ANZ staff claim victory as offshore move halted
A concerted campaign by workers to save their jobs has been credited with forcing ANZ to reverse a decision to send nearly 600 call centre positions overseas.
The plan, floated this year, to send the jobs offshore has now been shelved with the bank's decision to consolidate its Melbourne offices at one site, the key finance union claims.
Finance Sector Union spokeswoman Leanne Shingles said the bank's announcement was a victory for ANZ workers, who had enlisted the help of their local communities and politicians to stop the potential job losses.
"It was a concerted effort from the workers at ANZ and they are certainly celebrating their very successful campaign today with the news that 590 jobs are to remain in Australia," Ms Shingles said.
It was the first time a proposal to send ANZ jobs offshore had been overturned, she said. "It is a really significant win ... We think this is really going to resonate across the finance sector."
The union said the decision was made after ANZ staff launched a community campaign to save their jobs when a leaked internal document raised the possibility the percentage of staff based in Melbourne would drop from 87 per cent to 42 per cent in 2015.
But an ANZ spokesman said at the time that no decisions had been made over the draft plan, drawn up for senior management.
The bank on Tuesday said moving workers out of the bank's Mulgrave site, where 340 staff worked, was caused by the building reaching the end of its life.
The cuts, if carried out, could have seen up to 590 jobs lost. About 250 staff are based at the Dorcas Street site in South Melbourne.
The finance union has previously described ANZ under chief executive Mike Smith as the most aggressive "offshorers" among the big four banks.
ANZ said it would work with its staff over the next year to adjust to the changes, which would see all the Mulgrave positions moved to South Melbourne.
In May, ANZ replaced 70 call centre jobs in South Melbourne with positions in New Zealand, although it expected to meet the numbers through natural attrition.