Telstra may shed more staff

COO says company likely to shrink over next few years, focus on growth areas.

Even more job cuts could be on the horizon at Telstra Corporation (TLS) after a decision to fire more than 1000 workers.

Telstra chief operations officer Brendon Riley says the company will continue to get smaller for years as it focuses on growth areas.

"Overall, I would say probably every year we will get a little bit smaller," he told Fairfax Radio in Melbourne.

"I don't know about indefinitely, but I think certainly for the next few years that will be the case."

The telco's decision to axe jobs has been criticised by unions who say the number of faults on the Telstra's copper network - and its profits - are as high as ever.

But Telstra says the cuts to its operations business are necessary to simplify the company and focus on growth.

A significant portion of the 1100 job losses announced yesterday are expected to include fixed-network technicians.

Mr Riley said no frontline customer service staff will be cut.

"I would concede that we've still got a long way to go to improve our customer service," he said.

He said the planned job cuts are all in back office roles or declining areas.

For instance, he said Telstra will consolidate four units that currently do reporting, financial management and scheduling.

"We've got to continue to recreate and reshape Telstra so it is more efficient, so it provides better customer service and responds to what is a very dynamic and changing industry."

Telstra management will meet with union officials later on Thursday to discuss the coming cuts.

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