A product of the management of ASC as a prototype for Australia’s next subs. © PJ Croft 2014, 2015

Yesterday I was talking about the subs Australia is currently trying to either build or buy. In a timely way, the news comes today that Sweden, Germany, Japan and Britain have all submitted tenders or proposals based on their own proven designs. And where was ASC, our Australian company? The Australian Submarine Corporation in Adelaide has not submitted a bid. Why? They didn’t know they had to. They weren’t ready. They didn’t understand the tender process. [See today’s West]

I can guarantee you that all the engineers and technicians and skilled tradesmen will be shaking their heads in amazement, gnashing their teeth and shaking their fists at their management.

Why is it that Sweden, a country with a smaller population than us, can build submarines successfully to their own design, and we can’t? Why is it that Sweden can design and build terrific fighter jets and we can’t? Why is it that we bought our new nuclear reactor (Lucas Heights) a few years ago from Argentina??? Argentina! How embarrassing.

I’ll tell you why. Senior managers in this country are incompetent, that’s why. They are lazy, complacent, risk averse, timid and don’t know their stuff.

At the place I used to work, the managers were a joke, laughable, good at anything but managing. I could tell some stories.

I’m reading a book called Mayday at the moment, about all the management blunders that nearly killed QANTAS in 2011-12, and may still do so yet. That grounding in 2011 was unnecessary and hugely costly, not only in money terms but in trust and reputation. People don’t trust QANTAS any more.

Yet Alan Joyce and his henchmen at the top got salary increases of up to 40% at that time, while they were adamant that the rank and file were not going to get more than 3%, the inflation rate. No increase, in other words.

Now I’m reading about Fairfax. I read the book, The Rise and Fall of Fairfax a few weeks ago. Total chaos in the upper management ranks over decades. Now Fairfax profit has fallen very low, down by 86% this year, and the company’s losses amount to $2.5 billion dollars in recent years,

“Hywood’s bold plans to turn the business around are self-evidently not working – except to enrich the company’s executives, who have awarded themselves tens of millions of dollars worth of cash and shares by way of bonuses for their dismal performance.” [The Guardian]

This is the way it works in Australia – no matter how much damage the CEOs and CFOs and boards do to companies at the expense of workers and shareholders, they STILL award themselves massive salary increases and bonuses. Alan Joyce, the CEO of QANTAS, saw his salary and bonuses increase from $3.7m to $4.5m in one year alone, while telling the workforce they couldn’t have more than 3%.

I could go on, but I don’t have to. I do have to go and be sick.



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