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Telstra call centres on Four Corners June 18, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Media.
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I have just watched the Four Corners investigation into the culture of how Telstra treats their staff.

To sum up- Telstra puts unrealistic expectations on their staff and expects them to perform to higher and higher targets. The staff are not treated like humans but like machines. It is a situation that is not uncommon in today’s business environments and I have worked in one company that was very much like this.

The stupidity of these companies is astounding. Do they not realise that a workforce that feels valued and appreciated works harder and stays longer? They can’t put together the fact that staff make their profits and the company will be more profitable if they work with their workers and not against them.

Business needs a whole culture change and now.

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1. Lewis Mitchelmore - June 18, 2007

I have experienced first hand how the Telstra management culture treats their staff. I have been ‘retrenched’ for not achieving the CC measurement as described in the 4 Corners article tonight. Due to pressures brought about by the unions,the basis of my dismissal is now recognised as unfair. At the time of the sacking, a young, gun-ho, team leader was given staff reduction targets and minimal instruction on how to carry out the job fairly. Others were sacked at the same time I was. The fear felt by the bloke featured on 4 Corners is very real, and I am still aware that some of the 30 year plus career staff who I worked with still experience this every day.

2. Tom Red - June 21, 2007

People have responded strongly to an ABC Four Corners program ‘Tough Calls’ this week which exposed widespread bullying of staff and punishing sales targets.

The program revealed Telstra team leaders were trained to refer to workers with negative attitudes as “savages”, inefficient employees as “submarines” and union delegates as “dragons.” One Telstra senior executive said: “We run an absolute dictatorship… If you can’t get the people to go there and you try once and you try twice … then you just shoot them and get them out of the way.”

The program also highlighted ongoing concerns about the unfair performance-based pay and bonus schemes contained in a growing number of Telstra AWA individual contracts. Under these new WorkChoices AWAs, sales targets for some call centre operators more than doubled in one year.

With a Federal Election looming later this year, it’s important to note that the Howard Government and big business are campaigning in favour of AWAs, while the ALP is committed to phasing them out.

Following the program many union members sent messages expressing sympathy for the families, support for staff and condemnation of Telstra management’s unfair and dangerous work practices. Others made the point that the increasing use of unfair AWAs, dangerous work practises and bullying exposed in Telstra call-centres were present in their own workplaces.

Check comments from many current and former telstra folk here
CPSU
BLOG

3. Amanda - June 21, 2007

Hmm thanks “Tom”, interesting tactic to get people to look at the union site.


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