Union slams Telstra's decision to ship Aussie jobs overseas

THE Community and Public Sector Union claims ailing Telstra business Sensis has plans to send almost 400 jobs offshore in part because it will provide Australian consumers with better customer service.

Sensis management met with CPSU officials on Thursday afternoon and were told the jobs would be sent to either India or Philippines.

Earlier, Telstra confirmed almost 648 jobs were to go from Sensis, which produces the Yellow and White Pages and the Trading Post.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said sending jobs offshore was an insult to the sacked workers.

"Telstra has done well out of Australia, its profits have risen off the back of hard-working staff and loyal customers and this is how it repays them - by sending almost 400 jobs offshore," Ms Flood said.

"And, to add insult to injury, we have been told that one of the reasons why they are doing so is because Australian consumers can get better customer service in the Philippines or India."

Ms Flood said Sensis management cited "better technology and better innovation" in Asia as another reason for the move offshore.

The union is calling upon Sensis to find jobs for affected staff across the Telstra group.

A Sensis spokesman said the outsourcing of jobs would go to the "best possible vendor" and said claims jobs would be sent overseas was getting "well ahead of the curve".

He said no advanced plans were in place for where the jobs would go.

Earlier Sensis managing director John Allan said the job cuts would result from the company shifting its focus from an "out-dated" and unsustainable print-based business model to digital services.

"Those positions are expected to include around 391 back-of-house fulfilment and customer care roles which will be outsourced," Mr Allan said.

"While these decisions are never easy, they are designed to position the company for future digital growth," Mr Allan said.

Sensis currently employs about 3500 people.

Mr Allan said more than 60% of Sensis's customers were already advertising online and in mobile apps, while the White and Yellow Pages digital services received 18.4 million visits in January.

The business said as part of the restructure it would establish a digital customer management centre.

Mr Allan said staff and unions were being consulted on the changes.

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