No Jobs Are Safe As 5,000 Jobs Go In Two Days

The last two days have been horrendous for some 5,000 workers:

5000 jobs go at a stroke

Thousands of Australians will be wiped from companies’ payrolls as the economic downturn continues to bite and expectations of corporate growth wane.

In the past two days alone, three announcements of large-scale cut-backs have left more than 5000 people facing the prospect of unemployment – and prompted a senior government figure to say that no Australian job is safe.

Those job cuts have hit three distinct sectors – property, manufacturing and mining.

Then there’s the automatic flow -on effect:

Federal Industry Minister Kim Carr said he was particularly worried about the flow-on effect from the Pacific Brands decisions, with thousands of people working to supply the company with fabric, equipment and other products now also likely to lose their jobs.

“I wouldn’t say anyone’s job is safe,” Senator Carr told radio 3AW.

“These are difficult times. We are facing acute stresses right throughout the Western world as a direct result of the global recession.”

Senator Carr said about 40,000 people were employed across Australia in the textile, clothing and footwear industries, with about 3% of them to lose their jobs in the Pacific Brands clean-out.

I can’t help but return to previous comments I made back in December and since then Japan, our largest trading partner’s  economy has virtually crumbled.

Unhappy New Year: Jobless heading for 1 million

Posted on

There’s a decidedly chilling feature about what’s in store in 2009 and frankly I tend to agree with this unemployment prediction.  Whether or not government actions will help soften the blow is a matter of speculation simply because we now have on average higher housing prices and personal debt levels  as well as lower personal savings rates than the US and UK .

Jobless heading for 1 million

THE global financial crisis could force unemployment towards the one million mark next financial year, despite further expected dramatic interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank.

In a gloomy new year outlook, economists are predicting unemployment could rise through 2009 from its current 4.4 per cent level towards 8 per cent, costing a further 400,000 people their jobs and pushing the number of unemployed to more than 900,000 – the worst level in a decade.

“Unemployment of 8 per cent in 2010 is on the cards. It’s quite likely,” said Melbourne Business School professor Mark Crosby.

But a massive economic stimulus delivered by interest rate cuts, lower petrol prices and extra government payments could mean the nation will avoid the worst of the downturn that has swept economic giants such as the US, Britain and Japan and forced a significant slowing of growth in China

Over to you

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41 Responses

  1. If anybody is surprised then they shouldn’t be.

  2. Toiletboss

    Exactly, and it’s a pretty shitty reality.

  3. What do you mean “no jobs are safe?”

    That’s bollocks John. The usual doom and gloom that you can always be relied upon for.

    I’ve just heard an economist on ABC revising forecasted GDP figures for the 12 months ahead “UPWARDS!”

    That’s right John, things might actually be improving sooner than we thought.

    Not that that sort of news would make a good headline of course, best to keep maintaining the “we’re all doomed mentality” if you want to rate a mention in the media…

    🙄

  4. I’m going back to the cocktail party and I’m taking my drink with me..

  5. John

    What about Council Workers, Police, Ambos, Firies, Teachers, Doctors, Nurses, Specialists, Accountants, Solicitors,Politicians etc etc.

    There are a lot of safe jobs as far as I am concerned.

    This morning on Sunrise the Commsec economist announced jobs that were being created as a result of the stimulus package in the areas it was targeting.

    Sunrise stated they would provide a balanced view on job losses and job creations. Today simply broadcast the gloom.

    Why are we only broadcasting bad news ?

    Wheres my CCC reb ? 🙂

  6. Shane is working late?

  7. “CCC?”

  8. lol Toilet

    Shane is working late and has been for this week.

    reb

    Sorry in lending mode terminology, my brain is frying. Should be CSC.

    I need alcohol.

  9. Shane

    “There are a lot of safe jobs as far as I am concerned.”

    Okay, and a lot of unsafe jobs Shane.

    Reb

    Bollocks to you, get back to the party.

  10. Great comments Shane.
    I guess if you’re working late it means you’re busy & (I assume you’re self employed?) that has gotta be better than waiting for someone to come through the door.

    I’m waaay too lazy & job- insecure to ever consider being self employed. It can’t be easy.
    I know what I’m in for everyday because there’s a SOP written for my every action. They think for me. All too easy,

    Being master of your own destiny must be empowering though.

  11. Toiletboss

    “I know what I’m in for everyday because there’s a SOP written for my every action. They think for me. All too easy,

    Being master of your own destiny must be empowering though.”

    Don’t listen to Shane, he’s bluffin (wink)

  12. Double bollocks back John.

    I refuse to wallow (spelling?) in all the doom n gloom propoganda of the doomsayers.

    Simply for the reason, that when I arrived in Sydney in 1992, when unemployment was 12% and the so called economy was meant to be a basket case, I found work no problem.

    I got a job working as a sales assistant in a duty free shop. I earned about $350 net a week. It was enough to pay my rent $120 a week plus groceries and afford me to go out partying in the weekends.

    And that was when unemployment was 12%..!!!!

    In my view, there’s always work for people who are prepared to (and want to) work.

    If people want to sit on their arse and just winge about how everything is so awful and the end of the world is upon us, they can do so.

    Meanwhile the rest of us, that have some motivation, will just pick ourselves up and keep going…

  13. Reb

    Completely different scenario reb. This is an unprecedented global event, unemployment history at 12% or not, the flow-on effects both internally with record levels of private debt and along with our trading partners being savaged makes it a whole new ball game.

  14. Might I remind everyone that there has never been a safe job!

    Even working for yourself doen’t mean your jobs safe!

    Apologies JMc, an old philosophy of mine…

    I’ve been busy travelling to and from hospital for the last three weeks.

    ..and I’ve also avoided coments on these issues – it really is getting very sad…

    …I’ve been out of work…

    …and I’ve had to put people out of work…

    …both are most unpleasant experiences…

  15. Shane

    How safe will many government jobs be safe when the state government are looking at cutting what is seen by many as a bloated public service in many states?

    The economy shrinks and you can be sure that politicians will be looking for any way to cut costs. The pressure is well and truly on, in my opinion.

  16. shaneinqld said:

    “What about Council Workers, Police, Ambos, Firies, Teachers, Doctors, Nurses…”

    I’m worried if Springborg gets in here in QLD we’ll revisit this approach…economic downturns can bring the worst out in pollies & companies:

    Jeff Kennett

    “… some fifty-thousand public servants were retrenched between 1992 and 1995. Moreover, in the first three years of the ‘Kennett Revolution’ (as the Premier himself came to term it), government funding for the public school system was slashed, with 350 government schools closed, and 7,000 teaching jobs removed.

    Other highly controversial moves included the sacking of 16,000 public transport workers in a major technological upgrade of the system, and the initiation of a huge scheme for privatisation of state-owned services, including the electricity (SEC) and gas (Gas & Fuel Corporation) utilities, ambulance service, as well as several prisons and other minor services.
    (Wiki pedia)

    N’

  17. TB

    “Apologies JMc, an old philosophy of mine…

    I’ve been busy travelling to and from hospital for the last three weeks.

    ..and I’ve also avoided coments on these issues – it really is getting very sad…

    …I’ve been out of work…

    …and I’ve had to put people out of work…

    …both are most unpleasant experiences…”

    Is everything alright TB?

  18. Yep! Just need 42 hours in the day!

    Its me auntie wots in orspital…yer must keep up wiv da social side of Blogocrats JMc…

  19. Hey JMc

    We’re all over at srebs place getting plonked – grab a brew and join us!

  20. N’

    “… some fifty-thousand public servants were retrenched between 1992 and 1995. Moreover, in the first three years of the ‘Kennett Revolution’ (as the Premier himself came to term it), government funding for the public school system was slashed, with 350 government schools closed, and 7,000 teaching jobs removed”

    Exactly the nightmare scenario, I’ve been thinking about N’

    All due respect to Shane, because his comments on the face of it do seem to make sense, however, it’s the politicians who are clumsy and ruthless who can make things much, much, worse. They’re all terrified of being labelled poor economic managers (well, ain’t that the truth).

  21. “Is everything alright TB?”

    Likewise, I also echo John McPhilbin’s concern….

    Are you ok TB?

  22. aah good TB.

    There’s a double WT with ice waiting for you over at the cocktail party (with a pink umbrella)…!

  23. Yes, yes, yes, everything is OK just got a few things on my plate! Not enough hours…

    Thanks for your concern, guys.

    Now as for Adrian?

  24. “TB Queensland, on February 26th, 2009 at 7:14 pm Said:

    Hey JMc

    We’re all over at srebs place getting plonked – grab a brew and join us!”

    Lol, for you my friend anything.

  25. Plonked is a great title for it.

    reb, I appreciate your chin up in the teeth of “teh disaster”. I hope you’re right. I like to think I’m safe, I don’t pay a whole lot of heed to the train as it plummets over the cliff-edge manacled to the US-ImperialExpress. Not much I can do about it & stressing meself out about it has never made anything any easier to deal with.
    Damn lucky that my village ain’t being routed by hunger or the tribal warlord down the dirt track.

  26. Toiletboss

    I like your attitude Toiletboss. Reb gets aggravating when he gets on the grog. It’s always bollocks this and bollocks that.(wink).

  27. There’s the GFC and its effects and those that USE the GFC to justify what they were always going to do anyway.

    Pacific Brands fall into the latter category and it won’t be the last to use that smokescreen. Not that it makes it any easier for those affected, but it is probably helpful to appreciate the dynamics of what is happening (and will continue to happen) rather than simply root cause to only one aspect of the dynamic.

  28. nasking, on February 26th, 2009 at 7:08 pm Said:

    That was a telling post nasking, which reminded me of this song Hunters & Collectors – Back In The Hole Lets hope it doesn’t get to that stage, but who knows. And thank god work choices isn’t around to compound the pain.

    And reb, I have been looking for work for almost 3 months

    I am a university educated person with 20 years previous working experience behind me, and I have not been able to get work even as a cleaner. I have not been picky, but the employers certainly have been. Again, I hope it is just short term, but the news just keeps getting bleaker.

    And Nature5, this is the real worry. I have a feeling that many companies have over-extended themselves in the past few years, jumping on board the bandwagon of ‘things will grow exponentially forever’. Now is the perfect time for them to shrink back.

  29. TomR

    “I am a university educated person with 20 years previous working experience behind me, and I have not been able to get work even as a cleaner. I have not been picky, but the employers certainly have been. Again, I hope it is just short term, but the news just keeps getting bleaker.”

    I’m sorry to hear that Tom. I understand how you must be feeling. I was sacked simply for standing up for my own rights and the rights of others and have been involved in a nasty case for five years. Being without a job under these circumstances rams home just how unhappy and desperate those who do lose their jobs must be feeling.

    Hang in there Tom

  30. The DT’s editorial this morning say it all:

    Avarice a bad Brands image
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25111610-5001030,00.html
    SO Pacific Brands loaded up executive salaries at the very same time they were planning to unload thousands of workers.

    The technical term for this is: “Not a good look.”

    We bet that the Pacific Brands workers facing retrenchment might be using other, stronger terms.

    As well they might. This seems as clear a case as is possible of management profiting to an excessive degree while factory staff are cast aside like rubbish.

    The numbers involved here are insane – and infuriating. Imagine a CEO copping a massive $1.2 million raise mere months before the announcement that Pacific Brands is to flee overseas, leaving local employees in the cold.

    You wonder sometimes how some people sleep at night. All the money in the world can’t buy you a clear conscience.

    You wonder, too, at how customers might react in the future to products made overseas by Pacific Brands and imported into Australia. As business decisions go, this might not be the profit-increasing exercise Pacific Brands wishes it to be.

    One good thing to come from this, however: Other companies planning similar moves know that the public won’t stand for it. Pacific Brands have set a perfect example not to follow.”

  31. OOps wrong post

  32. lol

    at least you are getting it out ther john

    and thanks for the thoughts. I stood up once in a similar case, but I had already made my decision to leave. The flack I copped for this (but the guys were very thankful) well, lets just say I was glad I already had a foot out the door.

    It takes some real guts to do it in a job you want to keep.

  33. Tom R, on February 27th, 2009 at 8:11 am Said:

    lol

    at least you are getting it out there john

    My damned conscience wouldn’t let me avoid or ignore it…nearly killed me quite literally though. Getting it out there has been the only avenue I’ve found that really helps me cope.

    Here’s the thing Tom, don’t give up on yourself and always know you’re a worthy person who has rights and is willing to fight for them if necessary. Don’t let anything get the better of you.

  34. “And thank god work choices isn’t around to compound the pain.”

    “Absofreakin’lutely!” to that Tom R,

    Sorry to hear about your problems finding a job. It reminds me of the 82/83 period when I arrived back in Aussie at the end of the Fraser/Howard govt. The job sector was bitsy. In Brisbane the lines were sometimes around the block. And employers were very picky. My twitch didn’t help. It’s not overly obvious, but the employers were real tuff nuts & often mean and cold as Stalin w/ ulcers.

    That’s why I went fruit & vege picking across Aussie & then hit Sydney only to be offered jobs by bad-tempered grog shop managers, money grabbing fruit & vege vendors, and various other surly characters.

    After 8 mths in Sydney of living thru a recession courtesy of John Howard’s management as Treasurer…crikey! how things change eh? (he sure leaves a dog of an economy behind…has all the levers set up to pull the trapdoor open on Labor each time)…my ex-wife & I decided to do more vege picking in Dubbo…& then moved into a cottage out nr. Wellington, NSW. Went self-sufficient.

    As you have a degree & are extremely articulate you might want to consider a research position?

    Just don’t despair. THE LIGHT will shine.

    N’

  35. nasking

    There are actually fruit picking jobs on offer up the riverland at the moment

    However, due to circumstances beyond my control, working away for extended periods is not an option. Otherwise, I would. As it is, I was sorely tempted, but my family comes first.

    And I don’t know how articulate I am, i can barely see my toes, let alone touch them 🙂

  36. “However, due to circumstances beyond my control, working away for extended periods is not an option… was sorely tempted, but my family comes first.”

    That’s understandable Tom R, I was a young man of 21/22…and as we didn’t have a permanent home and were keen to travel & exercise our bodies we didn’t mind doing that kind of shifting around & physical labour.

    It’s tough work, particularly throwing filled crates onto tractors (stuffed my neck methinks…add to that a 6 mth. job as a packer for Brit Telecom Reprographics packing heavy boxes on trucks gawd knows how many boxes high & previous packer jobs)… and the wages were pretty pathetic all up.

    Well, let’s be glad we’re not at a point where we’re walking farm to farm barefoot like my wife’s Dad did as a youngun…or hittin’ the top of trains as they did during the Depression…

    Cheers
    N’

  37. Just a thought Tom R, but any chance of working the markets? Even a hobby course (such as me with leadlighting) can be turned into making at least a few additional $s. At least a stop-gap until something more substantial turns up.

    And N’..hubby and I worked for the Chapman bros out at Silvan picking beans and strawberries. Re the latter, I think that I ate more than I picked. And my best job was a factory worker putting the inserts into magazines..the best because they were such great people to work with.

  38. Min

    Yes ebay and oztin are being targetted as we speak. Plus my little business I am trying to get up and going on the side.

    None of these will be enough to provide a solid income, but hopefully the combination will work. Also looking into letter box delivery for extra dollars. And it gets me outside lol

    Also, some of the best times I recall are sitting outside the factory walls at lunch talking crap and mucking about with workmates. Just seemed like passing the time then, but I remember them now and recall the laughs we used to have. Not many times in the corporate world relate.

  39. “hubby and I worked for the Chapman bros out at Silvan picking beans and strawberries. Re the latter, I think that I ate more than I picked.”

    lol Min…can relate. Picked strawberries here in Sth East QLD, used to ride old bikes from our caravan in Wishart to the farm…yummy. And early mornings eh?

    I loved picking cherries in British Colombia…good bunch of people…I’d put my Sony tape player under the trees & play Led Zep, Jethro Tull & Yes…was always fun breaking for early lunch & having a glass of vino or such…tho my orange picking days in Greece and consumption of Retsina saw more hilarious moments of tree dangling.

    Yea, has alot to do w/ the people you work with…my packer days at Brit Telecom Reprographics were heaps of fun, tho full on. Jovial bunch. Supportive. Good old knees up together now & then. Plenty of joking. Kept me fit. Started from bed-sit in Harrogate at 6.15 am, usually chilly…nice brisk walk across a gorgeous park that went for kms it seemed…arrived for early shift, about 7.20 am.

    After work the pubs worked a charm. As did the Lebanese snack places.

    Now I’m salivating again.

    N’

  40. N’..now you have me doing it too..sigh, fresh fruit straight off the tree or bush. Come to think of it, I might have eaten a fair few beans as well..oh yes and raspberries. They were terrors to pick. Lousy pay, sleeping in fibro shed and the professional pickers weren’t impressed with amateurs.

  41. “and the professional pickers weren’t impressed with amateurs.”

    Min…can relate…in Greece I was in a gang of pickers tfor a couple of weeks that included two Liverpool brickies who’d become pretty professional at grabbing the fruit goodies off the tree at the speed of light…compact, burly fellas who were desperate to send money home to their struggling families and brooked no dissent or slackness from their fellow pickers.

    Consequently, we were a team of locusts. But they did enjoy a brew or a million afterwards.

    Geez, I can remember sometimes feeling like I was in the army.

    The pay was stuffed…& we had to live out of small tents, eat greasy eggs every morning…& the lady who ran the place acted like the Gestapo, kept our passports so we’d pay in advance for camp rental & greasy eggs.

    At least at lunch on the orange farms we generally got feta, bread & dried fish. Or similar. A few olives now & then.

    I remember one night the Greek police came into the camp and kicked the crap out of an ex-Israeli soldier, accussed him of being an illegal alien & dragged him away. Not sure what their real beef w/ him was.

    Plenty of nights playing cards, drinking Metaxa (distilled brandy & wine), eating souvlaki & vine leaves…and consuming retsina from massive plastic bottles. Passing out in our tents only to be greeted by the early sun…and sound of pickups & tractors pulling up for a new days work.

    No frollicking w/ the female locals allowed.

    Nuff to make you buy & use worry beads…not surprised the older men had so many outside the cafes & shops.

    🙂
    N’

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