Telstra's mixing messages: Saffin
TELSTRA continues to send mixed messages as to why it intends to close its Grafton-based call centre, according to Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin.
Ms Saffin has been an outspoken opponent of Telstra's plan to close the centre, a move which could render 108 workers redundant.
She recently joined other community leaders in calling for Telstra to actually expand the Grafton centre rather than move it to a metropolitan area.
“Sue Passmore (Telstra Country Wide director) had been on radio with everyone listening and her comments were along the lines of ‘we don't have a big enough workforce in the area to consolidate it here,'” Ms Saffin said.
“So I thought, okay we can offer to find them a bigger workforce and have a bigger centre here.”
Ms Saffin said she had asked Terry Watson, the North Coast local employment coordinator operating under the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, to formally approach Telstra, offering to help them find more workers in the Grafton area.
“He (Mr Watson) spoke to Ross Hargreaves, the national manager of human resources for Telstra who said no, it wasn't an option; he basically said that wasn't how the situation was.”
Ms Saffin said this was at odds with Ms Passmore's previous comments on the radio regarding the worker shortage and said Telstra's explanations on the issue were confusing.
“I just think they've made up their mind; they're going to do this,” she said.
“They're just stretching it out and playing with us. It drives me nuts.”
Telstra's plan to close the centre was now subject to a consultation process and the local community and businesses are campaigning to get the telco to reconsider.