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Source: First Union

In light of today’s confirmation that the Commerce Commission will carry out a market study into New Zealand’s banking sector, FIRST Union – the union for bank workers – is asking banks to consider their social licence.
Edward Miller, FIRST Union Researcher and Policy Analyst, said that banks’ runaway profitability has been accompanied by stagnant wage growth for bank workers.
“At the same time as extracting billions of dollars from households and businesses, banks are seeking to lock in real wage cuts for the workers that generate profits for them,” said Mr Miller.
“Bank workers are still dealing with low wages, excessive performance management and burnout. From the way these banks negotiate wages and conditions with their own staff, you would think they were all hanging by a thread, on the brink of total poverty.”
“We’re hopeful that a thorough investigation into the practices of our banking sector will generate reforms that strengthen outcomes for both workers and consumers.”
“But the most immediate steps that NZ banks – particularly the Big Four – could take would be to demonstrate that they value their staff during collective bargaining.”
“There is a clear and pragmatic opportunity here for banks to strengthen their social licence ahead of possible regulatory measures by investing in their own workforces and rewarding decades of success.”