GFC being used to legitimise job cuts: ACTU

ACTU president Sharan Burrow said businesses were putting short-term profits ahead of workers’ jobs and the long-term viability of industry.“It is unacceptable for some large businesses, including the banks, to put short-term profits ahead of the lives of workers and the future of local industry,” Burrow said.“Companies that are still making profits or paying exorbitant salaries to executives should not try and take the easy way out by slashing jobs.”She said employers should consider the long term and refrain from slashing jobs, so they have workforce capacity when the next upswing occurs.“Where possible, any decision to cut jobs should be delayed until the economy recovers and the job market improves.“Many of these companies received a lot of taxpayer support in recent years and should be repaying that support with greater loyalty to staff.”Burrow said Lend Lease, as an example, has benefitted from major publicly funded or underwritten infrastructure projects.She added that banks should back off from pressuring companies to cut costs by axing jobs. “Australia’s banks are also benefitting from substantial support from the government.“The banks, as well as all the other companies that are getting taxpayer support, have a special obligation to protect local jobs and help the whole community get through the downturn.”“These are difficult times, but we need to see more leaders in the business community who are prepared to pull out all stops to safeguard jobs and maintain our local industries,” Burrow said.

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