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Telstra's Goonellabah in Lismore Call Center to Close in October
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Telstra's Goonellabah in Lismore Call Center to Close in October

September 12, 2012
By Daniel Brecht
Contributing Writer

Telstra (News - Alert) Corporation Limited, a telecommunications provider headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, offers a full range of products and services to meet its customer needs. Its purpose is to keep Australians serviced and connected through the use of their telecommunications networks, a fixed or mobile infrastructure, and vast geographical coverage.

The firm is capable of supplying such services across Australia via 52 call center locations.

Telstra is not only committed to their customers but also to their thousands of employees who have chosen to be part of the company. Sadly though, the call center at Goonellabah in Lismore, which employs 116 people, will close as scheduled, this year on 23 October.

The news about the Goonellabah office comes about two years after the closure of the Grafton call center (September 2010); Telstra claimed the Grafton facility had to close because it was too small, with just over a hundred staff members employed.

This resulted in an uproar of people protesting, customers and staff included, believing Telstra was no longer able to serve the community.

Now with one office closed and another one on its way, some wonder if other Telstra call centers will be closed in the near future.

Unfortunately, those employed by the company have to wait and see.

Telstra blames the market for the closing of the Goonellabah facility and for the staff cuts. Again, reactions to changes for Telstra shrinking its business, possibly to concentrate on other sites, has not been well accepted by the staff and community.

Reports about the Goonellabah call center closing have upset not only the employees who work at the facility, but customers in Lismore. As the Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said, it is because residents of the city will have limited access to other service providers.

With so many disappointed citizens, Telstra’s executive director of customer service, Peter Jamieson, has been answering phone calls and responding to many displeased clients ever since Telstra made the public announcement about the closure of G-bah’s call center.

Jamieson, more than once, has rejected Dowell’s requests to postpone the closure date of the call center until 2013.

Janelle Anne Saffin, an Australian politician, has even come forward to express her concern for the closing of the Goonellabah office, which could cost 116 workers their jobs. She pledges her support to those staff that may be without a job at the end of October.

She has, however, managed to get a commitment from Telstra’s chief executive, David Thodey, to look after any displaced workers as a result of G-bah closing.

Telstra’s decision to close the Goonellabah call center was not made overnight; the company had implemented the plan three weeks ago, so the employees were aware of what was coming. Staff knew the call center could close down eventually, but they had hoped to be offered employment elsewhere at another Telstra call center.

To this day, Telstra has yet to guarantee job placement for those working at Goonellabah.

Telstra, which invests heavily on each one of their employees in learning and development, confirms it will do what they can to ensure those affected by the closing of the Goonellabah facility will have the support they need to find a job elsewhere, if not with Telstra.

G-bah employees are also receiving support from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) organizer for Lismore, Mary-Rose Abbott – and the local employment coordinator for the region, Terry Watson – to ensure that those who find themselves without jobs, as a result of the closure of G-bah’s call center, will be assisted in finding employment.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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