This appears to be a looming trend:
The Bendigo Bank is asking its 5,000 staff to take up to 10 days unpaid leave in a bid to avoid job cuts.
It follows similar calls from some major international corporations, including British Airways.
The Finance Sector Union (FSU) is urging staff to consider the move.
But the union’s national secretary, Leon Carter, is unhappy at what he calls a lack of consultation with staff.
“These sorts of situations aren’t solved by decrees from on high, they’re resolved by sitting down and talking with staff and the union,” he said.
“Because at the end of the day, Bendigo [and Adelaide Bank] staff and the FSU want to maximise employment.”
He says urgent discussions with the bank are needed.
“Long-term solutions to the global financial crisis aren’t going to be achieved by some people taking leave and others not,” he said.
“If there has to be a long-term solution, let’s sit down with the bank, talk to them about it, and figure out a solution.”
There are more than 400 Bendigo Bank branches across Australia.
More in the Hun:
In addition to working for free, workers have also been encouraged to use all of their accrued annual leave, including long service leave, by the close of this financial year.
Bank spokesman Owen Davies said the bank anticipated a strong take-up of the voluntary scheme, which begins next month.
The unpaid leave plan equates to a 4 per cent pay cut.
I’m not sure where the Hun’s “working for free” comes in – surely they’re not being asked to come into work while officially being on unpaid leave? None of the other news reports that I’ve found indicate such a thing.