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Telstra strike vote reaches critical mass

A strike at Telstra has come one step closer, with the company's union announcing today that enough votes had trickled in to make the strike ballot valid.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

A strike at Telstra has come one step closer, with the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) announcing today that enough votes had trickled in to make the strike ballot valid.

greg winn

Greg Winn talking yesterday
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)

At least 4,000 of the 6,700 CEPU members — 60 per cent — have already voted. Over 50 per cent of union members were required to hand in forms for the vote to mean anything.

This is a relief for the union, which had expressed concerns previously that not enough Telstra workers would respond.

When all the votes are in, if 50 per cent of those who have responded vote for industrial action, then the unions are authorised to conduct protected industrial action. The voting period ends on Monday.

The threat of strike action comes at an unfortunate time for Telstra with proposals for the government's national broadband network currently being considered by an expert panel. However, Telstra's COO Greg Winn said yesterday that he wasn't worried the strike action would jeopardise Telstra's chances of winning the national broadband network contract.

"I'm not an industrial relations expert, but I'm not worried about that. We're talking about a project that's going to go over multiple years... There's at least a few months before this stuff gets settled. We only have a certain portion of our force that's impacted by that," he said.

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