UPDATE: Rubicor confirms Telstra workers' super now paid
UPDATE: A SPOKESMAN from Rubicor has issued a statement confirming the superannuation contributions to employees at the Telstra call centre have been paid.
Rubicor confirms that the Maryborough site employees' superannuation contributions have been paid. Employees should contact their Rubicor account manager if they have any enquiries.
EARLIER (5.20PM): THOUSANDS of superannuation dollars are owed to casual staff at a Maryborough Telstra call centre in what Queensland's public sector union has labelled a "blatant example of wage theft".
The situation has led the Community and Public Sector Union to demand Telstra directly employ contract workers who have not been paid their superannuation through labour-hire company Rubicor.
About 60 workers at the call centre are employed through Rubicor while another 30 are permanently employed by Telstra.
Emails obtained by the Chronicle reveal Rubicor's group financial controller John Fauvel stated on February 10 the company was "behind in the payment of superannuation contributions" to both staff and client-placed employees.
"The situation came about as a result of a significant unforeseen taxation payment required by the company of Rubicor Workforce," Mr Fauvel explains in the email.
"The payment had a huge impact on operational cash flows across the group and we therefore did not have the available funds to satisfy all payments for other matters across the group of companies we operate."
But the CPSU's deputy national president Brooke Muscat-Bentley said it was "wage theft, pure and simple".
"This non-payment of superannuation has come to light and been admitted not because Rubicor wants to do the right thing by workers but because of the pressure applied by the CPSU on behalf of our members," she said.
"Telstra should be giving Rubicor workers permanent jobs direct with Telstra, otherwise the telco is condoning wage theft."
CPSU lead organiser Jonathan Ring said the union believes the workers will have their entitlements paid by next Thursday but said they were still chasing confirmation that money would include the interest lost.
"Ultimately, we're talking about low-wage, minimum wage employees here and the compounding effect on their super balances needs to be considered," Mr Ring said.
"It's completely eroded the trust they had with their employer Rubicor and Telstra... when they realised they had their super stolen they were very angry and distressed."
A Telstra spokesman said they had engaged with Rubicor on several occasions to resolve the situation, including a written undertaking that the unpaid superannuation will be paid next week.
"We will continue to provide support to Rubicor people working in Telstra facilities who have been impacted by this situation, we know this is a difficult time for Rubicor employees and we hope to find a solution that protects their pay and entitlements," the spokesman said.
Rubicor was contacted for comment but did not respond before print deadline.