video Telstra's exit from the National Broadband Network process will help focus industry attention on the industrial action being held by its workers, the company's main union states in this video interview.
In a video interview with ZDNet.com.au, Ed Husic, national president of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU), said that Telstra's ejection from the NBN process had drawn peoples' attentions to what he said was Telstra's habit of riding roughshod over workers, regulators and government alike.
"People will contrast the way that Telstra has behaved with employees and the unions... and they'll be able to say what they're doing to the unions and employees is exactly what they've done to the government," he said.
What he said was Telstra's failure to force the government to do what it wanted would bring the industry to take a closer look at whether Telstra's heavy handed management of human relations issues were the best way to go forward, he claimed. "What they've done to the government ... has amounted to a big cost to Telstra and what cost will be paid as a result of them not working out their problems with the unions?"
Workers started to strike last weekend after negotiations with the company over an employment agreement broke down. Saturday saw a ban on overtime, with bad weather in Victoria seeing a jump in the number of recorded faults, according to the union.
Yesterday, workers started stoppages, walking out of work to attend union briefings and barbecues. The intensity of the action would only escalate, according to Husic, who said that the start had been "soft" to give the company time to rethink its stance.
Last night the CEPU said it gave notice to Telstra of further industrial action — a 48-hour stoppage from lunch time tomorrow affecting network construction within NSW and Victoria, Service Delivery within Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia and all CEPU members walking off the job in Tasmania.
There will also be a 24-hour stoppage from lunchtime on Friday 19 December affecting network construction in all states and Telstra services delivery within the ACT.