The workers of Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) ceased on Friday after the bank canceled the business agreement to negotiate less advantageous conditions to control labor costs. According to the official source of the CGD, the public bank does not have to negotiate the business agreement in order to comply with the restructuring plan that is currently being implemented, negotiated with the European Commission. But the revision of the conditions attributed to employees is fundamental to "giving future sustainability to Caixa Geral de Depósitos".
The bank is of the opinion that it makes no sense to implement a restructuring that leaves a total of 2000 employees, until 2020, and then "faces unsustainable circumstances". [da massa salarial] and not compatible in the long term, "said the same source, in other words, CGD wants to have mechanisms for the coming years to control the cost of the salaries of its employees, but official sources do not indicate the savings targets that revise the business agreement.
After CGD acknowledged the termination of the business agreement in an internal note to the employees, the government under the direction of Paulo Macedo justified this decision with the need to bring the working conditions of the public bank closer to those of the rest of the banks, a "disadvantageous situation" was avoided competing. "
The official source of the CGD told Lusa that the bank does not want to interfere with daily allowances attributed to employees (financial compensation for years of service paid to the CGD every five years), pension conditions and social services (which guarantee health care) .
One of the changes you want to do is to abolish promotions by seniority and eliminate annuities. CGD also wants to make changes to the earnings promotions program – according to official sources, it is mandatory for the bank to make merit promotions for employees between career levels 4 to 9, there are 18 levels in CGD – and reduce the number of professional categories existing in the group .
CGD says that employees earn 19% more in some professional groups than the average number of employees in other banks. With regard to the home loans for employees, CGD states that it wants to exercise the same prudence in granting these credits as in the case of other customers and setting annual limits for the provision of such loans.
The trade unions advocating Friday's strike are the trade unions of the Caixa Geral de Depositos Group (STEC), an independent trade union and the most representative of the public bank, with thousands of employees, who considered the termination of the agreement. "a real declaration of war against workers," and Sintaf – Union of Financial Employees (connected to the CGTP, not very representative).
The banking unions associated with the UGT (grouped in Febase – Federation of the financial sector) and the National Union of Banks and Technical Banks (SNQTB) were more cautious and will be waiting for negotiations to start with CGD management. The new business agreement has 18 months to negotiate. Every CGD worker, who is or is not a member, can take part in the protest on Friday.
CGD is still negotiating with the unions about the updating of wages and proposes an increase of 0.35% for this year.
At the end of July, CGD announced that it had a consolidated profit of € 194 million in the first half of this year, compared with losses of € 50 million in the first six months of 2017. Still in the first quarter of this year, more than 400 employees left Caixa Geral de Depósitos in the framework of the mutual agreement and early retirement program, as it has done in the past. At the end of June, the CGD Group had 7,903 employees in Portugal.