The bank worker strike which began eight days ago looks like it will continue. It is estimated that 200,000 bank employees have crossed their arms in around 130 cities throughout the country.
Yesterday. an attempt to resolve the impasse failed when management presented the same proposal the workers rejected at the beginning of the strike and the workers rejected it again. At the moment, no new round of negotiations is scheduled to take place.
“Bank workers are strongly organized nationwide. They work in the country’s most profitable sector, which charges stratospheric interest rates and could easily meet the worker’s demands,” complains Wagner Freitas, a union leader.
On September 19, bank workers in Brasília met in a general assembly and voted to continue their strike which began on last week’s Wednesday.
The striking bank workers decided that they would have more pickets in front of the main offices of the countries biggest bank, the state-run Banco do Brasil, as well as the private-sector giants, Bradesco and Itaú. They have also scheduled marches at various locations.
The president of the bank workers union in Brasilia, Jacy Afonso, made it clear at the general assembly that the pickets must not interfere with client access to the banks. Court injunctions have already been issued ordering the union to allow clients to enter the banks.
It is reported that in Brasília 95% of the branches of the Caixa Econômica Federal (also state-run) and Banco do Brasil only have ATMs working for clients.
The striking bank workers are demanding salary adjustments to cover losses due to inflation, plus a real increase of 17.68%, along with a share of bank profits.