Australia is being warned we’re undergoing a “jobs apocalypse” after Telstra announced its plan to sack 8000 workers.
Experts says there will be a huge social and taxpayer fallout as more employees are thrown on the scrapheap.
Community and Public Sector Union spokesman Rupert Evans said Telstra staff feel angry, frustrated and betrayed as a quarter of the company’s job force is cut.
“Good government would step in and say there has to be a better way,” Mr Evans said.
But Telstra CEO Andy Penn was busily defending the move on Thursday.
“Unless we can transform Telstra there won’t be a future where we can be successful,” he said.
It’s not just Telstra staff being laid off.
NAB has recently cut 6000 jobs and Qantas 5000.
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Another 5000 have gone from the car industry, and on Wednesday it was announced that 700 employees would lose their jobs as Toys ‘R’ Us shuts its doors.
Currently, 15 per cent of the Australian workforce is unemployed or under-employed.
Unions and academics warn the problem isn’t so much where the axe falls but how to handle it when it does.
They say it’s time for a fundamental shift in the way government and business handle the inevitable mass job cuts of the future.
“We’re now talking about the cancer stage of capitalism,” Sydney University Business School academic John Buchanan said.
He said corporate Australia needs to invest more in staff, not less.
“Companies grow at the expense of devouring the very thing they need to flourish in the longer term,” Professor Buchanan warned.