Unions estimate that there will be “thousands” of bank employees who demonstrated this Thursday in the streets of central Madrid in the largest mobilization of the financial sector in decades to demand a recovery in salary and an increase in their working conditions.
Workers’ representatives have been negotiating for weeks without success with employers for changes to their collective agreements and are demanding wage increases of between 17 and 23% over three years. , “according to the benefits of the sector,” which in the case of the five major banks is historic and exceeds 26,000 million euros.
In addition, the unions demanded that the entities put interest caps on loans given to staff in the face of the rise in unemployment and apply important measures that improve the “increasingly unsustainable” environment of work, marked by commercial pressure, the lack of workers. , workloads, and the impact on health.”.
Negotiations without progress
As these negotiations with the employers did not achieve any progress, the unions chose to call a mobilization this Thursday in Madrid, starting at 11:30 in Calle Alcalá, 27-28-29, and ending at 2:00 pm at Paseo de Recoletos, 10, where they arrived at 1:00 pm.
For the CCOO, the majority union in the financial sector, the demonstration became a “resounding success” as it managed to unite over 3,000 union delegates, and he warned that this is the beginning of an escalation of the conflict because, apart from this protest, on February 26 there will be a partial strike and on March 22, “if there are no developments at the negotiating tables,” a 24-hour strike.
For SECB-Fine, the social responsibility of entities must begin with respect for the staff, who are the true creators of the benefits achieved. “This demonstration is a result of the inaction of the associations of owners to unite the positions that we believe are consistent with the economic situation, the loss of purchasing power, and the benefits of the history of the sector,” said Begoña Peiró, SECB president.
In his opinion, faced with a “suffocating” work environment, the result of many years of crisis and restructuring of the financial sector, workers say “enough” and demand steps to relieve the “brutal pressure.”. They are “subjugated.”