Telstra’s directories business Sensis is cutting 800 jobs.
Sensis said it would consult with employees on its proposed changes to support a transition to becoming a digital business.
“The proposal would result in an overall reduction of approximately 800 roles nationally across Sensis advertising operations, sales, management and support areas,” the company said in a statement.
Sensis managing director John Allan said the changes were designed to support the company’s growing digital business, respond to competition and deliver improvements in service.
“Whilst these decisions are difficult, they are necessary to ensure we maintain our competitive position,” Mr Allan said.
“These are very difficult decisions and are never taken lightly.”
The Community and Public Sector Union said the job cuts and closure of regional offices would hurt local communities and erode the nation’s skills base.
The CPSU estimates that in the past 12 months Sensis has shed almost half of its entire workforce, with at least 600 roles already moved to the Philippines and India.
“Telstra’s actions are sending shockwaves through communities that are already seeing jobs disappearing at an alarming rate,” National president Michael Tull said.
“When you offshore jobs you are effectively saying to the communities that support you and buy your products – Telstra just doesn’t care.”
Earlier this year, Telstra sold a 70 per cent stake in Sensis, which includes the white and yellow pages business, to US private equity firm Platinum Equity for $454 million.
The deal valued Sensis at $649 million, which was just 2.4 times its expected 2013/14 financial year earnings and well below the $3 billion price tag analysts had expected.
It was also a far cry from the reported valuation of between $10 billion and $12 billion placed on Sensis when Telstra considered selling it in 2005 and 2006.