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Telstra's battle with the unions is heating up as a second union has called on its 1000 members to strike over the telco's alleged anti-union wage strategy.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Telstra's battle with the unions is heating up as a second union has called on its 1000 members to strike over the telco's alleged anti-union wage strategy.

The Community and Public Sector Union's (CPSU) 1000 Telstra workers have been called on to stop work for 24 hours, starting tomorrow.

"As Telstra have refused to listen to your concerns, CPSU members will take protected industrial action in the form of a 24-hour stoppage tomorrow, Friday, 11 December 2009," the CSPU posted on its website today.

"This action is designed to send a clear message to Telstra management that you will not sign up to any new agreement that does not include a pay offer at least equal to that given to staff on ECAs."

The strike will occur as Telstra faces the full bench of the Fair Work Australia (FWA) industrial tribunal in Melbourne to appeal a decision it made last week. Telstra had taken the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union's (CEPU) Communications division to the FWA, claiming its recent stop work action was illegal. However, the tribunal found the union's action was conducted legally.

CEPU Communications division spokesperson Len Cooper said the CSPU was supporting the CEPU's action due to its similar complaints. The CEPU has around 10,000 members within Telstra.

The telco had embarked on a campaign to lure its members away by offering them higher wage rises if they accepted non-union Employee Collective Agreements, said Cooper.

Telstra has been unable to respond to ZDNet.com.au's request for comment.

Cooper said the action would continue until it achieved the same pay rise as non-union members. "They have to make a decision to pay union members the equivalent increase to non-union people in order to solve the dispute."

The union is targeting its efforts to Telstra's core operations centres including its corporate service division, NextGen Operations, Telstra's Global Operations Centre and construction.

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