||Issue No. 257||01 April 2005|
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
Dirt Cheap Right On Money
Multinational Banks Jobs
Later this month the bank's cheque processing unit will be out-sourced to American company, Fiserv, which is slated to take over the cheque clearance operations of the Commonwealth and Westpac banks later in the year.
Australia's big four banks are forbidden to merge under the 'four pillars' policy unless they can prove any merger is in the public interest to the ACCC.
FSU official Cath Noye says the banks are seeking the advantages of a merger by stealth through joint outsourcing arrangements.
Though many of the cheque clearing staff are likely to find jobs at Fiserv, workers have been pursuing guarantees their accrued entitlements will be safe at the new company. Some staff have been working in the unit for over 20 years and are due thousands of dollars in leave and redundancy accruals.
Noye says banks making huge profits should not be outsourcing work for short term gain.
"We are in the middle of a skills shortage, NAB should be employing, training and skilling Australians," says Noye.
"This is a major corporation which makes enormous profits, it's simply not good enough to sell people off like charf."
The FSU is predicting job cuts in other areas of the bank such as settlements, mail distribution and account services. Some market analysts have predicted as many as 3000 jobs might be lost.
Earlier this week the bank announced it would cut 1700 workers in its two UK subsiduaries.
The jobs slashing has been triggered by last year's $360 million foreign currency trading scandal, leading to extended board infighting, revelations of a flawed offshore expansion bid and entrenched cultural problems.
Noye says job cuts will only punish loyal staff and do nothing to improve staff morale or customer service.
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