of customers needing to call us is decreasing.
"Specifically call volumes have declined more than 20 per cent over the last twelve months and are anticipated to continue to decline over the next few years as more customers move to online and use our various self serve options.
"In fact 30 per cent of our customers now use online transactions. As a result, we believe we need fewer contact centres in the future.
"Additionally, there have been some recent changes to our contractual arrangements with FOXTEL. Where after-sales service for FOXTEL by Telstra customers, will now be performed by FOXTEL. This means a large portion of the work performed by our Lismore contact centre will no longer be required.
"Our focus now is to ensure we support employees impacted by this proposal. If the proposal goes ahead we will work closely with staff and the local community, to see if there are other redeployment opportunities, along with assisting CV writing and interview training, financial advice and generous redundancy provisions."