Newcastle job losses expected in Sensis restructure

NEWCASTLE is expected to lose 10 of the 800 jobs to be cut from Telstra’s directories business Sensis with a union fearing more could follow.

The job losses in Newcastle will leave 28 people to man the region’s office.

These people are expected to have to also take on work from the Central Coast with the Erina office, which has 50 staff, earmarked for closure.

Sensis said the restructure is designed to support its digital transformation as it meets the challenges of increased competition.

The proposed changes, announced on Wednesday, would result in the loss of about 800 jobs nationally in advertising operations, sales, management and support areas.

Sensis managing director John Allan says the changes will support digital growth and service improvements.

‘‘As a leader in digital marketing services and print directories serving Australian businesses, we need to remain responsive to the changing media landscape,’’ he said.

‘‘Whilst these decisions are difficult, they are necessary to ensure we maintain our competitive position.’’

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says Telstra’s actions will cause economic harm, especially with local jobs sent offshore.

‘‘What we know is that 800 jobs are being cut and some 520 of these jobs are being sent to Manila,’’ CPSU national president Michael Tull said.

‘‘We would think there’s further rounds of offshoring to come.

‘‘There’s nothing in Manila in the Philippines that cannot be provided by Australian workers.

‘‘This is purely about an employer sending jobs to a low-wage country and pocketing the difference.’’

The CPSU estimates that in the past 12 months Sensis has scrapped half its workforce with at least 600 roles being moved offshore to the Philippines and India.

The union sees no justification for the job cuts, viewing Sensis as a profitable business with staff delivering the company an annual income of $1.1 billion and a net profit of nearly $600 million.

‘‘We anticipate that many of these job cuts will fall in regional areas, places like Geelong, that are already being hard hit by other job cuts,’’ Mr Tull said.

The Sensis cuts come a day after Alcoa announced job losses for up to 1000 workers due to the closure of its Point Henry smelter in Geelong, the adjacent rolling mill and another mill in Yennora in NSW.

It also follows massive job cuts at Holden, Toyota and Ford.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reveal his plan for Australian jobs.AAP

* About 800 jobs in advertising operations, sales, management and support areas to go

* Union says 520 positions going offshore

Sensis says restructure will result in:

– Two new telephone sales centres in Melbourne and Sydney

– New mobile and flexible operating model for face-to-face sales teams

– Extended service by external vendors to support sales and service

– Streamlining of Sensis product and go-to-market structuresem

CPSU says job losses expected in:

– Melbourne

– Sydney

– Newcastle

– Adelaide

– Perth

CPSU says sites earmarked for closure:

– Penrith

– Wollongong

– Ballina

– NSW Central Coast

– Coffs Harbour

– Darwin

– Cairns

– Sunshine Coast

– Gold Coast

– Townsville

– Hobart

– Geelong

– Mornington