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Higher Telstra exec payments as jobs go.



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Peter Andren MP - Independent Member for Calare

25 October 2005

Higher Telstra exec payments as jobs go

It is an obscenity to increase the total fund for Telstra directors’ fees by $680-thousand dollars to $2-million per annum while jobs are threatened and telecommunications infrastructure groans from overload stress, according to Independent member for Calare Peter Andren.

“At the same time as the company is contemplating the axing of up to 8000 workers and locating other jobs offshore to save more than a billion dollars, it takes a proposal to today’s annual general meeting that will substantially increase directors’ fees and accrued benefits” Mr Andren said.

“In addition to that, the top ten senior managers from the CEO down last year shared a total of $25 million in salary, incentives, superannuation and other bonuses.

“That figure will increase significantly this year with the salary package for incoming CEO Sol Trujillo and his two fellow amigos.

“Telstra defends its proposed increase in the directors’ fee pool by saying it compares favourably with Australian companies of comparative size.

“The fact is Telstra is Australia’s largest company, and while it still remains the majority shareholder on behalf of the Australian people, the government should reject this obscene grab for money the company should by right be pouring back into the telecommunications network.

“Can the government tell the people of rural and regional Australia that the management and directors of Telstra deserve these payments?

“Can they tell the dedicated workers about to be retrenched, or the call centre operators whose jobs in Roma and elsewhere are to be exported, that these payments are justified?

“Telstra of all companies should be a benchmark for reasonable corporate practice and the government should insist, while it still has control, on fair and reasonable executive and director payments” Mr Andren said.

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