Tasmanian print media exaggerates the effects of union action

10 August 2004

The following letter was sent to the editors of the Launceston Examiner, Burnie Advocate and Sunday Tasmanian to correct misleading reports on the recent industrial action:

Your recent report said about 400 Commonwealth Bank employees in Tasmania would join mainland colleagues in strike action. While the Financial Sector Union could be expected to talk-up the numbers, can we please ask your reporter to be more cautious? In fact, only 36 call centre staff across the entire country took part in the stoppage, less than 2% of total call centre staff.

You also quoted the union spokesperson as saying that the Bank was offering a 4% pay increase. In fact, we have been paying the increase to Bank staff since 1 July 2004.

Our main concern is that our customers who read your paper may have been discouraged from doing their banking as a result of your story. The half-day stoppages have caused no disruption, no branch closures, and no delays in customer service. And for this we thank the commitment of staff who continued to provide customers with service.


Bryan Fitzgerald
General Manager
Group Corporate Relations