ANZ Fiji restructure could lead to strike

Fiji townFijian ANZ workers are about to vote on whether to strike over a restructuring that that they believe could lead to job loses.

The restructuring program, called Program Enable, would transfer many of the bank’s back office jobs to a Fiji based subsidiary company, Quest Ltd.
The National Secretary of the Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union, Pramod Rae, said:

“The irony is that existing workers who have been performing these jobs within ANZ in Fiji and other Pacific island countries for many years would not be allowed to transfer with their jobs from ANZ to Quest.”

“The move is an elaborate tax avoidance scheme designed to drastically reduce personnel costs within ANZ Fiji and at the same time avoid paying Fiji taxes.”

Meanwhile ANZ Fiji is also preparing to introduce a range of new charges for its customers. This has led to calls to create a banking ombudsman to keep a watch on banks in Fiji. The Head of School of Economics at the University of the South Pacific, Dr Biman Prasad, said a bank ombudsman would oversee complaints from customers and provide an independent assessment in the rise in fees and charges.

“Bank profitability has continued to rise in Fiji but this has not resulted in any reduction in fees and charges instead it has continued to increase,” said Dr Prasad.

(Thanks to mysticgringo for the photo)


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