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Telstra Risk Second Strike In Annual Vote

In what could become its second “strike” in over a year, Telstra workers are urging shareholders to again vote against the telco’s remuneration report which could see CEO Andy Penn’s salary balloon by 34% to $5 million.

The CEPU (Communications Division) NSW Postal & Telecommunications Union is today urging shareholders to vote against Telstra CEO’s $5m pay packet amid job cuts and declining services.

It comes off the back of recent changes to the telcos executive pay structure in a significant strategy called Telstra 2022 in which they aim to simplify their business infrastructure through cost reductions and digitisation.

While Major proxies Institutional Shareholder Service and CGI Glass Lewis have recommended shareholders vote in favour of Telstra’s remuneration report, CEPU Communications Union National President, Shane Murphy said shareholders ‘should send a message’.

“It is outrageous that the Telstra CEO’s salary continues to rise exorbitantly despite the company a declining share price, slashed dividends and major job losses,” said Mr Murphy in a press release.

The Telstra 2022 project includes thousands of staff cuts and the streamlining of products and services offered by the national telco.

If union efforts are successful, the Telstra board could face re-election; however, sources from the Sydney Morning Herald suggest this outcome is unlikely with advisory firm Ownership Matters also recommending a vote in favour of the report.

Separate legal action is reportedly being directed at Telstra by the CEPU for unilaterally terminating bonus incentives for 150 technicians on individual statutory agreements, which is listed for mention in Federal Court on 2 December.

The AFR reports the telco stripped pay ‘because workers got too much money –they were too productive,” CEPU Victorian official Val Butler said.

A  spokesperson for Telstra said they regularly review variable pay approaches to ensure “the needs of our customers and our business” were met.

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