|Issue No 32||24 September 1999|
Banks Grill Staff on New Fees
The Commonwealth Bank has been paying staff to attend focus groups to discover how they'll cope with anger over a raft of new customer charges - including payment for information on account balances.
The Finance Sector Union says members were paid $40 to attend a group run by a private consultancy with customer service officers and tellers.
"The research included seeking reaction of staff in handling customer complaints if "non value transactions", such as inquiries about account balances, collecting keycards, and similar activities, were added to the number of fee attracting services," FSU Commonwealth Bank Officers state secretary Peter Presdee says
"Transactions made by pensioners, low income earners and battling Australian families are now potentially in the fee charging arena."
Revelations of the Bank's focus groups follow a front-page story in the Daily Telegraph criticising the FSU for paying members $20 to attend focus groups.
At the time bank management, federal workplace relations minister Peter Reith and the terror's editorial characterised the move as a sign of desperation by a union forced to pay members to attend meetings.
Presdee has challenged the Daily Telegraph to give the story about the Commonwealth Bank's focus groups the same prominence.
Interview: His Daily Fix
Graham Richardson talks of his transition from national politics to talkback radio and his ongoing jobs as a fixer.
Politics: Requiem to the Third Way
The swing to Labor in Victoria shows clearly that once again Australian voters have rejected economic rationalism. The result, and the reasons for it, should worry John Howard.
International: A Common Struggle for Freedom
It may not get the headlines, but Western Sahara has some chilling similarities with East Timor.
Unions: Woolscour Workers say No to Peter Reith
Workers at Canobolas Wooltopping - a woolscour plant near Orange, in central west New South Wales, have just sent a message to Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith: thanks, but no thanks.
Legal: Outlawed Acts of Consicence
The recent boycotts in support of East Timorese indepndence highlights the extremism of Reith's second wave.
History: Was Manning Clark A True Believer
A Canberra history conference shines the spotlight on Australia's most famous historian.
Review: Paranoid Echoes
The calls to examine the Australian–Soviet documents in the Moscow Literary archives have grown in volume over the past year.
Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
The latest issue of Labour Review - a resource for officals and students.
Satire: Kennett Boosts Chances: Two More Independents Dead
Caretaker Premier Jeff Kennett today admitted that voters perceived him as arrogant and out of touch, but insisted that they were wrong.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005