Commonwealth Bank bosses have been slammed for sending frontline workers a delivery of fruit and vegetables while offering them “an offensively low pay offer”.
Commonwealth Bank bosses have been slammed for sending frontline workers a delivery of fruit and vegetables while offering them “an offensively low pay offer”.

CBA staff outraged over fruit box instead of pay rise

Many Victorian Commonwealth Bank staff have gone bananas after receiving a fruit basket from their employer amid tense pay negotiations that have failed to come to fruition.

The Finance Sector Union's national secretary Julia Angrisano said the "timing is terrible" to send staff including frontline workers a home delivery of fruit and vegetables during the pandemic while being offered "an offensively low pay offer".

"On the face of it it's a perfectly nice thing to do, but when you look at all the practical things that CBA can and should do to recognise their Victorian staff, it's just condescending," she said.

"While (CBA chief executive officer) Matt Comyn may have thought it was a good idea to send staff in Victoria a fruit basket, his timing is terrible.

"Many of our members, who have spent months working supporting the CBA's operations by continuing to deliver front-lines services, are angry about the optics of this home delivered hamper."

The bank has issued the fruit boxes to about 5700 employees and each box cost about $50.

The total cost is about $285,000.

It comes as many of the bank's executives received significant bonuses in the 2020 financial year including Mr Comyn who received almost $500,000.

 

A Financial Sector Union Facebook post slamming the move by CBA.
A Financial Sector Union Facebook post slamming the move by CBA.

But a CBA spokesman said the delivery of fruit boxes was a way of thanking their hardworking staff.

"We are very conscious of the pressures they and everyone in the state have been experiencing in recent weeks," he said.

"In particular, we have been overwhelmed by how our Team Victoria members have continued to support their customers, communities and one another during these very tough times."

Victoria remains in a strict stage 4 lockdown which has forced millions of Melburnians to work from home, stick within a 5km radius of their home, wear face masks when outside and abide by a 9pm curfew.

Only in recent days have restrictions eased in regional Victoria but Melbourne's remain at this stage under strict measures until at least the end of October.

CBA is the nation's largest bank and recorded a cash net profit fell by 11 per cent for the full financial year of $7.3 billion.

Under its enterprise agreement the bank offered 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent annual pay rises, while rival bank Westpac got a 3.25 per cent pay rise.

This includes CBA staff earning less than $75,000 would receive a 2 per cent a year increase for two years while those earning more than $75,000 would see a pay rise of just 1.5 per cent.

So far in Victoria 771 people have died from COVID-19.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as CBA staff outraged over fruit box instead of pay rise


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