Brazilian bank workers on strike, demand salary hike

Brasilia, Sep 6 (IANS) Bank workers in Brazil began an indefinite strike from Tuesday as they demand a salary raise of 14.78 per cent, unions said.

The strike will affect all public and private banks after the union of bank workers failed to reach an ownership agreement with bank owners, who offered a raise of 6.5 per cent, inferior to the 10.67 per cent inflation seen in 2015, Xinhua news agency reported.

The workers are demanding more participation in the profits of banks, a minimum salary of 3,940 reais (about $1,194), over four times the national minimum salary, improvements in their food bonus, and measures to reduce firings.

The National Federation of Banks (Fenaban) said on Monday that it could not agree to the demands of employees, adding that it could not afford a raise superior to the inflation rate.

In recent years, bank workers, which number around 512,000 nationwide, have carried out several strikes due to failed negotiations or refused demands.

In 2015, a strike lasted 21 days and only ended when banks raised their salary raise offer from 6.5 per cent to 10 per cent.