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The Gossip - news from the Finance Sector

The latest news from the FIRST Union finance sector unofficial weblog!











  • Hacktivist foiled by kitty

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Hacker-activist Jeremy Hammond, considered a mastermind, believes his ultimate downfall was because of his cat.

    In 2012 FBI agents raided his home with assault rifles while Hammond dashed to his room to shut his encrypted laptop.

    However Hammond’s encryption programme proved too easy for agents to crack and get the evidence to put him in prison.

    “My password was really weak”, he recounted, having used his cat’s name, Chewy, with 123 on the end.

  • Westpac profits “as good as it gets”

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Westpac NZ has increased its annual profit by 13 per cent, bringing in statutory profit of $864 million in the year ending September 30, an all time record performance for the bank.

    The bank is attributing the huge increase to a big fall in bad debts, with acting Chief Executive David McLean claiming that, “this is about as good as it gets in the credit cycle.”

  • TPPA National Day of Action

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    This Saturday is a national day of action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a trade and investment agreement our government is secretly negotiating with 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada.

  • Your biggest fan!

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    With the US midterms over and the Republicans taking hold of the Senate, unions in the United States are concerned that protecting workers rights may now be an uphill battle.

    However there is room for some comic relief! In a televised debate between Florida Governor Rick Scott and his Democrat opponent Charlie Crist, the governor refused to take the stage, despite being in the building.

  • ANZ bargaining update

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    On Tuesday this week the union and the bank met in collective bargaining, making some progress.

    The parties have agreed they will meet again for mediated bargaining on 18 and 19 November.


  • Bank Union Council nominations

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Bank Union Council nomination forms went out to members last week, and we are currently looking for delegates to step up and fill the vacancies. The following council positions are vacant:

    Westpac: 2 Auckland retail, 2 central retail, 1 Auckland banking ops, 1 Christchurch banking ops and 1 South Island contact centre.

  • ANZ update

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    We have mediation with ANZ next Tuesday 4 November in the afternoon.  The mediation is in response to the various causes of action that we have filed.  ANZ have cross filed alleging we are not acting in good faith.

    Through the lawyers, ours and theirs, we have agreed to meet in the morning to discuss the bargaining. 

  • Meanwhile profits are up 25 per cent at ANZ

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Meanwhile statutory profit at ANZ’s New Zealand operations rose nearly 25 percent to $1.71 billion, up from $1.37 billion last year.

    CEO David Hisco’s commented that profits had been “driven off the back of a highly engaged workforce”, and FIRST Union Retail & Finance Secretary Maxine Gay said that this highly engaged workforce deserves a better deal than a pay offer which is well below what other major banks have settled on this year.

  • Reserve Bank holds interest rates

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 3.5 percent.

    Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said that the economy appeared to be adjusting to the policy measures undertaken by the Bank over the past year and that a period of assessment remained appropriate before considering further policy adjustment, but Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg said the Reserve Bank should be reducing the OCR.

  • Employment law changes at odds with other changes

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    The government’s employment law changes are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said last night.

    Yesterday evening Parliament passed the final stages of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill. 

    The bill weakens collective bargaining provisions, puts more barriers in the way of workers taking industrial action in support of a wage claim, puts access to meal and rest breaks at risk and removes protections for certain vulnerable workers.



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