Telstra workers gearing up for strike

Facing stonewalling from Telstra, the company's employees will soon ask the Australian Industrial Regulations Commission (AIRC) for permission to strike. 

The Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) will ask permission to conduct rolling work stoppages, for unlimited periods of four, 24 and 48 hours.

The union has also asked for permission to declare an immediate moratorium on both paid and unpaid overtime.

Telstra has failed to negotiate a collective agreement with its employees, according to the union, making industrial action essential.

CEPU national president Ed Husic said in a statement that the company has refused to sit down with the union to undertake collective bargaining.

This is particularly ironic, Husic says, because Telstra's CEO Sol Trujillo will make $13.4 million  in 2008, or $257,000 per week.

Meanwhile, Telstra's advertising and directory arm, Sensis, will provide its Yellow Pages business directory listings to Google Maps, and will abandon its own search engine in favour of a Google-powered one, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The move has been seen by some analysts as an implicit acknowledgement that Sensis cannot compete with Google in these business areas.

Google and Sensis have entered into a revenue-sharing agreement, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed.