ANZ move to send 500 jobs to India a "kick in the guts": Union

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Melbourne, Mar.13 (ANI): A union in Australia today described ANZ's decision to send 500 Australian jobs to India as a "kick in the guts".

The bank, which slashed 800 roles under a program completed last month, is relocating the jobs to its processing center in Bangalore.

A spokesman for ANZ said 500 back-office jobs would be shed by the end of this year.

"In 2008, the size of the operation in Bangalore grew by around 500 people and it is reasonable to expect there will be some further growth in 2009," he said.

Most of the losses will be in technology and back office operations roles.

ANZ said its Australian and New Zealand call centres would stay in operation.

The Finance Sector Union says Australia's highly profitable banks have moved more than 4500 back-office jobs offshore during the past two years, and now wants government action to end the job losses, reports the Herald Sun.

"It is an absolute disgrace,'' the union's national secretary Leon Carter told reporters here.

"It is unacceptable and the fact they would announce that they're sending 500 jobs overseas the day after we've got such an increase in unemployment rates is unconscionable,'' he added.

Labour force data released yesterday showed the jobless rate in February soared to 5.2 per cent, the highest in four years.

ANZ has had an operations and technology centre in Bangalore since 1989 and has about 3000 ANZ staff working there.

The announcement was made as the finance union told a Senate inquiry government assistance to banks should be withdrawn if jobs were sent offshore.

The union's director of policy, Rod Masson, said bank staff was being directed not to tell consumers work was being done offshore.

He claimed consumers were being let down as call centre staff were being moved abroad

In October, the Federal Government unveiled a guarantee program for deposits in Australian-owned banks, building societies and credit unions for the next three years. The deposits scheme is worth up to 700 billion Australian dollars. (ANI)

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