By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – After 21 days of strike, the majority of bank employees across Brazil decided to end the walkout, accepting a ten percent increase in wages, fourteen percent increase in meal ticket values and participation in profits and results.
“It was a great victory since we surpassed political and economic adversities as well as the strong resistance from banks,” Roberto Von Der Osten, president of the National Confederation of Financial Sector Workers (CONTRAF) was quoted as saying by Agencia Brasil.
According to Von Der Osten, bank employees 24 states and the capital Brasilia agreed to return to work. Employees in the states of Mato Grosso and Roraima, however, decided through their union chapter to remain on strike.
So that wages will not be cut in October for the days not worked, employees will work an extra hour a day until December 15th, according to officials. At the beginning of negotiations in workers’ union asked for a sixteen percent salary increase while the National Federation of Banks (FENABAN) offered only 5.5 percent. During the strike more than twelve thousand of the almost 23 branches of the different financial institutions operating in Brazil remained closed to the public.
During this time bank customers were forced to pay their bills at lottery establishments and post offices or on line, via Internet banking. This was the twelfth consecutive year bank employees in Brazil have gone on strike for increased wages. In 2013 the strike by bank employees lasted 23 days.