BCR employees on unlimited strike starting Jan. 14, demanding higher salaries

Publish date: Astazi, 13-01-2009
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Employees of the Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), the largest bank in the country by assets, announced they will call a general strike on an unlimited period of time, beginning with January 14, at 9:00 a.m., as they are unhappy with their salaries, informed the bank today.

The announcement stressed that while the strike is on-going, some units might be closed for the public.

The collective working contract expired at the end of last year and the agreement on new terms seems hard to come by. The employees union's decision to call a strike comes after two months of negotiations with the banks' management and after the dismissal of all the six successive offers made by BCR.

Officials of the bank's union demand that the previsions of the previous working contract be maintained, with some changes already agreed upon. They also ask for a 3 percent salary increase and for a 50 percent increase on the 2008 inflation rate.

"We are truly surprised with the union's attitude," declared the bank's management. According to the BCR officials, the bank committed to keep the staff at around 8,700, to preserve most of the previsions in the 2008 working contract and to allow for the 50 percent increase on the 2008 inflation rate. The management added however that Christmas and holiday bonuses are connected to the bank's financial performance and mentioned it is willing to set performance criteria with the trade union.

"The management made the sixth offer during the meeting on January 9. It was rejected by the union officials without any explanation," reads the bank release.

The bank believes that the decision to call a strike is unfounded and illegal and plans to sue the trade union, although it is still open for dialog.

BCR employees protested at their working place between August 13 and 15 last year, unhappy with the modifications of the working schedule, the dismissal plan and the unequal payment.

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