By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A nationwide strike by bank employees in Brazil entered its 24th day on Thursday, September 29th, with negotiations halted as neither side has retracted from their demands. The strike is the longest in the country since 2004, when bank employees went on strike for thirty days.
“Banks have lost the opportunity to resolve the strike,” said Juvandia Moreira, president of the Bank Employees Union of São Paulo (SPBancarios) on Wednesday (September 28th) night. Moreira added, “Since the proposal presented on Wednesday still translates into losses to bank employees, the (Union) command has rejected it and the strike continues.”
Bank workers demand wage increases of 14.78 percent (inflation plus five percent real increase), profit sharing, increase in meal vouchers and day care financial assistance as well as a one-time bonus of R$8,317. Febraban officials proposed wage increase of seven percent plus a one-time bonus of R$3,500.
“The proposal reflects the efforts of banks for a fast and balanced negotiation with a model adjusted to the current economic situation,” read the statement issued by Febraban on Wednesday.
According to the Federation, the effects of the strike this year have been minimized by the increased use of alternative channels, such as Internet banking with mobile banking transactions via mobile phones, tablets and computers. Last year, the banking transactions by mobile banking grew by 138 percent from 2014, totaling 11.2 billion transactions, according to Febraban.