TOOWOOMBA Telstra workers have found themselves on the chopping block with 55 jobs to be cut by the end of the year.
The Telstra complex on Herries St, Toowoomba, will soon be running on a skeleton workforce as Telstra outsources jobs to India.
Long-term outside contractors also will lose their work.
Communication Workers Union Queensland branch president Geoff Taylor said several workers were being kept on the payroll to train their successors - a claim Telstra refutes.
"Some are having their redundancies delayed and are expected to train the people taking their jobs," he said.
"It's heartbreaking work."
A Telstra spokeswoman said 55 workers would be affected.
"Twenty-nine roles have been affected due to a number of organisation-wide changes... an additional 26 agency roles have also been affected," she said.
"These decisions are never easy and we are sorry for the impact on affected staff."
She said staff would be redeployed to new jobs where possible.
Mr Taylor said the jobs were being subcontracted to a labour hire company in India.
"They are mainly back-of-house staff who arrange network repairs," he said.
"I've heard some will be losing their jobs in June and others around December, but I'd expect it all to happen this year.
"Unfortunately, history shows that cutting labour costs also involves cutting service quality."
The wife of a long-term Telstra employee told The Chronicle workers had been muzzled by management and told not to talk to the media.
"A lot of the guys working there are in their 50s, so finding another job can be next to impossible," she said.