Tim Gurner, property developer and one of Australia’s richest men.
One of Australia’s richest men has sparked a global backlash on social media after claiming unemployment should rise to remind arrogant workers of their place. “We have to see pain in the economy,” said gym owner-turned-real-estate mogul Tim Gurner, founder of the Gurner Group. He has previously suggested that young people can’t afford housing because they spend too much on avocado toast.
The video of his comments has gone viral, attracting more than 23 million views and strong criticism online. During a real estate summit held this week, the 41-year-old manager stated that the pandemic caused by Covid had worsened the attitude of workers and their work ethic and gave the construction sector as an example. This change is affecting the productivity of the sector and the housing shortage in Australia, in his opinion.
One of his statements that has caused the most controversy is that the country’s current unemployment rate, currently at 3.7%, should increase by 40% or 50% to reduce “arrogance in the labor market.” This would mean that more than 200,000 people would lose their jobs.
“There has been a systematic change where employees feel that the employer is very lucky to have them,” Gurner said. “We have to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around.” His remarks come at a time when many companies are arguing with staff about issues such as teleworking and pay.
The change in attitude towards employment is also the subject of extensive debate on social media, which has given rise to hashtags such as “quiet quitting”, a term intended to reflect the decision to stop going any further. beyond bosses, and “lazy-girl jobs,” which refers to well-paid, flexible positions that offer a greater balance between work and personal life, the BBC reports.
Gurner’s comments, shared by the Australian Financial Review (AFR), host of the summit, have sparked criticism on social networks such as X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and LinkedIn. They have also been condemned by Australian MPs of all political stripes. Labor MP Jerome Laxale believes they were “comments that would be associated with a cartoon supervillain”, while Liberal MP Keith Wolahan says they “couldn’t be more out of line”.
“The loss of a job is not a number. It puts people on the streets and reliant on food banks,” Wolahan told the AFR.
US legislator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also criticized the real estate magnate. “Reminder that top CEOs have skyrocketed their own pay so much that the ratio of CEO pay to worker pay is now at some of the highest levels ever recorded,” she wrote in X.
But others, such as Minerals Council of Australia president Andrew Michelmore, have defended him. “Employees have become accustomed to earning the same amount of money, but not working the same hours,” Michelmore told the AFR.
Gurner is CEO and founder of the Gurner Group and is worth an estimated 929 million Australian dollars (£479 million; $598 million).
Follow all the information about Cinco Días on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, or in our Five Day Agenda newsletter
The Five Day agenda
The most important economic quotes of the day, with the keys and context to understand their scope
#Controversy #Twitter #billionaire #Australia #Unemployment #rise #pain