Wednesday, 4 March 2009

SackWatch compiled: Crikey's list of corporate shame

Crikey has been following the jobs fallout since early January, with five items to date on the jobs crisis threatening to derail Kevin Rudd's claims to economic omnipotence.

ACTU chief Sharan Burrow has called on employers to retain staff, rather than embrace the relentless short-termism apparently driving the nation's CEOs, who seem keen to award themselves massive payouts while their ex-employees join the jobs queue.

Here, in alphabetical order, is the total toll to date sourced from a range of media reports and Crikey's tips box.

Have you or someone you know been sacked? Send your tales of job cut woe to with "sackwatch" in the subject field and we'll keep the list updated as a handy HR reference point.


AAMHatch: 11 staff reportedly sacked at the mining technology company.

ACP: Over 30 staff have been cut from ACP's women's titles, ahead of a major restructure of its sales force, according to B&T.

AMP: Had dismissed 300 staff by December last year.

Anglo American: 1000 extra jobs to go across its global operations. The losses come in addition to 10,000 cuts announced previously in its platinum division.

ANZ: 800 jobs lost is middle management with 100 NZ call centre jobs outsourced to India

APN News & Media: 600 jobs slashed over the past three years

Ausenco: 50 staff from their Perth office

Australian Taxation Office: 133 regionally-based jobs and 143 workers at its Melbourne office to cut costs

Axa Asia Pacific: 90 staff cuts announced in December

BDO Kendalls: 12 accountants let go after end-of-year performance reviews

BHP Billiton: 3400 locally and 6000 globally, with staff numbers reduced by 40% at its gleaming headquarters in Melbourne's Lonsdale Street.

Blake Dawson Waldron: Around 100 or more lawyers and support staff shown the door

BlueScope Steel: 40 redundancies with 330 contractors from Transfield Services on strike

Boart Longyear: 2000 jobs scrapped despite delivering a 92.3% rise in profit in the 12 months to 31 December

Boeing: 6% across-the-board cuts in its global workforce. The company has 3800 local employees and has already sacked 500 workers from a subsidiary.

Boom Logistics: Melbourne crane business has taken 18 cranes out of service, with 31 jobs lost

Brambles: 750 job cuts world-wide as millions of patented CHEP pallets lie idle in storage

Brookfield Multiplex: Staff sacked each month since August with around 250 white collar workers already dumped

Cadbury Schweppes: 330 staff gone, according to an AFR report.

CDE capital: Mining contractor has put off 30 staff at its McArthur River Mine

Challenger: Financial services firm set to announce more sackings after hiving off 174 positions, or 18% of its workforce last year

Citrix: 10% of global workforce retrenched. The software firm has 160 staff across Australia and New Zealand.

Clough: Engineering contractor has axed about 75 jobs in its Perth and Bangkok operations

Codan: The Adelaide satellite equipment maker has cut 24 jobs in a tanking market.

Compass Resources: 250 jobs at Browns copper, nickel and cobalt mine have been lost

Constellation Brands: World's largest winemaker sacked 350 staff as wineries closed

Construction industry: 50,000 jobs in Queensland with thousands more nationally

Cook's Construction: Approx 500 people have been made redundant over the past 3 months from all over Australia.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth: 14 lawyers

CSR: Building products and sugar maker axed 539 jobs and cut its full year profit guidance by up to 20%.

David Jones: 150 head office jobs cut alongside floor staff.

De Longhi: Household appliance maker said to be temporarily sacking 400 workers at its radiator unit.

Deacons: 15 property and finance lawyers

DLA Phillips Fox: 12 lawyers

Don's Smallgoods: 640 staff off-loaded

Drivetrain Systems International: Stricken Albury-based car parts manufacturer has sacked another 229 employees, after previously announcing 400 lay-offs. The remaining 167 workers are on temporary contracts.

EDS Australia: Close to 500 staff cuts since November with another 400 names being pulled from the hat for execution in the next month or so.

Electrolux: 44 jobs in Australia and New Zealand.

Electronic Arts: Local top-level management have been shown the door after the software firm's Canadian arm sacked 55 workers.

Fairfax: More job cuts mooted in Australia and New Zealand, with the old media company forced to tap the market for fresh funds. Fairfax sacked 550 staff last year as part of its 'Business Improvement Program'.

Ford Credit Australia: 160 jobs as local operation pares back to bare-bone levels.

Ford: 350 workers from its Geelong and Broadmeadows plants.

Foster's: More than 300 jobs lost in an attempt to save $100 million as wine brands and vineyards ditched.

GBS Gold: 300 workers sacked after firm entered receivership.

GE Capital: Local interest-free finance and credit card specialist to cut 400 jobs.

GEMCO: BHP Billiton-owned miner has put off 200 contractors and a few direct employees.

GHD: The engineering firm has cut staff by 600 across its Australian operations, including 100 staff in Sydney, 100 in Melbourne and close to 100 in Brisbane.

Goodman Fielder: 400 staff set to go this year as bakeries close

Great Southern Limited: Albany-based agribusiness group has removed seven workers

Harvey Beef Abattoir: Western Australian's biggest beef processor is reviewing operations in light of the GFC with its chief executive already on the outer.

Harvey Norman: Five office supply stores shut and ten retail stores in the firing line with hundreds of jobs set to be lost. 45 jobs went when the Domayne store in Sydney's Campbelltown closed.

Hassell: Architectural design and drafting firm Hassell has made 40 workers redundant out of a total workforce of about 200 in Sydney, according to a source.

Holden: "Job-reduction target" will impact on 2000 of Holden's 6500 employees and is in addition to 530 job losses due by July, when the company shuts down its four-cylinder engine plant in Victoria. Parent General Motors will reduce its worldwide workforce to 63,000.

Hyder Consulting: Sydney Harbour Bridge engineering consultants to axe 440 jobs in Australian and the UK.

Incat: Tasmanian boat builder reduced casual workforce by 100 late last year, joining rival Riviera in cutting staff as luxury purchases fall off the consumer radar.

Incitec: Temporary job losses in the Moranbah community in Queensland as construction of new chemical plant delayed.

KPMG: 101 staff sacked from its Sydney and Melbourne offices in previously-unannounced purge.

Lend Lease: Property developer said it was slashing 1700 jobs worldwide and around 350 in Australia.

Linwar Securities: 50% ANZ-owned brokerage has retrenched two analysts.

Lonely Planet: 50 jobs, or 10% of its workforce, hived off, mostly from its online division, as revealed by Crikey.

Macarthur Coal: 180 jobs on the back of tumbling commodity prices

Macquarie Bank: The "Millionaire's Factory" sacked around 1000 staff last year and is set to cut another 100 employees.

Manufacturing sector: 42,000 jobs had been shed in the manufacturing sector in the past six to nine months, according to the Australian Industry Group.

Matilda Minerals: 12 full time workers on the Tiwi Islands

Melba Industries: 170 jobs on the chopping block with the essential services clothing contractor placed in administration

Melbourne's Southern Star Observation Wheel: 90 staff offered packages after the $100 million Docklands white elephant was shutdown indefinitely when it buckled in Melbourne's recent heatwave.

MLC: 120 jobs to be lost or changed.

Myer: Part-time hours repeatedly reduced by 20% with six full-timers sacked from the Geelong store.

National Australia Bank: 120 jobs in its wealth management division in Melbourne and Sydney.

National Foods: 10 full-time and part-time workers at the Timboon Farmhouse Cheese factory.

News Corporation: Confirmed it will lay off staff in Australia as part of a global cost-cutting plan. Crikey had previously reported that News job losses would hit 800 in Australia, a figure denied by local lieutenant John Hartigan.

Ninemsn: 5% of its staff or about 20 positions gone.

Nissan: 50 staff from its Victorian aluminum casting plant laid off.

Norilsk: World's biggest nickel producer has suspended production in Western Australia, resulting in 330 redundancies.

Nyrstar: 250 contractors at Hobart zinc smelter told not to show up for work with management aiming to cut production by 30%.

Onesteel: More job losses on top of the 800 lost since November as output slashed by 300,000 tonnes.

Orica: "Hundreds" globally but local toll yet to be confirmed.

OZ Minerals: 1200 local job losses at debt-ridden miner.

Pacific Brands: 1850 blue collar workers told their time is up, despite former CEO Paul Moore receiving pay outs totaling $17 million when the firm re-listed on the ASX in 2004 following a disastrous private equity buyout.

Panasonic: 15,000 jobs hived off worldwide with local losses possible.

PaperlinX: Future of 400 workers at Burnie and Wesley Vale plants under a cloud as the company conducts a review of the plants left out of Monday’s sale of its subsidiary Australian Paper to the Japanese.

Perpetual: 40 funds management roles gone.

Photon Group: The marketing services firm retrenches 129 people, or 5%, of its local workforce.

Pitcher Partners: 12 senior audit staff, although this was later denied by the firm.

PMP Limited: Printer slashes 32 out of 112 jobs from its Wacol operation near Brisbane with 44 to go from its Adelaide plant.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers: 170 staff ousted yesterday to add to 40 cuts last November.

Qantas: 40 call centre jobs to add to 1500 sackings last year.

Quest Community Newspapers: News Ltd suburban subsidiary to sack 5 staff at Bowen Hills and Stafford sites in Queensland.

Redbank Mines: 6 full time copper mine workers.

Rio Tinto: 14,000 globally with 600 jobs slashed from its Perth office.

Riviera: Only 650 staff remain at the boat builder, down from 1200 employees last year.

South Pacific Tyres: 600 workers gone from factory in Melbourne's north.

Suncorp: 1500 staff to go, according to internal memos.

Telstra: Departing CEO Sol Trujillo's legacy set to live on with plans to remove 4000 permanent employees and 10,000 contractors still on the drawing board. Previously, the company had created a blueprint to lay off 12,000 staff by 2012.

The resources sector: Job losses since the end of the commodities boom are said to have reached 9500.

The Rudd Government: Linday Tanner's revitalised public service razor gang is shaping up to challenge Max "the axe" Moore-Wilton’s notorious rampage in the late 1990s. Public service flab in all departments will be closely examined, with Kevin Rudd on record as claiming he wants to take a "meat-axe" to the APS. Ministerial advisers look to be exempt from Tanner's scapel, however.

The United States of America: Figures show the number of jobless had reached a 17-year high with unemployment topping 7.6% in January with almost 11.6 million Americans now out of work. See this graph (courtesy of Peter Martin) to see the true extent of the damage.

Tourism industry: Two-thirds of all tourism operators to cut their workforce as international visitors tail off, according to the Tourism & Transport Forum.

Virgin Blue: Will axe up to 400 jobs after the airline decided to ground five aircraft. Management is also said to be trying to find a way of sacking 50 pilots, despite reports suggesting redundancies will be limited.

Vodafone: Hundreds of jobs to be excised nationally after its merger with Hutchison Telecoms. The combined group is weighed down by 3,700 employees and 400 stores with the "3" brand set to be phased out. The merged firm also has 2 legal counsel, one of which is John Howard's daughter Melanie, leading to claims she could be about to quit and enter the Liberal pre-selection race for Bennelong.

WA resources sector: 10,000 more jobs to be lost over the next 18 months, according to BIS Schrapnel, to add to significant cut backs at BHP and Rio Tinto.

WA timber industry: Job losses and business closures expected after state government refused to extend bailout funds.

Westpac: 5000 jobs could be lost as part of the St George takeover.

Wizard Home Loans: 50 back-office staff to go from parent company GE Money in transition to new ownership under Aussie Home Loans.

Xstrata: 230 workers and production staff shed at its Queensland coking coal mines with 300 workers laid off temporarily from the McArthur River Mine.

Send your tips to, submit them anonymously here or SMS tips and photos to 0427 TIP OFF.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have always been curious about functionality in websites and, well, the world in general. I read this article with great interest. It does seem to me that the reason we comment is to speak our minds so why not have the comment field first? However, as others have pointed out, one gets used to the conventions regardless of reason.
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