By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Bank workers’ unions announced Thursday night they have called for a nationwide strike on Tuesday, September 30th for an undetermined period of time. The unions rejected the salary increase proposed by the National Federation of Banks (Fenaban).
Bank employees in at least nineteen states, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Minas Gerais have decided to strike after rejecting the Fenaban’s seven percent pay increase. According to the National Confederation of Workers in the Financial Sector (Contraf) bank union employees are asking for a 12.5 percent pay increase.
“We want more and demand a pay increase of 12.5 percent, as well as improved working, health and security conditions,” said Carlos Cordeiro, President of Contraf-CUT in a press release.
According to the union leader Brazil’s financial system registers the highest profitability in the world with six of the largest banks operating in the country registering a net profit of R$56.7 billion in 2013 and R$28.5 billion in the first semester of 2014. “The banks, however, only care about the high executives and do not want to meet the demands of the sector,” added Cordeiro.
If the strike orders are upheld this will be the 11th consecutive year bank employees in Brazil have gone on strike for increased wages. In 2013 the nationwide strike by bank employees lasted twenty-three days.