By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Bank employees in at least fifteen states and the capital, Brasilia, started a strike on Tuesday, September 6th, for an indefinite period of time, after salary negotiations stalled between bank workers unions and the National Federation of Banks (FENABAN).

Brazil,Bank employees start a nationwide strike on Tuesday for better wages,
Bank employees start a nationwide strike on Tuesday for better wages, photo by Elza Fiúza/Agência Brasil.

The workers’ union asked for almost 15 percent (the inflation of the previous year plus a five percent wage increase) while FENABAN offered only a total of 6.5 percent.

“Striking is the last weapon to force the banks to meet the just demands of the employees, as decided by the general meetings held throughout the country. Therefore, the strike starts strong and firm, nationwide, for an indefinite time period and will continue until our demands are met,” said a statement released by Contec national confederation of workers of financial companies.

According to strike organizers, bank customers will be able to obtain money and pay bills through ATMs, at lottery stores and through the Internet. “We do not want to hurt the population, we only want to demand our rights,” Contec president, Lourenço Prado was quoted as saying by Agencia Brasil.

In addition to increased wages, bank employees are asking for a one-time bonus of R$8,297, profit sharing results, increased values of meal and supermarket vouchers and daycare/nanny assistance. Bank owners have offered a one-time bonus of R$3,000 plus the 6.5 percent wage increase.

Last year bank employees spent 21 days on strike in October, and at the end settled with financial institutions a ten percent increase in wages, fourteen percent increase in meal ticket values and participation in profits and results.

17 COMMENTS

  1. And this Ladies and Gentlemen is just one of the many problems this country has and that is the out of control labor laws that allow these people to go out on strike after demanding….how much in compensation? It is a Recession and paying out on these union demands is not going to help the Brazilian economy, nor is shutting down the banks in these 15 States.

  2. I sent money to my mother-in-law and she is unable to pick it up. Sometimes I wonder why this nation of Brazil exists. Unions are important, but the ridiculous Brazilian constitution allows this robbery. AND THEY GET MEALS PAID FOR, GROCERIES AND THEIR TRANSPORTATION???? Brazil is a failed nation.

  3. Robert, all states. It is ridiculous that bank workers can hold a country randsom preventing people from paying their accounts. How can the country survive such terrorism!

  4. Yes the strike is going on. And the “cambio” – money send from other countries is not being “processed” Real bad situation.

  5. Please is the strike still on in Brazil?
    Is there any means of doing western union or money gram transfer from Brazil to another country?
    I really need answers.

  6. David how can emplyees asking for their share be a problem. The problem is not the workers but the bank owbers who greedily enjoy 6 digit incomes. Your anger is legitimate but it should be focused on the real problem. Corruption in the top 5%.All workers need to unite. there needs to be more strikes to send a message that the workers deserve their share.

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