A millionaire property developer has claimed at least half of Australians should be sacked from their jobs in a stark wake-up call to arrogant workers.
Gurner Group CEO Tim Gurner, 40, claimed the Covid pandemic had changed many workers’ attitudes towards their jobs.
The Rich Lister said employees needed to remember they worked for their bosses – not the other way around – and claimed unemployment was expected to rise to between 40 and 50 percent as a result.
“We need to see some pain in the economy,” Mr Gurner said at the Australian Financial Review property summit on Tuesday.
“We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around.”
Tim Gurner, 40-year-old CEO of the Gurner Group, said the Covid pandemic had changed many people’s attitudes towards their work.
“We need to see pain in the economy,” Mr Gurner told the Australian Financial Review’s property summit on Tuesday.
Mr Gurner took particular aim at the trade sectors, saying productivity had fallen since the Covid pandemic.
“People decided they didn’t really want to work as much because of Covid and that had a huge productivity problem,” he said.
“The professions have definitely lost productivity. They have been paid well for not overdoing it in recent years, and we need to see that change.
A major problem within the workforce was the feeling that employees felt their bosses were “extremely lucky” to have them, Mr Gurner added.
He said the mentality needed to change, knowing that many industries were already carrying out mass layoffs, which was already contributing to the “arrogance” of some workers.
“People are definitely laying off people and we are starting to see less arrogance in the job market and that has to continue because it will reflect on the cost balance,” he said.
Mr. Gurner leads a company with a development and management portfolio worth $9.5 billion.
This year, he ranked 192nd on the Rich 250 list, with an estimated net worth of $677 million.
Mr Gurner made headlines in 2017 when he told 60 Minutes that millennials had unrealistic spending habits and suggested they stop eating smashed avocados if they wanted to buy a house .
“When I was trying to buy my first house, I wasn’t buying a smashed avocado for $19 or four coffees for $4 each,” he said.
“The expectations of young people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year.
“This generation looks at the Kardashians and thinks it’s normal – thinking owning a Bentley is normal.”
Mr Gurner sparked controversy in 2017 when he said millennials needed to stop wasting money on crushed avocados if they wanted to buy a house.
His comments sparked outrage among millennials, with many saying Mr Gurner only became successful because his grandfather loaned him $34,000 for his first investment.
The multi-millionaire hit back, saying it was “wrong” to have received help to enter the property market.
His first investment property was an apartment bought by his boss for $180,000 in St Kilda in Melbourne.
He said he was offered to do renovations while his boss forked over the money.
“I spent every night on all fours sanding floors, painting, renovating and working on the house. When we sold it, I used the small profit of $12,000 to buy my next property and it all grew from there,” he said.
“I sacrificed a lot over the years, working multiple jobs, seven days a week and saving absolutely every penny I could.”
He said he used the $12,000 — plus a $34,000 loan from his grandfather — to borrow $150,000 to buy a gym, which he renovated and turned into a thriving business.
He ran the gym for 12 months before selling it to a competitor and starting his career as a property developer by founding his company Gurner in 2013.
Mr. Gurner’s company had a real estate portfolio of just under $10 billion.