The ASU has been advised this morning by Qantas that it is now their intention to put more telephone sales jobs in Auckland instead of in Hobart as was initially promised (see the attached letter). Now Qantas says that the company is "segmenting" the business so that Hobart will become the "Premium Service Call Centre" while Auckland will be for the rest of the customers.
Apparently this is somehow justified by Qantas on the basis that not enough of the 500 existing Qantas staff from Brisbane and Melbourne who have been made redundant are intending to move to Hobart – less than the company anticipated they say. This justification is pretty hard to understand when we know that over 450 Tasmanians have applied to work at the Hobart call centre already – it is a very lame excuse if you ask us particularly when you know that the staff turnover in Auckland is so very high and service levels do not match the Australian call centres. Australians and in particular Tasmanians should be very angry at this decision to shift these jobs to Auckland – the Tasmanian government should also be questioning this development.
This just seems to us to be Qantas rolling out the strategy they had all along which they denied – we all remember Lyell Strambi telling the media on the day of the announcement that Qantas was proud to have their calls answered in Australia – that was clearly just media spin designed to deflect attention from the company's real intentions. With this new announcement the Qantas group has over 1,250 jobs in offshore call centres in New Zealand, The Philippines, China and Japan.
It is very hard to believe that this "decision" was not the intention from the start – if it wasn't you do have to question the factual basis on which the decision to axe these jobs was made in the first place.
Qantas customers will be let down because of this decision – they can expect longer wait times and fewer Australian voices dealing with their issues. Our campaign ad which we launched in May 2014 is ringing truer than ever we think see the ad here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2FA9iZzCp0&feature=youtu.be
ASU delegates and officials are attending an urgent meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd September) in Sydney to discuss this proposal – just because Qantas doesn't care about Australian jobs and their customers doesn't mean we won't – we will report back tomorrow about this development.