Optus could cut 400 jobs

Optus could slash hundreds of jobs this week to counter the effects of a likely economic downturn.


Optus will reportedly slash hundreds of jobs this week to counter the effects of a likely economic downturn.

Around 400 jobs are set to go from Optus' Sydney office, according to a report published by Fairfax newspapers today.

Optus would not confirm or deny the job cuts; however, a spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au that the article was "speculative". "We have not announced 400 job redundancies," they said. Optus is likely to make further announcements throughout the week. If true, the 400 redundancies would represent 6 per cent of Optus' 6,000 head count.

Optus informed the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) earlier today of the planned cuts, assistant national secretary Bert Blackburn said.

"They're going to be talking to the staff today, and they're saying to us ... a significant number of employees will be going," Blackburn told AAP.

The majority of cuts will come in middle and senior management roles in Sydney, plus a handful of positions in Brisbane and Melbourne, he said. "Most will finish up about November 2008, so we're pretty unhappy about that. Even if not all of them are our members its not a good time to be put out on the grass."

Blackburn said Optus had informed the union the number of job cuts would be less than the 400 reported today by Fairfax newspapers.

Cuts at Optus would follow similar moves made by Telstra in September. The telco announced 800 redundancies as it merged its internet service provider arm BigPond with several other divisions to create Telstra Media.

Telstra's cuts primarily targeted support and management roles in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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