Those Woisterous Bankers: Westpac

Westpac are being bastards.

Firstly let me just say I am allowed to use the word bastard. I myself am a bastard, I’ve grown up in the bastard community, having been absorbed in the distinct bastard culture since birth, some of my best friends are bastards. And so I feel justified in using this word, long since used to oppress me and my kind, on any legitimate bastard I like.

Westpac certainly has earned the title. For news has filtered in that this certain perfidious bank is cutting hundreds, and possibly thousands of employees in cost cutting measures, not only this, but is forcing their redundancy-row employees to train their new subcontinental replacements. Stinge right? Lets examine this in two bite sized chunks.

Firstly, does Westpac really need to cut costs? Perhaps I’m being a little too harsh. I must admit, my ideology and a certain listless anger at the world, probably stemming from my woeful performance in the bedroom mean I’m usually less than pleased with extreme capitalism and corporations. I will however force myself to be fair. Westpac CEO defends her own salary quite smoothly bellow by not really answering the question. Further down is my video response.

Westpac has had a bad couple of years. What with the GFC, their takeover of St. George Bank, further tightening competition in the banking sector, and their getting rid of bad debts, they only raked in a measly 6.691 billion this year after the evil government taxman stole their hard earned dollars away. With such a small profit margin it’s only natural for Westpac to cut jobs for the greater good. I mean, I can barely pay for a week’s meals with that amount of money, and I don’t feast on the platters of caviar, and Ibex liver which ensure the mental precision required to run such a successful small business as their’s.

And one can only applause, I suppose, the humanity the Westpac board is displaying by giving jobs to those unwashed heathens on the subcontinent. It’s heartening to know that even though the Empire is dead, we can still use good cheap labour from the old Raj to do the jobs that Australians don’t want to do, and apparently the ones we do want to do as well. Of course Westpac probably had the interests of the worker’s at heart here. Giving them decent wages might anger their fellow citizens, provoking violent riots. Alternatively the extra cash might fatally destabilise their robust economy, provoking a global monetary apocalypse, in which Godzilla will return, breed with Mothman and overrun the world with dragons.

Secondly, and this is the part that gained most of the media attention, the whole getting sacked employees to train their new replacements is kind of stinge. Imagine it, seriously, having to regurgitate years of knowledge, spending hours with your usurper buzzing around you like a fly, asking questions and taking notes, in full knowledge that Westpac have not only pushed you off the plank. They’re making you dig your own grave… The folks apparently don’t like it so much. I can’t imagine why.

 “She has been shadowing me, sitting next to me and I have to teach her how to do my day-to-day job,” Westpac staffer of 15 years, Russell Siachico, told The Sunday Telegraph. “Basically sitting next to me like a sponge, sucking in as much information as possible. It’s devastating. I feel insulted and very low.”

The reason why this has caused so much outrage (well not that much outrage but still a tad of bother), is simple. Westpac is the second biggest bank in Australia, one of the Four “Big Banks” or “Pillars” in the Australian banking sector. The Big Four, that includes Westpac, are now all rated in the top twelve banks in the world, after the global economic implosion of 08. They’re raking in massive profits, yet still they see the need to cut costs and “restructure”. They’ve only sacked 188 people so far, but the plans include up to 2000 more according to the evil unions.

The fact is that this sort of behaviour is inevitable. We have a system and a culture here based on endless growth, on the continually maximisation of profits. The goal of all these CEO types is to achieve these ends. The downsizing and mechanisation of their work forces at the expense of jobs will be as much as modern technology allows, as much as is seen viable by the board and investors. It’s the nature of the (relatively) free market economy, it’s the nature of the beast. A ravenous, fickle, bloated beast left unshackled and untamed for far too long. The answer should be simple. Rise up, cut the food supply and fetch the collar.

To see source and read more check out these corporate puppets: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/ultimate-insult-sacked-westpac-workers-forced-to-train-indian-replacements/story-e6freuy9-1226250331599

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/rubbing-salt-into-sacked-workers-wounds/story-fn7x8me2-1226250342880

http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/01/22/261893-Sacked-Westpac-workers-forced-to-train-their-Indian-replacements-.html

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/down-under/australian-banks-india-outsourcing-call-centers-bangalore-global-financial-crisis

http://www.westpac.com.au/docs/pdf/aw/ic/2011_Annual_Report.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_Australia

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