Bosswatch: Vodafone slashes jobs to be 'leaner'

Car-part plants were shut down without warning.

Vodafone Australia said on October 29 it would cut 500 jobs – 10% of its workforce – by the end of November.

Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow said the cuts will make the company "leaner" in an attempt to turn around its performance. Vodafone had a $131 million loss during the first half of this year.

While announcing the job cuts and “restructure”, Morrow said "we are excited about the opportunities".

Morrow spoke to the media before the sacked staff were informed, and an internal email said staff are being directed to "what to expect" sessions. Vodafone said there would be no voluntary redundancies.

Telecommunications commentators say that Vodafone has lost customers due to its troubled network and poor customer service. It is unclear how slashing 10% of the workforce will improve this.

Optus recently sacked hundreds of workers as part of 750 jobs cuts flagged earlier this year. Telstra has also cut 2000 staff and outsourced many positions to low wage overseas labour.

Car parts workers dumped

About 400 South Australian and Victorian workers have seen their jobs at Autodom car-part plants disappear without warning, as factories in the outer suburbs of Adelaide and Melbourne were shut down without notice on November 1.

Shift workers were not told until they arrived for a 6am start that their jobs were gone.

Wayne Hanson from the Australian Workers Union warned more jobs were at stake, saying the shutdowns "will ripple through the automotive components and motor vehicle industry".

Ford, which uses Autodom parts along with Holden and Toyota, said if it could not get enough parts soon it would have to cease production.

Autodom said the shutdown was indefinite and it is trying to "negotiate a restructuring".

The South Australian government said the company had already received $6 million in state and federal support.

South Australian opposition industry spokesperson Steven Marshall says 13,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since the 2010 state election.

Jobs down, profits up at Macquarie

Australia's largest investment bank, Macquarie Group, increased its profits by 18% in the first six months of the year – having slashed more than 700 jobs in the same period.

All up over the past year, Macquarie has axed 1625 staff, about 11% of its workforce.

Yet Chief Executive Nicholas Moore said: "We do have surplus capital, so we are able to look at acquisitions across our group."

Moore said the job cuts helped improve "efficiency" and that the company "will continue to look at efficiencies".

Macquarie made three-quarters of a billion dollars last year, and expects that to improve this year.

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