Fact and exaggeration over the extent of branch closures and job cuts at Commonwealth Bank will be flushed out before the Fair Work Commission.
The Finance Sector Union yesterday lodged a dispute with the FWC, which will drag CBA’s bank’s plans or lack of them into the public eye early next month.
The Australian first reported more than a week ago that “there is an army of shadowy McKinsey consultants working on Matt Comyn's hitherto secret plan to cut in the order of $2 billion of costs” from the bank.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said last night that “while the CBA’s letter to the Union [last week] said clearly it believed media reports it intended closing 300 branches were ‘incorrect’, the bank described the 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’.”
Angrisano said “we don’t accept the CBA’s claims that there are no plans to cut staff numbers by more than 10,000.”
This is equal to roughly one fifth of the bank’s current workforce, though many of the jobs that will be eliminated are already planned via the sale or (postponed) demerger of “wealth” businesses.
“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,” Angrisano said.
The bank’s handling of the controversy is sensitive, with the election now less than four weeks away.