Invisible Hand: Pacific Brands execs got huge pay rises

Give yourselves huge pay rises, sack your loyal staff a of 1,800 and create jobs for China.  Have I missed anything?

Pacific Brands execs got huge pay risesExecutives at Pacific Brands gave themselves pay rises of up to 170 per cent as they planned to sack more than 1,800 workers, the company’s annual report reveals.

The package of chief executive Sue Morphet, who announced on Wednesday that 1,850 of the company’s jobs would be sent offshore, rose from $685,775 to $1.86 million last year, the Herald Sun newspaper reported.

This included a sevenfold rise in “incentive payments” – bonuses for axing jobs, the newspaper said, and came despite a 45 per cent drop in the share price in the six months before the pay rises were approved.

The total remuneration for 13 directors more than doubled last year, from just over $7 million to $15.5 million, the Herald Sun said.

Ex-CEO Paul Moore was paid almost $6 million, including his retirement package, up from less than $2 million in 2007, it said.

A spokesman for Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, said the government would examine the payments.

“The government is very concerned about trends in developments about executive remuneration and are keeping a watching brief on this,” he said.

Several stock market analysts said they were shocked at the pay rises.

“It is impossible to justify pay increases of this magnitude,” analyst Sven Restel, of Wise Owl, told the newspaper.

“The share price has plunged by around 90 per cent from its high and the dividends have been cut – so the shareholders are being wiped out. Now nearly 2,000 workers have been sacked. The only people that are benefiting are the board.”

So, was the motivation for this act of  cruelty motivated by greed and self-interest?  As a gesture of goodwill to the poor Chinese who now find themselves doing it tough? or for the benefit or shareholders?

Please feel free to let loose with your opinions (just try to keep it civil – which is a real ask considering)

Over to you

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120 Responses

  1. John

    Ya beat me to it!

    How often are we seeing this – repeated over and over – sack the workers and give management big pay increases.

    Disgusting!

  2. Sorry joni, but I couldn’t wait for you to drag your lazy arse out of bed (lol). We’ve got important work to do here. This means war!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I notice reb, yourself and others were having a good time at reb’s cocktail party. Hung over are we joni?

  4. I wonder how many companies will simply use the GFC as an excuse to move operations overseas – something they were planning on doing anyway – and to extract financial aid from federal/state governments.

    When you executives of ‘failing/doing it tough” companies getting huge increases in pay and allowances you have to wonder.

  5. I’d like to see what the opposition have to say about this. They’re all for the self-interest of free markets and it’s ability to get it right.

  6. I would like to know that if any more of OUR money is handed over to these SOB’s, that clauses are written in

    a) restricting extravagent pay rises for SOB’s

    b)ensuring that they will not take OUR money and skip overseas with it.

    Many other expletives spring to mind, but I cannot find the shortcut for them on my keyboard…..luckily.

    And my heart goes out to the workers. My job went to India, so I know exactly how they feel.

    One thing is certain, PacificBrands are dead in the water in this country. The problem is, you have to buy something, and I have no idea what is left that is made here?

  7. John McPhilbin, on February 27th, 2009 at 7:48 am Said:

    I’d like to see what the opposition have to say about this. They’re all for the self-interest of free markets and it’s ability to get it right.

    I don’t want to hear it. I saw question time yesterday, and bishop could hardly wipe the evil grin off her face every time another opportunist got up to read out how many Australians lost their jobs yesterday.

    Cheap (and nasty) politics, and I bet we are in for a lot more.

    libs will use every pece of bad news, and play it for all its worth. They didn’t give a flying fig about the workers, just the political opportunity.

  8. 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.”

  9. TomR

    From another thread

    “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.

    As you say “And my heart goes out to the workers. My job went to India, so I know exactly how they feel.”

    Hang in there Tom

  10. Out of the US: “unemployment benefits has topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.”

    I’m wondering how many jobs weren’t shed and are, in fact, being relocated to other countries? Like China or India perhaps?

    US registers 667,000 new jobless claims
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-business/us-registers-667000-new-jobless-claims-20090227-8jg2.html
    New jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits has topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.

    The Labor Department said on Thursday that first-time requests for unemployment benefits jumped to 667,000 from the previous week’s figure of 631,000. Analysts had expected a slight drop in claims.

  11. And notice how none of the robber barons are members of a workers union.

  12. Joni

    can’t get this damn song out of my head

    Bob Marley – Get Up Stand Up Live

  13. John

    Exactly – it is time for the workers to kick some butt!

  14. I blame the rodent for the Telstra fiasco. If it hadn’t been sold from underneath us Telstra wouldn’t be straitjacketed by this unsustainable imperative to make profits at all costs. The job losses, poor service and internal Telstra woes should be sheeted back to the rat and his neo-liberal party.

  15. Caney, on February 27th, 2009 at 8:32 am Said:

    I blame the rodent for the Telstra fiasco. If it hadn’t been sold from underneath us Telstra wouldn’t be straitjacketed by this unsustainable imperative to make profits at all costs. The job losses, poor service and internal Telstra woes should be sheeted back to the rat and his neo-liberal party.”

    So true Caney: “straitjacketed by this unsustainable imperative to make profits at all costs”

  16. Keep it civil?? Oh, alright …

    What a pack of *********, ********, ****** ******* ***-**** ***** and I hope they all *** of ****** and their ***** and ******** and ******* get ****** in a *** *****.

    That okay? Cheers.

  17. The Robber Barons at work…

    …how many more are lurking in the Boardrooms and Executive Toilets…

    …it really is time for Kevin Rudd and Co to get some balls – revise our legislation, kick the regulators up the arse and flush these turds out…

    …there must be a cleansing of the WHOLE system…

    …show the world how it should be done…

    …the banks caused our problems and are now reaping the benefits – with the same thieves running the show…

    …talk about conspiracy and corruption…

    …the market is down, the economy output is down and The Robber Barons are still creaming the top…

    …giving money away to spend – exactly how we got here in the first place, is not the answer (it all ends up back in the banks!) – its treating the symptoms not the cause…its just prolonging the agony…and its the easy way out…

    …its the people operating big business that have no scruples, no integrity, no human values, no concept of fairness – just personal greed – that have constantly created (and recreated) these problems throught our history…

    …life is for living not slaving for some smart arsed CEO…who talks about loyalty but has never demonstrated it themselves…

    …and some people still don’t understand why we need unions…

    …eight hours work, eight hours rest, eight hours play…

    …a fair days work for a fair days pay…

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Prosperity With Integrity!

  18. By the way, if anyone wants to buy top quality 100% made aussie underwear I can highly recommend Aussie Bum. Male mail order available at http://www.aussiebum.com

  19. In a nutshell, Andrew Carswell nails it!

    “But some have done so simply because they can. The global financial crisis has become the perfect excuse for companies to go on an unprecedented blitz to tighten their belts, often unnecessarily.”

    Corporate greed is betraying Oz
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25111128-5001030,00.html
    By Andrew Carswell

    February 27, 2009 12:00am

    IT was an eyebrow-raising statement, which Pacific Brands CEO Sue Morphett probably regrets having made. Perhaps a slip of the tongue that inadvertently revealed the true heart behind her immoveable resolve.

    “We believe we can achieve organic growth . . . when we get rid of the distractions and much of the clutter that exists in this company.”

  20. Now let me see. I have been screaming about this type of greed and robbery for ages.

    Unless there is government intervention it will not stop.

    Until the Government tells business to F**K OFF and introduce some regulation nothing will change. they need to grow some balls because the overwhelming majority of Aussies will support them.

    The disgraceful antics of the conservatives in screaming about job loses yet having deafening silence on the rorting by management of salaries is an absolute disgrace and shows where their loyalties are. Not for Australians but for managements massive pay increases together with lower wages for the worker or jobs exported overseas.

  21. Shane

    Agreed 100%. Have a look at this cracker!

    RBS chief refuses to give up $1m pension
    http://business.smh.com.au/business/rbs-chief-refuses-to-give-up-1m-pension-20090227-8jkd.html
    The British government has asked former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin to give up an annual pension worth 693,000 pounds ($987,000) that he can draw from the state-controlled bank.

    RBS reported a loss of 24.1 billion pounds for 2008 on Thursday, the biggest in British corporate history. The government owns 70% in RBS after bailing out the acquisitive bank.

    “You cannot justify these excesses, especially when you’ve got such a failure of this magnitude,” finance minister Alistair Darling told BBC Radio 4.

    Darling said his ministerial colleague Paul Myners had spoken to Goodwin and asked him to forgo his pension.

    But in a letter to Myners, Goodwin said he had no intention of giving up his pension and expressed irritation that details of his package had been leaked to the media after he had discussed the matter on the phone with Myners.

    “While I suspect that you will not now agree with it, I hope that you can understand my rationale for declining your request to voluntarily reduce my pension entitlement,” he wrote, according to a text of the letter provided to news agencies.

  22. This calls for a boycott! I’m never buying Bonds undies again (they’re comfy too so this is a sacrifice).

    Its quite beyond me why any person thinks they need to earn $1.8 million per year, I can’t even conceive of what to spend that much money on that didn’t involve giving it away.

    Is there a list somewhere of all the brands Pacific Brands own? I know a couple of articles have mentioned 2 or 3 but articles also indicated they own a lot more than that.

  23. deb, on February 27th, 2009 at 10:31 am Said:

    This calls for a boycott! I’m never buying Bonds undies again (they’re comfy too so this is a sacrifice).

    deb. click this link and at the bottom of the page are all the brands they own
    http://www.pacificbrands.com.au/Underwear-and-Hosiery/default.asp

    You have the right idea.

  24. Pacific Brands CEO’s salary ‘a corporate crime’:

    …Ms Burrow also criticised Pacific Brands’ decision to move offshore after receiving $20 million from taxpayers over the past two years to re-skill and retool.

    “It’s a crime, it’s a corporate crime, there’s no doubt about that,” she said…

    …Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey told the network the news was “jarring”.

    “I’m surprised that the large shareholders in Pacific Brands haven’t got something to say about not only the damage to the brand (but) some serious questions about why they had to lay off 1850 workers and still pay executives very significant sums,” Mr Hockey said…

  25. deb

    Perhaps they are all researching spending patterns in movies like Brewster’s Millions

    One way to offload easy cash.

  26. Kitty

    “I’m surprised that the large shareholders in Pacific Brands haven’t got something to say about not only the damage to the brand (but) some serious questions about why they had to lay off 1850 workers and still pay executives very significant sums,” Mr Hockey said…

    Hockey’s been shocked and humbled perhaps?

  27. Well, the same thing happened to Blundstone Boots not so long ago, another traditional Aussie icon.

    Once all the hoo-ha has died down about the loss of local jobs etc, I expect that Joe Public won’t really give a stuff about where things are made as long as the price and quality are ok.

    The reality is, that it’s cheaper to manufacture things in China than it is in Australia.

    It’s purely a business decision.

    I doubt whether the “damage to the brand” will be really that significant in the long term.

    Does the fact that Arnott’s is no longer an Aussie brand stop people from buying Tim Tams?

  28. “reb, on February 27th, 2009 at 9:42 am Said:
    By the way, if anyone wants to buy top quality 100% made aussie underwear I can highly recommend Aussie Bum. Male mail order available at http://www.aussiebum.com

    What a hypocrite!!! Recommends Aussie Bum but travels the world in search of every other kind of bum. 🙂

    Feel free to moderate out of that crosses the line….

  29. James,

    You obviously haven’t had a look at their web site..!

    🙂

  30. The problem is that shareholders do not have the right to change remuneration.

    The fact is that it is the Board of a company that determines and implements wage increases for the board and CEOs. Which I deem to be an extreme conflict of interest.

    The shaeholders can vote 100% against a payrise and it can still be implemented.

    This is why Government intervention needs to happen and laws need to change so that wage increases can legally be blocked by the shareholders ( who are the owners of the buisiness) rather than the board who are employees of the owners ( the shareholders ). It is all a real cockup to benfit boards and CEOs not shareholders.

  31. Cheers John, quite a few well known names there. I fear reb may be right about people forgetting in a few months.

    Tom, that movie reminds me of a Donald Duck (I think?) comic I used to have where the ridiculously rich Uncle whose name escapes me at the moment (Scrooge?) was making too much money and had to spend it wastefully to get rid of it or risk having to build a new vault to store it in.

  32. …Ms Burrow also criticised Pacific Brands’ decision to move offshore after receiving $20 million from taxpayers over the past two years to re-skill and retool.

    How many companies get these taxpayer subsidies? More and more it really is ‘socialise the costs and losses, privatise the profits’. Pacific should have to repay it.

    I wonder how long before Ford, Holden or Mitsubishi close down despite the millions and millions of handouts they’ve received.

  33. Things are going crazy with Aussie companies. I bought two cans of SPC, which used to be an old Aussie company, diced tomatoes yesterday from Coles. They were the cheapest of all the brands.

    I was surprised to find on the label when I got home “Product of the USA”. Surely this must come close to dumping (or Howard’s FTA – free? lol); how can it be cheaper to import canned tomatoes from the US than can our own product?

  34. deb, on February 27th, 2009 at 10:31 am Said:
    This calls for a boycott! I’m never buying Bonds undies again (they’re comfy too so this is a sacrifice).

    Agreed re comfy however I should imagine that once made by off shore labour they will be one heck of a lot less comfy! You know the type..the ones with the scratchy elastic!!

  35. Perhaps we need a new Buy Australian promo? Only this time LARGE LABELS and not miniscule with a brief mention that the item has just been canned in Oz from imported products.

    I’m with you Ronson..how can Australia not grow enough tomatoes???

  36. Just a caution, be careful of boycotts. They still employ 7,000 people here.

  37. Tom. I am certain that if they start producing an inferior product that a boycott will happen minus any encouragement.

  38. No worries Min. I tend to be fairly obsessive about supporting companies that have an Australian base.

    Even when manufacturing continues to go off shore, designers etc remain employed here. I’d hate to unintentionally put more people out of work through a consumer boycott.

  39. The latest results from the DT’s poll.

    Should Pacific Brands’ labels be boycotted?

    Yes – Workers lose their jobs and the CEO’s pay tripled to $1.87m a year
    85% (1299 votes)
    No – The clothes are good and Pacific Brands is an Australian company
    14% (225 votes)
    Total votes: 1524
    This poll started on Friday, February 27, 2009

  40. Bond’s undies for women must be cheaper, Min, because the men’s ones are way too expensive at Kmart/Target for me in comparison to the Chinese stuff.

  41. Agreed Tom. It would be easy to throw the baby out with the bath-water.

  42. Ronson, one thing that I’ve notice about males is that they don’t seem to care as much if their undies have scratchy elastic (reb excepted).

    Probably the undies isn’t such an issue should anyone care to boycott (ref to John Mc’s poll) however, the baby wear is a problem as there isn’t much other choice other than Bonds or boutique brands.

  43. Tom

    “Even when manufacturing continues to go off shore, designers etc remain employed here. I’d hate to unintentionally put more people out of work through a consumer boycott.”

    The likelihood of Bonds to even compete will be strained as a result of all the economic volatility we’ve got coming our way. The problem with many of these companies is their loyalty not only to the shareholders but also to the community at large.

    Many companies are going to be doing it tough but sometimes it’s necessary to take some profit hits through the rough patches, what Bonds have done is sought to sacrifice workers at the first hint of trouble.

    People can sit tight and say nothing simply because they fear making the problem worse or they can stand up and say something in the hope that these companies realise that workers and there families are the very consumers that makes our economy go around.

  44. Min

    “Probably the undies isn’t such an issue should anyone care to boycott (ref to John Mc’s poll) however, the baby wear is a problem as there isn’t much other choice other than Bonds or boutique brands.”

    Which supports the point that consumers are workers with families who end up supporting companies like Bonds when they have the money to do so. Loss you job and you’re likely to settle for cheaper products regardless of the quality.

    It’s a vicious circle.

  45. John, it is exactly why I tend to defend Qantas, Telstra etc.

    Their competitors all employ planners, engineers, accountants, etc overseas.

    Australia is the outpost for foreign companies; outposts don’t provide good jobs or careers. I prefer to keep as many of these types of jobs here as we can.

  46. hope this fixes it 🙂

  47. John, I hope that you don’t mind if I pick your brain (smile). But what would you personally like to see happen in order to address this problem..as expressed by yourself, in order to try to put a halt to the vicious circle.

  48. “Tom of Melbourne, on February 27th, 2009 at 2:04 pm Said:

    John, it is exactly why I tend to defend Qantas, Telstra etc.

    Their competitors all employ planners, engineers, accountants, etc overseas.

    Australia is the outpost for foreign companies; outposts don’t provide good jobs or careers. I prefer to keep as many of these types of jobs here as we can.”

    It’s a tough call and things will no doubt get murkier as tempers flare Tom. Your view is rational given how the system is structured, however, it’s the emotional reactions that are going to hurt as a result of people losing their jobs especially overseas.

    I’m in favour of finding more palpable alternatives rather than remaining silent.

  49. TomM, clearly I’ll need to run some sort of cost/benefit analysis (isn’t that a basic principle of economics), as to who I should be buying my undies from in future! .

    Presumably, if there’s a company who both manufactures and distributes them in Australia then buying from them benefits the country (and its workers) more. On the other hand if there are still Pacific employees who would be adversely affected by me not buying any undies at all from them perhaps I should be considering some sort of percentage-based boycott? Only 20% of my undies will now be Bonds…

  50. “Min, on February 27th, 2009 at 2:15 pm Said:

    John, I hope that you don’t mind if I pick your brain (smile). But what would you personally like to see happen in order to address this problem..as expressed by yourself, in order to try to put a halt to the vicious circle.”

    My concern Min is that we are seeing the start of a cycle that is going to be incredibly hard to stop, especially once it gets going.

    As I see as the central problem is the way incentives are structured. The incentives for executives are clear cut – profit at all costs and their obligations are to themselves and keeping shareholders happy (but mainly to themselves). Unfortunately, many of these companies are carrying bucket – loads of debt and in turn have the banks looking over their shoulders as well.

    Banks and businesses really ought to realise that they’re much better off taking hits to their bottom lines in the short run rather than trashing the whole system in a made panic to cut costs and secure profits (of which ever increasing chunks go into dodgey perfomance bonuses for themselves).

    Tragically, many of our business leaders are much too eager to feather their own nest well before they’ll consider the nests of those they employee.

    Their has to be a meeting of minds between the government, unions and employers and commitments made to actively support any initiative that is likely to benefit all stakeholders in the long run. It’s not unheard of for workers and executives to accept paycuts during down times and to be rewarded with increases during good times.

    In short, more communication, collaboration and flexibility is needed in times of economic uncertainty. Nothing should be set in stone especially attitudes of the various stakeholders.

  51. Min excuse my grammar as I’m on the fly, got to pick up my kids from school.

    Cheers

  52. So so sad to lose another Aussie icon. IMO a premeditated boycott will not be necessary as the customers of Pacific Brands will notice the drop in quality if other Chinese imports are the gauge. All the goods I have purchased under the Pacific Brands umbrella have proved to date to be of exceptional quality in comparison to their Chinese manufactured counterparts. It is a much discussed topic amongst family, friends, and colleagues. Dunlopillo, Grosby’s, Actil, Bonds, Berlei Antz-Pantz to name just a few brands I have bought and recommended to others over the years, many of which are still completely intact despite heavy-duty wear and tear.

    The few Chinese made products crossing the thresholds of many, in contrast, have not worn well at all. And complaints abound. In fact, I cannot recall a single Chinese made soft item more than 4 months old that is still in circulation in my own household including footwear. Chinese manufactured items have achieved a life span of months only. They are simply not of the same calibre.

    But this pales into insignificance against a backdrop of 1850 job losses plus the knock-on effect. And I’m angry as hell at the b**ch who sees the workers as “clutter” and who believes the sacked workers should be thankful they ever had a job in the first place. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25110181-2,00.html

    Yet another rich corporate thug gets away with destroying lives for what is nothing less than pure greed. As my grandmother would have said of Sue Morphet: “Nothing more than a mongrel dog”.

    And as TB would say: “Prosperity with integrity”

  53. Min. Just had this sent to me by the ACTU. I think it makes good sense to pull out all stops to prevent job losses. Screw sensitive egos, it’s abut pulling together.

    Businesses are using the Global Financial Crisis as a cover to cut jobs, say unions
    Published: 27/02/2009
    There are worrying signs that some large businesses are using the current financial crisis as a cover for unnecessary job cuts say unions.

    ACTU President Sharan Burrow said that some companies are trying to maintain short-term profits at the expense of workers’ jobs and the long-term viability of local industry.

    Unions are calling on the big businesses that have announced job cuts this week — including Pacific Brands, Lend Lease and Telstra — to urgently reconsider their decision and delay or call off the job cuts.

    “It is unacceptable for some large businesses, including the banks, to put short-term profits ahead of the lives of workers and the future of local industry,” Ms Burrow said.

    “Companies that are still making profits or paying exorbitant salaries to executives should not try and take the easy way out by slashing jobs.

    “Now is the time for employers to act wisely and think about the long term. They should not rush to slash jobs that will destroy capacity for when better times return.

    “Where possible, any decision to cut jobs should at least be delayed until the economy recovers and the job market improves.

    “Many of these companies have received a lot of taxpayer support in recent years and should be repaying that support with greater loyalty to staff.

    Pacific Brands received more than $15 million in the past two years and Lend Lease has also benefitted from major publicly funded or underwritten infrastructure projects in recent years.

    Ms Burrow added that banks and institutional investors should not be putting pressure on companies to slash jobs as a cost-cutting exercise in the current economic environment.

    Ms Burrow said reports that Pacific Brands was forced to make job cuts as a condition of its bank loans being extended were very disturbing.

    “Australia’s banks are also benefitting from substantial support from Government. The banks as well as all the other companies that are getting taxpayer support have a special obligation to protect local jobs and help the whole community get through the downturn.

    “Companies should also not use announcements of major job cuts to appease institutional investors and the stock market. It is appalling to see the share price of companies rise immediately following announcements that thousands of hard working Australians are going to be sacked.

    “These are difficult times, but we need to see more leaders in the business community who are prepared to pull out all stops to safeguard jobs and maintain our local industries,” Ms Burrow said.

  54. Thank you John. And so how to stop people awarding themselves huge bonuses but in the mean while off loading Australian workers? Surely this has to come from the top, ie legislation???

  55. Min, on February 27th, 2009 at 3:12 pm Said:

    Thank you John. And so how to stop people awarding themselves huge bonuses but in the mean while off loading Australian workers? Surely this has to come from the top, ie legislation???

    Min

    You inspired my new post, thanks.

  56. Pleased to be useful John 🙂

  57. I keep telling you MIn , you’ve got plenty to offer.

  58. On the other side of things, McDonald’s in Adelaide have made a conscious decision to jack up the price on certain items only in poorer suburbs, because people in the wealthier suburbs would complain and boycott the chain.

    Good idea at the time and it would have worked if the Advertiser hadn’t spruiked it. Surprisingly, the intended rippees aren’t coming aboard and there’s mutinous muttering in the ranks.

  59. And not only but also..from news.com.

    Melbourne’s CBD restaurants on Collins, Elizabeth, Swanston and Bourke streets will be among those to charge the highest prices.

    The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne airport and select restaurants from areas such as Airport West and St Albans through to country Victorian restaurants in Traralgon and Echuca will all be hardest hit.

    In Queensland the identified stores include Logan Central, Loganholme, Arana Hills, Gympie, Ipswich City, Labrador, Morayfield and Inala Plaza.

    Disgusting..The Royal Children’s Hospital. How to make a few extra $$$$s hey.

  60. The terrible thing is assuming the publicity isn’t bad enough to make them change their minds, its going to work. If my sister’s ex is anything to go by, even if people in those areas are aware of the rip off that’s going on, its unlikely to reduce the frequency of visits.

  61. “McDonald’s in Adelaide have made a conscious decision to jack up the price on certain items only in poorer suburbs”

    Cool, mebbe the people in my area will stop buying that plastic food and leaving the waste all over my lawn…

    🙂

    Gday Jane. Thnx for asking about the meal previously.

    The table was decorated w/ an orange Fiji-Indian originated table cover…a bunch of flowers from the garden (most from natives) and a few were placed on angles around the table and amongst coloured beads. Used multi-colored Mexican plate set…& light blue glasses for beer. Wine glasses for other. Added two white candles & two decanters (emerald & rose).

    Played 5 cds on random. Clannad, ‘blues compilation’, a Mariachi band (lots of fun), Telek (Papua New Guinea ) & ‘A Voyage to Tibet’.

    Served up Foccacia (to greet S’ when she arrived home from work)…accompanied by chilled beer…Olive, sundried & caper salad w/ Caesar dressing (prior to meal w/ pink champagne)…& then a chilled white wine (found one in the cupboard, will try your suggestion oneday tho) w/ the pizzas…followed by choc mousse w/ blackberries…& then ‘fair trade’ plunger coffee w/ choc mints & various Italian biscuits.

    S’ loved it…& even tho she had a sore throat she beamed thruout. A lovely time.

    Cheers
    N’

  62. Swan slams ‘sickening’ exec salaries:

    http://business.smh.com.au/business/swan-slams-sickening-exec-salaries-20090227-8k0u.html

    I know zilch about corporate law but I’m hoping Swanny can beat the fat cats at their own game.

  63. RN

    churnbull has a different opinion

    I actually don’t know which is better. I am thinking that giving shareholders a more binding say is good in theory, but I think that since the controlling interests usually lie with the company itself, it would be fairly pointless??

    I am not up on shares etc, so not too sure.

  64. “ACTU President Sharan Burrow said…”

    John, I thought Burrow was spot on this morning on ABC 2 Breakfast News. Really spoke to me & the concerns & views of many Aussies I reckon.

    As far as I’m concerned, if companies receive handouts & tax-payer dollars to rescue them, help them re-structure, then the government should have a say in the remuneration/salary packages for execs. Public servants have to be accountable…why not businesses?

    N’

  65. I agree that shareholders having a more binding say would be pointless. How many shareholders would even bother to respond? How many who do respond would agree to proposals for a remuneration package based on the spin of the CEOs? How many would be knowledgeable and sufficiently expert to make a well-informed vote for more or less?

    And let’s not forget about corruption in the ranks…

  66. Sorry Tom R, that last entry was for you.

  67. nasking, on February 27th, 2009 at 5:21 pm Said:

    “ACTU President Sharan Burrow said…”

    John, I thought Burrow was spot on this morning on ABC 2 Breakfast News. Really spoke to me & the concerns & views of many Aussies I reckon. ”

    Definitely N’. Personally I’ve found unions fail their members way too often, however, without them there is no other group with the organising power to bring workers and the community together for the common cause of workers and their family rights. They’re a necessary evil and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a fan.

  68. RN

    You’ll find that most people are invested via major funds or have their funds invested for them by professional money people. There’s little incentive for these ‘institutional investors’ to make waves simply because their bottom line is so heavily reliant on the financial performance of the companies they invest in. Take into account the fees and bonuses they receive and they’re much more likely to cheers when these companies sack large numbers in order to reduce costs to maintain or improve their profit margins.

    Sad, but true.

  69. RN

    “The Pacific Brands case showed that shareholders should be given a greater say in setting executive remuneration, Mr Turnbull said. Such a move would act as a natural lid on high-flyers’ salaries, he said.”

    He knows the reality that institutional investors could care less just as long as they meet their expectations.

  70. “churnbull has a different opinion”

    Seems the spin from the flag wavers of the “screw the workers!, money must flood upwards” & “monopolise, profiteer or die” parties are everywhere…even America…

    this grumpy old fella makes alot of sense to me lately…some of the comments are frank & amusing too:

    (The Cafferty File: GOP in position to talk fiscal responsibility?)

    I’m back to watching The Situation Room on CNN…provided they don’t go all biased about the Gaza/Lebanon/Iran situation again. The Middle East/Levant/Persian situations requires BALANCED diplomacy.

    N’

  71. Thanks John. I am truly ignorant when it comes to investments.

    Never owned shares in anything but have always shared everything if that makes sense.

    Since I’ve only just now figured out the functions of WordPress, I’m also quite ignorant when it comes to computers as well.

    But I can immediately recognise socio-economic injustice and unfettered greed.

  72. “Never owned shares in anything but have always shared everything if that makes sense.”

    rnofoz…good one. My wife & I and most of our mates think & generally act similar. Tho noone touches my Tabasco w/out permission.

    🙂

    “But I can immediately recognise socio-economic injustice and unfettered greed.”

    Well said.

    N’

  73. rnofoz, on February 27th, 2009 at 5:57 pm Said:

    “But I can immediately recognise socio-economic injustice and unfettered greed.”

    Hi rnofoz, please feel free to join in and ask questions whenever you want. If you think I what you consider to be fair and equitable treatment for people of varying socio-economic backgrounds and compare it to what we’re seeing in terms of unfettered greed you”ll become a whiz in a very short period. You’ll also find more questions than there are sensible answers.

    I’ve done a fair few thread on the subject so far , so you might like to skim through and familiarise yourself whenever you get the urge.
    https://blogocrats.wordpress.com/author/johnmcphilbin/

  74. John McPhilbin @ 8.17

    Hi John,

    I believe I have somewhat confused you with my moniker – sorry if this is the case. I have waded through most of your posts over the last couple of days and I am acquiring an education along the way.

    Keep up the good work!

  75. Scapers not a happy camper. Love the title.

    Skid Marks Ain’t Cheap.
    http://greatsoutherncross.org/blog/?p=40
    Well hasn’t been an interesting week concerning job losses.

    The Pacific Brands layoffs are certainly getting attention…apparently they have lost $150 million in the last year and no company can sustain these losses and survive.

    The company was paid $17 million in subsidies over the last two years and the unions have threatened to block plant from leaving Australia, why isn’t the government demanding the bailout money back instead of allowing the unions to act as sheriffs?

    I believe if there is a case for repayment then the government should be the sheriff, I suspect they might not have a case.

    If the unions persist with this action who loses and who wins?

    On the losing side will be the shareholders but who cares about those people, they are most probably fellow Australians anyway!

    There are no winners!

    This brings up the next query…why are we propping up companies that are failing in the first place, to maintain jobs at what cost and what is preventing them from moving eventually offshore or collapsing altogether taking other business with them?

    If the government is going to blow our money on subsidising badly performing industries then why don’t they set up underwear companies and carmakers, etc, at least there would not be the over the top executive salaries, would there?

    I see that the treasurer is threatening to put a cap on executive salaries in exchange for assistance with strings attached…here we go, lets spend another $8.5 million a year maintaining 1850 jobs so the company can lose another $141.5 million, if the executives worked for nothing they still will potentially lose $126 million…let the unions bail them out!

  76. “I believe if there is a case for repayment then the government should be the sheriff, I suspect they might not have a case.
    If the unions persist with this action who loses and who wins?”

    Well, I think there’s some truth in this. I’d hate to see Unions acting like thugs & vigilantes. And some responsible & rational Unionists suddenly letting power get to their heads…& consequently feathering their own nests at the expense of The Workers and Democracy.

    Remember this?:

    However, if the corporate crims are going to do the robber baron thing & think they can fck The Workers & their clients & customers…& race off into the night w/ taxpayer’s dollars…then someone has to stand in their way…DO THE RIGHT THING.
    N’

  77. nasking, on February 27th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Thanx for monte on the birthday meal. You went to a lot of trouble and it sounds fabulous! No wonder your beloved couldn’t stop smiling even though she was feeling crap.

  78. RN, on February 27th, 2009 at 8:45 pm Said:

    John McPhilbin @ 8.17

    Hi John,

    I believe I have somewhat confused you with my moniker – sorry if this is the case. I have waded through most of your posts over the last couple of days and I am acquiring an education along the way. ”

    You’re doing just fine RN. I’m glad you’re willing to wade into these topics, you’d be surprised how much babble surrounds the subject especially where politicians are concerned.

  79. “No wonder your beloved couldn’t stop smiling even though she was feeling crap.”

    She deserved it Jane…she’s spoilt me rotten w/ fab meals now & then. She’s a kind and caring individual who tries to bring LIGHT & balance to so many students lives, i’d just about do anything for her.

    Plenty of educators would’ve fled to less challenging schools by now…but she’s determined to work w/ other committed teachers in this more disadvantaged area of Logan to provide these kids w/ pathways to further education/training and careers and jobs that help them escape the cage that is welfare dependency. But also ensure they learn to respect the efforts their working parents put in. And those w/ disabilities.

    Whilst intrinsically motivating them and providing them w/ some enjoyment in the areas of Maths & Science.

    BTW, my computer adjoins the living room where she does her laptopping, so we chat continually whilst she’s home & I’m on here. We garden, walk & cook often together…& have similar or same interests in food, film, TV, & music…and common friends…I got bloody lucky.

    And I try not to forget it.

    But we have our days…like everyone else
    🙂

    Cheers
    N’

  80. Certainly do, N’.I try not to blather too much about my husbandy substance being my soul mate etc, because no sooner is the the thought or word out, than we have words and would rather stab each other than hug each other!

    We’ve worked together for the past 10 years or so and haven’t murdered each other so far. There have been lots more hugs than huffs and we still enjoy each other’s company after 24 years of marriage and 4 rug rats. 🙂

  81. Goof for you jane. 24 years & 4 children and still together is something to be proud of in this day and age.

    I know what you mean about talking up someone or something & then the sh*t hits the fan. I mention how good the car is running…or one of the cats is healthy, like the other day, and before you can count a day’s revolution the wee thing is vomiting up…or car won’t start or other such thing.

    I’m probably more of a superstitious character than i seem sometimes…:)

    Life is…odd.
    N’

  82. Speaking of husbands..it’s our 34th wedding anniversary today, married 1st March ’75 in the same church that my parents had married 19th March ’45.

    As a surprise Jeff has organised lunch out at a swank seafood restaurant up the coast and not only but also brought home a huge bouquet of long stemmed red roses last night.

  83. Happy Anniversary Min and Jeff.
    Hope your day is a happy one.

    We wont discuss the roses. 😉

    34 years, congratulations.

  84. Congratulations and best wishes, Min, to you both.

  85. Congratulations Min!

  86. Thank you so much Aqua, Caney and reb.

    For Aqua..I promise that after the roses have performed lounge room duties that I will give them a decent burial in the compost, thereby returning them to Mother Earth 🙂

  87. Congratulations Min…. have a great day.

    squishy hugs.

  88. And thank you to joni too..Jeff has just gone down the street to get me a special request..lilli pillis.

  89. Congratulations on the special day Min.

    Hope you have a great one.

  90. Just watching Insiders, and was interested to hear about the breakdown of payments made out to Paicific Brands. They mentioned that over the last 10 years it has been over $100 million. They could not say exactly how much, as the only payments they could get details about was the last two payments made by Labor. The payments made by libs is not available. It is all secret

    WTF

  91. Thank you Tom R. While I’ve got you, Jeff was wondering if you have your name down with the Abigroup re the desal in your part of the world.

  92. No I don’t

    Thanks for the tip Min, I have not heard of them until now.

  93. Actually Min, I am getting more tips from you than I am from the employment agencies. Perhaps you should open your own 🙂

  94. Happy 34th wedding anniversary Min! What an achievement. I hope your day and all all the days to follow are joyful.

  95. Tom.R
    Im watching insiders now, is the Piers Ackerman on the panel?

  96. “that”

    (in the flannelette shirt and white jacket with dark brown patches on the elbows)

  97. lol, that is him. what a let down compared to his angry little photo on his blog. He looks so weak in his debates for someone who acts so smug in his replies on his blog.

    LOL, thats made my day.

  98. It’s amazing what you can find out when you go looking for facts in places other than sensational news reports.

    The pay increase to Sue Morphett was given because she was promoted in January 2008, from head of the hosiery division, to CEO. Her salary as CEO is less than that paid to her predecessor, Paul Moore. She, along with the company’s Chief Financial Officer, would be entitled to some Performance Rights should the company’s Total Shareholder Return meet certain (unlikely) benchmarks.

    Details can be found in the “18/09/2008 Notice of AGM/Proxy Form and Annual Report” available here:
    http://www.asx.com.au/asx/statistics/announcementSearch.do?method=searchByCode&issuerCode=PBG&timeFrameSearchType=Y&year=2008

    The question that bothers me – and Nasking has already alluded to this – is why are the News limited papers driving this seemingly anti-business pro-union campaign?

  99. Insiders was interesting in how badly Piers did and the number of times Fran Kelly pulled Piers up on his misguidance that had Malcolm Farr laughing in ridicule every time Piers made a glaringly obvious exaggeration or misleading statement in trying to malign a government minister.

    I believe this government should be held to account for some of its broken promises and bad policy decisions, but the disingenuous way Piers goes about it does not do this and probably hurts the opposition more than the government.

    I think Piers only preaches to the converted and a narrow radical support base, but pandering to that base actually hurts us who are more genuinely middle of the road conservative.

  100. So Tony I guess you would be happy if they went back to their long time pro-business anti-union campaign.

    Insiders demonstrated that she had planned as long as 18 months ago to move the manufacturing offshore but still took taxpayers handouts and a large pay rise whilst not telling her workers anything about this. She has been dishonest from the start and should not be rewarded for being dishonest, where it seems that is the norm these days, executives being handsomely rewarded for dishonesty.

    For background I’m an ILS manager for a large medium sized company that supplies heavy engineering products into the Australian market and manufactures some of the components here. Though management on the whole appears to fairly decent I have seen my fair share of top management malfeasance. I have mostly thought this as the ‘normal’ way business is done and never thought much wrong with it, but since the GFC and other revelations on what business does I’m now questioning the ‘normal’ way.

  101. So Tony I guess you would be happy if they went back to their long time pro-business anti-union campaign.

    That’s my point, Adrian* Mobius, it is out of character for that organisation. Like Nasking, I’m suspicious of their motives.

    *Refer Aquanut. 😉

  102. That’s good Tony and I agree.

    What is the Adrian cross out bit?

  103. Mobius,

    Start at this comment on the ‘Aint No Ordinary Recession’ thread:

    https://blogocrats.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/why-this-aint-no-ordinary-recession-concern/#comment-24912

    My friend Aquanut thought you were Adrian, another commenter who has disappeared into thin air. (We have had quite a few sock-puppets here lately). I disagreed with him, however had I seen your comments from today, I might not have been so sure – the similarity in your style is uncanny.

  104. Mobius, Adrian was a great source of information and a good bloke at that. When i saw your comments his name came to mind and i asked.

    Tony still carries a few scares from some debates he had with Adrian. Healing well Tony? 😉

  105. Lol Aquanut. Yeah, I’m fine – now.

    What was it about the picture, when you said, ” i think it was the picture and how informative the guy was”. Did you recognise the avatar from somewhere perhaps?

  106. Yes Tony from early on i think Adrian had an avatar like that, i just remember how unusal it was, but im sure it available to whom ever whats it. the history might have it unless it updates all of the picture to the most current one.

    I dont think its fair to stick Mobius with onther persons tag and i feel guilty also cause after i thought about it i realised if it was Adrian, he my want a fresh start which he is entitled too.

    #Yeah, I’m fine – now.
    lol

  107. I agree Aquanut. I won’t mention the subject again.

    (Here is a nice picture of a mobius strip. )

  108. Now I know why I don’t participate much in these things. Strange indeed.

    My avatar comes up a lot in Google images when you search for Mobius, I thought it looked good. Do it yourself, search for Mobius and them click the images link at the top.

    As to lots of knowledge, you certainly are up the wrong tree with me. I know enough about boring logistics management to earn a living and a bit on heavy engineering products because that’s what we deal in, but outside that not that much more than the average person or what anyone reads and sees in the news.

    I think I’ll quietly fade into the background, better that way, you don’t have to explain anything, get accused of anything or justify anything.

    Btw I like your stuff Tony and often read your posts, most of your things are in line with my thinking and outlook, just I’m a little more ‘balanced’ I think and willing to compromise or back down.

  109. I agree Aqua

    I noticed Adrian disappeared quite suddenly as well as scaper.

    Both are passionate debaters and I’d like them return, however, if they change their screen names is fine by me.

    Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to change screen names especially if you find yourself being labeled due to overexposure.

  110. ….just to qualify my previous comment and Tony’s concern about sock puppets. I certainly don’t approve of changing names simply to have shots at others.

  111. Mobius

    Please feel free to wonder in and out as you please. Frankly, I appreciate your input.

  112. Me and my big mouth.

    Now i feel like rubbish.

  113. aquanut, on March 1st, 2009 at 1:59 pm Said:

    Me and my big mouth.

    Now i feel like rubbish.”

    Chill Aqua, you’ve got nothing to feel rubbish about. You’re a very respectful blogger and there was certainly nil ill-will on your part – it was simply an observation that you were being honest about. Keep doing what you’re doing champ.

  114. Cheers John, thank you

    So whos beast is bigger, yours or Naskings?

  115. Happy Anniversary Min. Hope your meal went well.

    N’

  116. aquanut, on March 1st, 2009 at 2:08 pm Said:

    Cheers John, thank you

    So whos beast is bigger, yours or Naskings?

    I’m not sure actually Aqua, I got the idea for the image simply because it represents in my mind just how nasty this bear market is going to be.

  117. “I got the idea for the image simply because it represents in my mind just how nasty this bear market is going to be.”

    And I used have the nickname “Bear”. Not sure why.

    Here’s a pic of my grandfather:

    N’

  118. Happy 34th anniversary, Min & Jeff. I hope your lunch was fantastic and I hope there are many anniversaries to come.

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