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Big Banks Push for WorkChoices Mark II

April 2, 2012

The big banks are doing it tough, so much so, that despite boasting record profits, and announcing that they will no longer fall into line with movements in the cash rate of the RBA, they are now demanding a new era of so called workplace “flexibility.”

The Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, Westpac and GE Capital Finance have applied to Fair Work Australia to include the weekend in the definition of “ordinary hours of work” under the banking, finance and insurance award.

The banks insist that changing the current definition of ordinary hours to include 12pm to 6pm on Saturdays and 8am to 6pm on Sundays would in fact promote “flexibility” in the workplace.

In their submission to Fair Work Australia, the banks say they will retain existing penalty rates for employees who currently work on those days; leaving the way open to penalise workers who may be compelled to work weekends in the future.

“The banks are, in substance, in no different position to many retailers or other retail providers such as telecommunications service providers and contract call centre operators, each of which has access to a modern award facility permitting ordinary hours to be worked on Saturdays and Sundays,” the banks said in their submission.

A variation of this nature is likely to promote flexible and efficient modern work practices in a way that has proper regard to the considerations of productivity and employment costs which form part of the modern awards objective.”

However, Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has labelled the move a “wage cut in stealth”.

“And this is not a wage cut for the CEOs on several million dollars a year, this is potentially a wage cut for … part-time workers, women workers, people who earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year,” Mr Shorten said.

Last year Westpac set an Australian banking record announcing a net profit just shy of $7 billion.

And according to the Bank for International Settlements, Australia’s big banks are the most profitable in the world.

 

But you know, they need “workplace flexibility.”

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. JAWS permalink
    April 3, 2012 12:15 pm

    “The banks are, in substance, in no different position to many retailers or other retail providers such as telecommunications service providers and contract call centre operators, each of which has access to a modern award facility permitting ordinary hours to be worked on Saturdays and Sundays,” the banks said in their submission.

    What a load of bullshit !

    Banks do not sell mobile phones, groceries, shoes and for them top cite Call Centre Operators is the height of hypocrisy since they themselves do their own via frigging call cenre stuff via India et al.

    If they are allowed to do this then the ones that will feel the effects and higher costs will be Credit Unions who will also be forced to do it to retain market share.

    So fuck ‘em

  2. JAWS permalink
    April 3, 2012 12:21 pm

    Of the Big 4 the only one that is actually using a bit of nous in trying to look to its future appears to be ANZ which is trying to expand into Asia. The other 3 are consent to gouge the domestic economy.

    And in a protected market where they operate under a government guarantee where is the frigging skill in cutting costs, or raising prices (ie fees and rates). Most of these pricks do not deserve their bonuses.

    At least the ANZ is putting their proverbials on the line to an extent by seeking to go OS.

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