Tim Gurner: Rich Lister boss issues groveling apology after saying unemployment was set to rise by 50 per cent because workers were ‘overpaid’ and ‘too arrogant’
- Tim Gurner said thousands of workers are expected to lose their jobs
- The Rich Lister, 41, walked back his comments
Multimillionaire real estate developer Tim Gurner has apologized after calling workers “arrogant” and saying the unemployment rate was expected to rise to 40 to 50 percent.
Group CEO Gurner says the Covid pandemic has changed the attitude of employees who need to remember they work for their bosses, not the other way around.
“We need to see some pain in the economy,” Mr Gurner said at the Australian Financial Review property summit on Tuesday.
The Rich Lister said: “We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around. »
A 50 per cent increase in the current unemployment rate of 3.7 per cent to 5.6 per cent would result in 275,000 Australians losing their jobs.
Tim Gurner, 40-year-old CEO of the Gurner Group, said the Covid pandemic had changed many people’s attitudes towards their work.
His comments sparked a flood of scathing criticism online, including on the corporate social networking site LinkedIn.
The 41-year-old told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday he regretted the “insensitive” comments.
“At the AFR Property Summit this week, I made remarks about unemployment and productivity in Australia that I deeply regret and were wrong,” he said in a statement.
“There are clearly important discussions to be had in this environment of high inflation, pressures on housing and rental prices due to a lack of supply and other cost of living issues.
“My comments were deeply insensitive to employees, trades and families across Australia who are affected by these cost of living pressures and job losses.
I want to be clear: I understand that when someone loses their job it has a profound impact on them and their family and I sincerely regret that my words did not express empathy for those in this situation. .
Mr Gurner told the Australian Financial Review property summit on Tuesday (pictured) the unemployment rate needed to rise by 50 per cent “for workers to remember they work for their bosses, not the opposite”.
Ashadi Hopper, director of digital consultancy AH&O Advisory, called out Mr Gurner for his comments on the need for “pain” in the economy.
Businessmen have criticized Mr Gurner for his controversial comments, including the CEO of a US edible cannabis company, Spence Rodgers.
Australian Medical Association president Professor Steve Robson said Mr Gurner had made an “incredibly irresponsible statement”.
“Unemployment is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including suicide. I say this with some confidence after studying suicide and unemployment,” he tweeted.
Another Twitter user accused Mr Gurner of displaying a “gross display of unbridled arrogance”.
“Tim Gurner’s arrogance is truly mind-boggling, I watched him twice and still couldn’t believe what I was hearing!” said another.