Optus to slash nearly 300 jobs: Midday roundup

Telco giant Optus has confirmed it will cut 290 jobs, with the majority to come from its Sydney head office.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed with AAP the jobs are being cut due to a corporate restructure.

“We’ve had some discussions with the staff that are impacted,” the spokesperson told AAP.

The move comes as Optus, along with the rest of the telecommunications industry, restructures as the industry shifts towards placing more priority on retail services as part of the National Broadband Network.

Labor drops element of Fair Work Amendment

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has dropped a piece of the second round of changes to the Fair Work Act which would have allowed arbitration of companies in deadlocked bargaining.

Shorten announced the amendment yesterday which will allow the Fair Work Commission to arbitrate greenfields agreements for deadlocked resource projects.

But the legislation no longer allows for arbitration to be extended to forms of “intractable bargaining”.

The wave of changes to the Fair Work Act comes as part of the government’s response to last year’s Fair Work review.

Rudd rules out further challenges

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed there are “no circumstances” in which he would seek the Labor leadership.

The confirmation comes after a volatile day in Labor politics, in which Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a leadership vote, but rumoured contender Rudd refused to challenge her.

A spokesperson for Rudd said his position “hasn’t changed” with regard to seeking the Labor leadership.

“Furthermore, Mr Rudd wishes to make 100% clear to all members of the parliamentary Labor Party, including his own supporters, that there are no circumstances under which he will return to the Labor Party leadership in the future.”

Shares higher after modest offshore lead

The Australian sharemarket opened lower this morning, but regained ground over the morning despite a modest lead from offshore markets due to ongoing fears over the Cyprus banking crisis.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 18.9 points or 0.4% to 4,978.3 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 90 points or 0.6% to 14,421.5.



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