The Financial Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has demanded to meet with the chief executive of National Australia Bank (NAB), Andrew Thorburn, after the bank announced yesterday it plans to slash 6,000 jobs by 2020.
Following the announcement by the bank in its 2017 full-year results, the FSU expressed deep concern that on the same day NAB announced a 2.5 per cent lift in cash profit to $6.64 billion, it also announced plans to cut staff numbers by 18 per cent.
It also expressed concern at the lack of detail provided on job cuts and has requested urgent discussions with NAB executives, adding the bank was prioritising technology and profits before people.
FSU national secretary, Julia Angrisano said: “Today, NAB has made the choice to lose many loyal dedicated staff”.
“Off the back of the substantial profit, it appears that NAB workers are to pay the price through a cost-cutting program.”
NAB announced yesterday that 6,000 jobs would be cut by 2020 as the bank looked to automate services. But it also said it would hire 2,000 staff for new roles.
Thoburn told a media conference the bank would be looking to hire data scientists, artificial intelligence, robotics, automation and technology staff, and staff with digital capabilities. The net job loss would be 4,000 people.
“As we go through that for people that will be leaving our company over the next few years, we do want to do that well and we’re establishing a vehicle called The Bridge,” he said.
“The Bridge will actually help people out of our company across a bridge into new employment.”
However, Angrisano said NAB and the broader banking industry had a long-term social responsibility to their staff, especially during this period of digital disruption.
“It is too early to congratulate NAB on their proposal for a career transition program,” she said.
“We want every NAB worker to be treated with the respect they deserve for delivering a $6.6 billion profit.”