The Financial Services Union is today up in arms over the commencement of Westpac's new outsourcing initiative, with 188 jobs set to go in an initial wave of cuts.
At the bank's recent annual results announcement, Westpac Group CEO Gail Kelly announced that the bank would outsource some technology roles in a push known as "best sourcing".
Westpac confirmed to ZDNet Australia today that the initial phase of the best sourcing program will see 188 jobs outsourced from the bank's Enterprise Testing Services division.
Westpac is currently conducting a review into its local operations to determine how many roles could be outsourced under the new program. As a result, the bank won't comment on how many jobs will go.
The bank told ZDNet Australia that it won't force the outsourcing program onto staff, and will instead focus on "natural attrition" and the redeployment of affected employees to other parts of the business. Westpac added that it will look to minimise the use of temporary and contract staff in the business.
Despite Westpac's assurances that the outsourcing process will be as humane as possible, the Financial Services Union is still fired up over the campaign.
The FSU national secretary Leon Carter said that Westpac have tried and failed IT outsourcing programs like best sourcing before.
"Westpac previously outsourced Adelaide-based technology jobs to HP but has bought the jobs and functions back in-house because in the long run that decision didn't actually reduce the bank's costs," Carter said in a statement today.
Carter added that no Australian bank can justify cutting jobs after their record profits were announced last week.
"With a combined profit of more than $24 billion this year, if anyone can afford to invest in Australian finance jobs it is our four big banks, particularly the most profitable bank, Westpac.
"For any major bank to slash jobs at the moment is a complete abrogation of the banking sector's responsibility to the community that they profit from. Those profits should be devoted to developing skills and investing in jobs here in Australia," he said.
Carter promised to continue the union's campaign against IT outsourcing in Australia.