TELSTRA is set to slash jobs in Ballarat.
Staff at the Ballarat Exchange, in Doveton St, were last week told jobs had to go as part of nationwide staff cutbacks.
The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing
Union claim up to 40 jobs could be lost, effectively leaving the exchange unmanned.
Telstra denied the unionChr(39)s claim, but conceded 12 jobs would be lost.
The communications union held a small protest outside the exchange yesterday.
Assistant secretary Burt Blackburne said sources inside the exchange had informed the union that 30 to 40 jobs would be lost.
He said staff had been told their work would cease by December.
"Morale is at rock bottom," Mr Blackburne said.
"For every job you can multiple the effect by four, because many of the employees have a partner and kids."
Staff at the exchange perform a number of duties including cable assignment and product connection.
He said the job losses, not only in Ballarat, but across the nation, were hard to comprehend, considering Telstra recently posted a $4 billion profit.
"It seems that every time the Telstra share price drops, they decided to slash more jobs," he said.
TelstraChr(39)s public affairs manager for service, Adam Redman, said 12 jobs would
go but the exchange would remain.
"The centre is not closing. That is incorrect," he said.
Mr Redman said Telstra was to cut 10,000 jobs from its workforce after an announcement in March.
"ThatChr(39)s one in five jobs, or 20 per cent.
"Three hundred and fifty- one people work for Telstra in Ballarat.
"That will be reduced by 12," he said.
Mr Redman said staff had been told 12 postitions had to go and asked for employees to "put their hand up".
"At this stage it is only eight people," Mr Redman said.
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