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Strife for IBM subsidiary

WORKERS from around Australia employed by a subsidiary of US computer giant IBM took industrial action last week over stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations.

IBM Global Services Australia (IBMGSA), part owned by Telstra, is being challenged by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) – Communications Union over its refusal to negotiate an enterprise agreement which would cover all employees working on Telstra contracts.

IBMGSA has been a major beneficiary of Telstra’s outsourcing and downsizing policies.

It employs 4,000 people to perform work previously done by Telstra employees, and is expected to take over further Telstra contracts that will involve the transfer of up to 1,000 more employees soon.

Communications Union secretary Adrian O’Connell said while IBMGSA was prepared to negotiate agreements with the CPSU to cover ex-Telstra staff whose work was outsourced to IBMGSA in 1997, it would not allow “new” staff who had joined the company since 1997, to be covered by this agreement.

“Staff of IBMGSA just want a fair go,” Mr O’Connell said.

“They feel they have been forced to take industrial action by management, which has simply refused to listen to their requests and denied them the right to bargain collectively.”

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