Workers have become too arrogant, lazy and must be taught a painful lesson, says Aussie tycoon

Arief Budi
Arief Budi

Global Courant

One of Australia’s wealthiest men has ignited a controversy by suggesting that workers have become too arrogant and lazy, and that taking away their jobs could put them in their right place.

“People decided they didn’t want to work too much anymore through Covid, and that has had a massive issue on productivity… They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years, and we need to see that change,” gym-owner-turned-real-estate-mogul Tim Gurner said during a property summit in Australia this week.

“We’ve got to kill that attitude,” the 41-year-old said. “We need to see pain in the economy.”

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He said the pandemic changed employees’ attitudes and work ethics for the worse.

“There’s been a systematic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them,” he said.

“We need to remind people they work for the employer, not the other way around.”

He suggested that Australia’s current unemployment rate of 3.7 per cent should rise by 40 to 50 per cent to reduce “arrogance in the employment market”. That would see more than 200,000 people lose their jobs.

He’s sorry

On Thursday, he walked back his remarks and issued a public apology.

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“I made some remarks about unemployment and productivity in Australia that I deeply regret and were wrong,” he said in a statement. “My comments were deeply insensitive to employees, tradies and families across Australia who are affected by these cost-of-living pressures and job losses.”

Mr Gurner expressed his views at a time when employer-employee dynamics are experiencing significant shifts over issues like remote work and pay.

Changing perspectives about work have been a hot topic online, spawning hashtags such as “quiet quitting”, a phrase coined to describe the choice to no longer exceed expectations of employers; and “lazy-girl jobs”, a term referring to roles that are both well-compensated and flexible, promoting a better work-life equilibrium.

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Video of Mr Gurner’s comments, which was shared by the Australian Financial Review (AFR), has gone viral, attracting over 23 million views and strong criticism online.

Mr Gurner previously made headlines by suggesting young people cannot afford homes because they spend too much on avocado toast.

Workers have become too arrogant, lazy and must be taught a painful lesson, says Aussie tycoon

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