Unions want law changes to deter offshoring

A contact centre union is lobbying the federal Government to change the Privacy Act to ensure local jobs are kept in Australia after Telstra rationalises some regional centres.

Telstra announced in February it would close four regional centres in Brisbane, Bendigo, the Gold Coast and Perth by the end of May. The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union says the bulk of the work undertaken at the Bendigo contact centre is in the process of being shifted to the Philippines.

CEPU Victorian branch organiser Val Butler said Telstra’s Bendigo employees were disappointed to be out of work but were determined to do what they could to ensure other jobs stayed in the region. “We need legislative changes that will require companies to seek a customer’s permission before customer data is moved offshore. If you can’t offshore data then you can’t offshore jobs,” she said.

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