Brasil - Most Brazilian bank workers approve agreement and put an end on their national strike
Following the recommendation of the National Leadership of Bank Workers, coordinated by Contraf-CUT (The Brazilian Confederations of Financial Sector Workers), the vast majority of bank workers’ assemblies, held on Monday 6, approved the new proposal presented on Friday by Fenaban (The National Federation of Banks), the employers’ association, ending a nationwide strike which began on September 30. According to the agreement, wages will raise 8.5% (real growth of 2.02%), the wage floor will raise 9% (2.49% above inflation) and meal vouchers, 12.2%. The agreement also addressed other non-economic gains, such as measures to tackle abusive sales targets and moral harassment.
Bank workers also approved the specific proposals presented by the major public banks: Banco do Brazil and Caixa Econômica Federal in local assemblies held on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7. The strike, however, continues in some public local banks: BNB, Banco da Amazônia and Banrisul.
With this new agreement, bank workers have gained 20.7% of real increase in their wages and 42.1% over wage floors since 2004. During this time, they got wage increases above inflation every year. Among all major sectors in campaign in the second semester in Brazil, bank workers managed to get one of the best wage increases with real gain above inflation.
"The real gain over our wage floors, with 9% of increase this year, totals 42.1% of increase above inflation since 2004. Thus, bank workers’ wage floor is now R$ 1,796.45: way above the average wage floors of other sector workers, which is R$ 879.04, according to Dieese (Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies), " said the president of the Bank Workers Union of São Paulo and vice-president of UNI Finance, Juvandia Moreira.
"This is the result of the struggle of the banking side of the Union. Hence we have advanced every year, maintaining and tearing rights achievements for the category," says the union leader.
"In another great demonstration of their power, based on national unity and mobilization capacity, bank workers get, with another strike, real increase for the eleventh year in a row, in addition to important gains in relation to working conditions, especially on tackling abusive sales targets and on moral harassment, "says Carlos Cordeiro, president of Contraf-CUT and coordinator of the National Leadership of Bank Workers.
ECONOMIC BENEFITS APPROVED
(For monetary comparisons, consider: US$ 1 = R$ 2,40)
Wage increase of 8.5% (2.02% real increase).
Increase of 9% in wage floors – (2.49% real increase).
Increase of 8.87% for bank tellers (2.37% of real increase).
Profit Share basic scheme - 90% of salary plus R$ 1,837.99, limited to R$ 9,859.93. If the total falls below 5% of net profit, it goes to 2.2 extra monthly wages, with a ceiling of R$ 21,691.82.
Profit Share additional amount - 2.2% of net income divided linearly for all bank workers, limited to R $3,675.98.
Anticipation of Profit Share Payment
First part will be paid within ten days after signing the Collective Agreement and the second by March 2, 2015.
Basic scheme - 54% of the fixed salary of R$ 1,102.79, limited to R$ 5,915.95 and ceiling of 12.8% of net income - whichever comes first.
Additional amount - 2.2% of net income for the first half of 2014, limited to R$ 1,837.99.
Meal vouchers - R$26.00 a day (R$ 572.00 per month), increase of 12.2%.
Monthly food stamp benefit and the same benefit paid twice in December (13th payment) R$ 431.16. (Together, the meal vouchers and the food stamps result in R$ 1,003.13 per month, representing increase of 10.76%).
Daycare allowance / babysitting (children up to 71 months) - R$ 358.82.
Daycare allowance / babysitting (children up to 83 months) - R$ 306.96.
Compensator bonus checks - R$ 139.44.
Professional Retraining - R$ 1,227.00.
Funeral Assistance - R$ 823.30.
Compensation for death or disability resulting from assault - R$ 122,770.20.
Help Night Shift - R$ 85.94.
SOCIAL BENEFITS APPROVED
Tackling abusive sales targets – The Banks will include in the Collective Agreement a formal commitment to "monitor results with balance, respect and positive way to prevent conflicts in labor relations." This is another step in tackling unfair sales targets, which have caused working related diseases and long term sick leaves. Furthermore, pressure for meeting sales targets will be prohibited not only through SMS (texting), but also through any other digital device or website app.
Strike Days - The compensation of days off during the strike days will be one hour per day in the period from October 15 to October 31, for employees who work six hours a day, and one hour per day in the period between October 15 and November 7, for those who work eight hours a day.
Professional Certifications (CPA 10 and CPA 20) - When required by banks, the cost of testing will be refunded in case of approval.
Anticipation of 13th monthly wage for works on long term sick leave – In case bank workers receive their whole wage, complemented by the bank, they will be entitled to receive the 13th monthly wage, like any other employee.
Professional rehabilitation - Each bank will discuss with the union its program of workers on sick leave who resume work.
Pregnancy – Dismissed bank workers who prove to be pregnant within the dismissal notice time (30 days) will be immediately readmitted.
Same-sex couples - Banks will disclose the agreement clause extending rights to same-sex couples, stating that the option must be made directly with the HR of each bank, and not with closest manager, to avoid embarrassment and discrimination.
New technologies – Banks will organize seminars to discuss new trends in technology.
Campaign on tackling sexual harassment - Banks have committed to campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Achievement at HSBC
As HSBC employees would not be benefited by general profit share clauses, due to the company’s losses in the first semester, the bank presented a proposal to pay R$ 3,000 in the form of profit sharing (PR), through an anticipation of R$ 2,000 in October and R$ 1,000 in February 2015. The proposal is the result of the power of the strike and union negotiations with the British bank .
Source: Contraf-CUT (Adapted)