Vodafone’s CEO announced that the multinational telecommunications company will slash at least 500 jobs in Australia over the course of the next month as it looks to “reduce costs and provide better services”.
This mass sacking is equivalent to 10% of the workforce and will affect mainly office workers. The company is following the lead of other competitors in the telecommunications sector who have also shed staff and undermined their workers conditions.
In September, Telstra announced plans to sack 422 full-time workers and 229 staff employed through associated agencies in the shift to outsource its workforce. In May, Optus laid off hundreds of workers as part of a plan to implement 750 redundancies.
It is certain that these huge cuts are related to a 9.3% increase in complaints about mobile phones to the Telecommunications Ombudsman this year. Many of them are about the big providers milking customers with un-capped data plans that lead to enormous bills.
Both customers and workers will remain worse off as long as the telecommunication industry is in private hands and run for private profit. As an essential service telecommunications need to be brought into public ownership under worker and community control to provide secure jobs and decent services.