Optus: 150 Adelaide call centre staff to lose their jobs in the next month

A major Australian telecommunications company has remained tight-lipped on the reported sacking of up to 150 workers from one of its call centres.

On Thursday, 7 NEWS Adelaide reported 150 Optus call centre workers at the telecommunications firm’s North Terrace office face redundancy.

The cuts represent almost half the 400-strong workforce at the centre.

It was reported workers were informed in meetings on Wednesday morning that up to 150 positions would be cut and employees would be out of work in four weeks.

Whistleblowers also told the broadcaster they couldn’t understand the move, given it was the company’s top-performing call centre location.

They also thought it peculiar the company only hired and trained new staff at the call centre a few months ago.

The broadcaster alleged that sacked workers were told their redundancy packages were at risk if they spoke to the media.

News.com.au sent several questions to Optus seeking more detail, which went unanswered.

This publication asked if the cuts were limited to Adelaide, details regarding the criteria and targeted roles or departments impacted by the redundancies, and the precise number of staff let go.

Know more? get in touch – Jack.Evans@news.com.au

In a statement, Optus labelled the cuts a challenging but necessary decision “to strengthen our business”.

“We have recently undertaken a review and taken steps to simplify our business while still investing in those areas we know matter to our customers,” the statement said.

“As part of this review, we are realigning teams which will impact some roles across our business.”

The Telco said wherever possible, it will redeploy redundant workers.

The staff cuts follow the announcement of a class-action lawsuit filed against Optus by Slater and Gordon on behalf of over 100,000 participants following a large-scale data breach five months ago.

The lawsuit claims Optus breached privacy, telecommunication, and consumer laws and failed to protect customer data from the September 2022 cyberattack.

According to Ben Hardwick, the leader of Slater and Gordon’s Class Actions Practice Group, the hack put millions of Australians at risk due to the scale and the type of information that was compromised.

“Very real risks were created by the disclosure of this private information that Optus customers had every right to believe was securely protected by their telecommunications and internet provider,” he said.

“The type of information made accessible put affected customers at a higher risk of being scammed and having their identities stolen, and Optus should have had adequate measures in place to prevent that.”

Know more? get in touch – Jack.Evans@news.com.au

Read related topics:AdelaideEmployment

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