Telstra is an anti-Australian company


Once upon a time in Australia, in other words back in the dark ages of the 20th century, large corporations and public utilities would invest in their staff through training as well as supporting future staff via the TAFE system. These companies sought to identify future skills that would be required due to technology advances, and via cadetships and apprenticeships they would plan sometimes up to twenty years in advance so as to make sure they would not be caught in a skills shortfall.

This investment in their future work forces was necessary due to the fact that the national interest and secure immigration policies ensured that the available labor market for Australian jobs could only be sourced with Australian citizens. As a result competition for workers with the required skills was sometimes fierce and this led to a natural increase in wages due to the forces of supply and demand.

Globalisation destroyed and warped this labor market. Now companies have no interest in planning for future skills shortages as they once did. They simply lobby governments to bring in overseas workers to fill the gaps which they themselves have created. The added bonus of bringing in thousands of overseas workers to fill jobs in Australia is that these companies can keep wages artificially low. There is no need to compete for local skilled workers when they can simply bring in masses of cheap foreigners desperate to work for peanuts in order to gain a foothold in Australia.

Telstra boss urges government to ease migration restrictions as it struggles to find skilled workers.

Telstra is turning to overseas markets for the talent it needs to propel its strategic overhaul, with CEO Andrew Penn saying that the federal government needs to widen the door to skilled migration.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) event in Melbourne, Mr Penn said that Telstra’s T22 strategic overhaul, which will see almost 9500 jobs lost, was forcing it to build new skills, like cybersecurity and software networking.

“We need these capabilities now, but the fact is we cannot find in Australia enough of the skills, like software engineers, that we need on the scale that we need them.”

“There simply are not enough of them, the pipeline is too small,” he said.

Mr Penn added that while immigration was a politically sensitive issue in Australia, an ongoing skilled migration policy is essential for Telstra and Australia.

“Immigration in Australia is an often vexed issue and attracts an enormous amount of political and media angst,” he said.

“In fact, it isn’t just an issue in Australia — in the US and the UK we are seeing significant negative commentary around immigration, I believe this is a unhealthy and potentially dangerous path for the world to take.”

“A well-targeted skilled migration policy is a job creator, not a job taker,” he said.

With the local skills shortage further compounded by the intense competition in the broader economy for technology talent, Mr Penn said Telstra had little choice other than to turn overseas.

“We are also competing for these skills domestically with other Australian organisations … that competition is fierce and it is estimated Australia will have a shortfall of 60,000 skilled workers in the ICT sector in the next five years.”

Telstra’s response to the shortfall has been to turn to other regions for recruitment, with the telco building a new innovation and capability centre in Bangalore, which will become operational later this year.

“Bangalore is India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ and even there we are competing for talent with the likes of Apple, Google and other digital companies,” Mr Penn said.

“This centre consolidates our presence in India where we already work with many partners and furthers in house talent we previously sourced from third parties.”

“It means we can quickly hire, develop and scale that talent across our business,” he added…

… “We are also competing for these skills domestically with other Australian organisations … that competition is fierce and it is estimated Australia will have a shortfall of 60,000 skilled workers in the ICT sector in the next five years.”

A quick translation of this passage goes something like this:

We need cheap Indian workers in Australia and we need them now.

So Telstra wants to sack 9500 Australian workers and bring in up to 60,000 Indians. To claim that this policy creates jobs is an unmitigated insult to Australian workers. Big businesses are now proactively involved in undermining the Australian national identity through their efforts to directly influence government immigration policies to their own commercial advantage. Apparently in the mind of UK born CEO Andrew Penn, what is good for Telstra is also automatically good for Australia.

But have no fear; Telstra is also working extremely hard with the local university system to employ local workers.

While recruiting talent from overseas provides a cost-effective fix for the telco, Mr Penn said that Telstra was committed to building partnerships in Australia to help develop more engineering talent.

“We are now establishing a partnership program with a small number of universities around developing specific capabilities.”

“We recently started to partner with the University of Wollongong on their new Global Leaders Development Program and have taken our first of their Big Data students as an intern, one of 80 students from around Australia who have been working with us over the summer,” he said.

One student from a single program plus 80 students who have been “working with them over the summer” which is globalisation-speak for free internships with no guaranteed job at the end of the process.

The rise of crony capitalism and the successful efforts of businesses to lobby governments for their own short term advantages is a national disgrace. Let us not also forget the suspiciously high number of former politicians with no business experience to speak of who manage to land themselves executive and board positions in these same companies after they depart politics.

With the added bonus of no official recession in Australia for almost 30 years due to the fudging of figures, manipulation of GDP and official interest rates, plus the good fortune to be on the receiving end of the China boom in 2008, Australian companies have had little to no threat of upstart newcomers entering the market and threatening their positions. Recessions are a natural and healthy part of an economy because they clean out the dead wood and enable new businesses to gain a foothold. No recessions also mean no recoveries.

We don’t want overseas workers in Australia and we certainly do not want these foreign countries’ best and brightest. Why should we siphon off their best talent? How will countries like India ever reach a decent modern standard of living if we continue to poach their best people?

Australia needs a moratorium on immigration. Let’s start with the CEOs of these companies. Send Andrew Penn back to the UK and hire an Australia CEO who puts the needs of his country first. And after that you can send back the already thousands of Indian Telstra employees in Australia who have snuck in the back door via consultancy forms such as IBM and Infosys.

And if Telstra loses business due to its own ineptitude then so be it. The shortfall will be filled by new Australian companies eager to profit from Telstra’s mistakes while employing Australian citizens. A crazy little thing called innovation and competition.

This article was originally published at, where Adam Piggott publishes regularly and brilliantly. You can purchase Adam’s books here.

  • Stiffbastard

    97% of the narrative surrounding 457s needed to fill vacancies is false. The sub continent immigrants don’t end up working in Information Technology at Telstra, they end up as trolley boys at Coles. These immigrants are displacing Australia’s lowest intellectual jobs. As Trump says, uncontrolled immigration only hurts the most disadvantaged in society. The displaced Australian workers are retired onto a DSP.

    • thegentlemantroll

      Those were also traditionally the jobs of young people, part-time mums and the freshly unemployed. The safety net is gone.

  • fimbulwinter

    Telstra puts up big AA diversity programs, GPA and internship alone are not enough an Australian STEM graduate – oh no, you have to do a psychometric test (the results held for two years to bar failed applicants from from reattempting) and then do a board presentation how Telstra can improve their social media exposure. The company almost entirely hires women and indians to push paper while the bulk of their staff are in India/Philippines. The raw nerve of them to complain of a “skills shortage”. Telsta gives no shits. The purpose of their existence is demographic replacement and white genocide.

    • Stiffbastard

      Spot on. The bar is lifted according to intersectionality.

      Its not just telstra doing this.

      The best way to get a job with these companies, if that’s your desire, is to study psychometric testing and learn to give answers that identify you as a black muzlim transgender lesbian who identifies as a Chinese land whale…

      Hiring practices at these companies are not based on merit, they’re based on the colour of your skin.

      • fimbulwinter

        Sadly it’s all true. But I have no working for Telstra.

      • Bucky Redux

        Ha, I did one of these psychometric tests and one question was:

        “Would you prefer to listen to a nice poem, or polish your shotgun ?”
        I took the shotgun option: needless to say I didn’t get the job.

        However , these surveys and psycho tests are easy to game with a bit of practice.

        • thegentlemantroll

          I wouldn’t mind some nice poetry if it was about a shotgun.

          • Jai_Normosone

            Listen to John Lee Hooker singing “Boom Boom” and add imagery of cleaning and using it 🙂

    • thegentlemantroll

      IT is an over-rated field and is really partially predicated on a con by the tech sector to obfuscate systems unnecessarily by constantly introducing new software and platforms so often that everyone is constantly in a re-training loop. You could have worked in IT for 10 years up until yesterday and still be considered inadequately trained for the future.

    • entropy

      Replacement is a byproduct rather than a purpose, but the rest is spot on.

      When companies succeed, they look around and realise that women and minorities are underrepresented in their merit hirings. No prizes for guessing why. So they go on a diversity drive to avoid the bad PR from whining socialists, then for some reason become less profitable and need to hire cheaper labour.

      Diversify your company at your own peril.

      • fimbulwinter

        I strongly agree, but it’s a combination of several issues. Heavily bureaucratic, excessive government regulation, a big HR middle layer resembling center link and elitist board members who are usually members of tribe or cabal. It’s a self perpetuating problem.

        • Stiffbastard

          Lauren Southern gave a good explanation yesterday in her talk about her new documentary “Borderless”.

  • Bucky Redux

    Everyone has a ‘Telstra story” that highlights Telstra incompetence.

    My sister waited at home all day last week for a scheduled attendance by a Tech, who surprise surprise, never turned up. Telstra “forgot”. Duh.
    And so it goes….
    Singtel/Optus brings in heaps of labour from India, uses them up until the 457 visa expires, then imports some more replacements. Wash/rinse/repeat.

    I’ve spoken to Maria in the Phillipines and Divneet in India.
    They are just robots who recite scripts, though some of them have exotic sexy voices.
    “Oh, Hello Mr. Bucky, my sexy name is Anjali, how may I be helping you today ?”

    If you wish to talk to a real, white flesh and blood Australian, just say “disconnections” when the robot voice asks your reason for calling.

    Priority call !! You’ll get put straight through to Telstra Melbourne as they are shit scared you are actually going to cancel your account. It’s the only time they will really listen.

    • thegentlemantroll

      The following is also surprisingly successful despite what you may have heard. Do it when it’s clear you won’t be getting what you requested. Begin the conversation by politely asking for the call operators name and id number, then start screaming at them and threatening cancellation, social-media spread and 1-star reviews. Don’t be afraid to throw in some magic words during the diatribe.

      By doing it this way you increase stress for the call centre employees leading to higher staff turnover and company waste. Every little bit counts.

      • RobynTodhunter

        I find a ‘my next call will be to the ombudsman’ usually gets them going.

  • thegentlemantroll

    Good column with one correction: India will never have a higher standard of living even with all their best people.

  • Mattys Modern Life

    Great article, that’s one White bloke we can send back where he came from.

    What we also need is to ban corporate donations to political parties, just make it illegal for anyone but individuals to donate from their after tax salary.

  • Jai_Normosone

    Great article.

    The biggest problem here is that elephant in the room that everybody sees but refuses to touch because they get to be told the most-favoured-of-labels: “Racist!”

    There is one simple fact when it comes to dealing with Indians in IT (and I mean the kind that want to sell you Foxtel and not the woo-woo-woo kind): Every single one of them will SAY that they can do the job and have every accreditation and qualification under the sun – and when it comes time to actually doing the job, 95% of them are totally fucking useless.
    And I mean: “Breakfast FM Radio DJ” or “Human Resources” kind of useless. Way the fuck up there such that you could employ gravel to do a better job.

    I can tell you for a fact… I’ve worked with the bastards and the vast majority of them are grubby, greedy, dishonest, dishonourable, refuse to take instruction from women, refuse to give instruction to women, and beyond fucking useless. I have met three (at my count) who weren’t out of all of the others who were.

    This doesn’t make me a “racist” as much as it makes me “observant” & “intolerant” (particularly of sloth & dishonesty).

    Then you can discuss those from Pakistan who can manage to take it to new levels because they add the abortion that is Islam on top of it.

    • thegentlemantroll

      That’s pretty much 100% my experience too. Add to this the fact that once they get a toehold in the management layer they willl only hire other Indians. And then you can kiss your company’s efficiency goodbye.