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‘Serious concern’: Union to take on CBA over job cut claims

FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano said on Monday the bank had not clearly denied the reports of a “secret plan being developed to reduce staff numbers at the CBA by 20 per cent”.

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“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,” she said.

The bank currently employs 48,000 ongoing staff, according to its 2019 half year financial results.

Ms Angrisano told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald digital transformations were happening right across the banking sector and would have an impact on workers.

“With any change program, it’s important workers have a say,” she said.

National Australia Bank is also in the middle of a major cost cutting exercise that will see it shed thousands of jobs.

Unions are able to apply to the Fair Work Commission for a range of dispute resolution measures including mediation to get a determination on whether an award or agreement is being properly applied.

CBA said it acknowledged the Fair Work proceedings but a spokesperson said the continued speculation around large scale layoffs to its workforce was “misleading and unnecessarily alarming”.

“We will continue to consult with the FSU regarding any major changes that have implications for our employees and will be open and transparent as soon as any decisions have been made,” the spokesperson said.

The union also released a petition for members to sign that puts four questions to the bank, including: “Are CBA planning to cut up to 10 000 of our jobs?” and “Are CBA planning to close up to 300 branches around Australia?”

Last week the FSU argued its members deserved more than “HR-double speak” and claimed the CBA’s response to reports of role reductions “was lame and reeked of spin”.

Emma is the small business reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald based in Melbourne.

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