Bank workers plan national strike

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ANZ workers have announced plans to stage a national strike over new employment agreements, claiming that the bank aims to “casualise hours of work”.
Around 85 per cent of the 1,300-plus ANZ employees who are members of FIRST Union voted in favour of the national strike, after several localised strikes were staged over the past fortnight.
Of particular concern were plans that ANZ had proposed to advise workers of their upcoming hours of work on a month-by-month basis, said Maxine Gay, secretary of FIRST Union Retail and Finance.
“Bank staff have lives outside of their job. They have childcare requirements, commitments to community, faith and sports groups. Many bank workers undertake tertiary study with set lecture times. Chopping and changing hours may suit ANZ, but it does not work for workers,” she said.
After the bank posted a $1.37bn profit last financial year, employees also appear to want a greater piece of the profit pie, rejecting the ANZ’s pay rise offer of 2.75 to 3 per cent.
While ANZ’s New Zealand CEO is one of the country’s highest-paid leaders, pocketing a cool $4.1m, the average workers on the employment agreement earn around $59,000.
A statement from ANZ said the bank “pays its staff very competitively compared to similar jobs in the market. The salary ranges for almost all jobs covered by this agreement are the highest in the industry.”
“We’re disappointed that union members have voted for industrial action when a very good offer is on the table,” the statement said.
It also confirmed that there would be little impact on customers during the strike, as union members comprise less than 20 per cent of ANZ's 8,000 employees.
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