Finance Sector Union takes CBA to Fair Work Commission over job cuts

| April 23, 2019

The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission over massive job cuts proposed at the Commonwealth Bank.

FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said bank workers at the CBA had a right to be consulted about possible major changes at the Bank.

“We don’t accept the CBA’s claims that there are no plans to cut staff number by more than 10,000. The CBA has not denied media reports that there is a secret plan being developed to reduce staff numbers at the CBA by 20 per cent,” Ms Angrisano said.

“While the CBA’s letter to the Union said clearly it believed media reports it intended closing 300 branches were ‘incorrect,’ the bank described reports of massive job cuts as ‘misleading and unnecessarily alarming’.”

“There was no denial of the reports that jobs would be cut. Instead of denying the claims CBA referred to achieving ‘efficiencies’ and ‘good business discipline’.”

“We are taking action in the Fair Work Commission to force the CBA to meet its obligations under the CBA Enterprise Agreement to fully consult staff before taking action resulting in the loss of jobs.”

“These leaked reports that consultants are running their rulers over the bank’s operations are a source of serious concern for Commonwealth Bank staff who deserve to know what the Board and management of the CBA are planning.”

The FSU sent the following message to staff late last week:

“It is clear that decisions to make changes have been made.
Matt Comyn is on the record outlining how CBA is becoming a ‘streamlined’ bank and announcing that the ‘transformation to become a simpler bank is underway’.”

“It is inconceivable that such changes won’t impact you in some way – be it job losses, the need to be retrained, or the loss of job or promotion opportunities. Change impacts employees in many ways.”

FSU members have been asked to sign a petition calling on the CBA to urgently meet with the Union to address:

·      CBA’s plan to cut jobs;

·      Plans to close hundreds of branches;

·      Commitments around retraining and reskilling employees; and

·      Talking with workers as a first step in undergoing any change programs.

Ms Angrisano said the CBA’s push to reduce its workforce exposed the weakness of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s argument that profitable businesses lead to secure jobs and fair pay rises.

“If the biggest and most profitable company in Australia cuts up to 20% of jobs this exposes the lie of trickle-down economics,” Ms Angrisano said.

“The CBA is using its massive profit to double down on insecure jobs and cutting services to the community.”

“Corporations have too much power and working people need to change the rules to swing the pendulum back towards the middle.”