Telstra workers to strike

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Telstra workers to strike

A union representing almost eighty percent of Telstra employees today announced Telstra workers would strike after coming to a stalemate over pay negotiations.

Telstra said that 15 percent of its workforce was eligible to participate in the strike.

Late last month Telstra employees rejected a deal offering a nine percent pay increase over a period of three years.

The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU), late last month said it had met Telstra at a stalemate.

"Negotiations at this point in time are pretty much coming to a stalemate and progressing very slowly," said branch organiser of the New South Wales CEPU, Shane Murphy.

"We've pretty much got agreement on most of the issues but we're tied down to three issues:  the pay offer, the key job descriptions the guys work under and the dispute resolution procedure," he said.

Len Cooper, national president of the CEPU, said Telstra were "waging war on it's employees" by offering a "pathetic pay rise over three years, and refusing to allow it's employees to have access to arbitration for fair treatment".

"The new leadership of Telstra needs to stop whingeing about it's current position and start knuckling down to negotiating a decent deal with the Federal Government.

"Telstra management are the architects of all of the problems the company finds itself in, yet they refuse to take any responsibility, rather they make shareholders, employees and customers pay for their mammoth strategy failings."

The industrial action will commence on Friday and will be "ongoing", the CEPU said.

A Telstra spokesman said that it would put its customer first.

"We are prepared and we will do all we need to do to maintain levels of service to our customers," the spokesman said.

The Telstra spokesman said that previous industrial action had "almost zero customer impact" and said it remained confident that the "vast majority of employees" would remain at work serving its customers during the strike.

"We will continue to work toward finalising an agreement that is equitable for both our employees and our business," the spokesman said. "One which enables us to meet our customers' expectations and remain competitive".

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