By Dow Jones Business News, September 13, 2013, 06:32:00 AM EDT
By Rogerio Jelmayer
SAO PAULO--Brazilian bank workers plan to launch a nationwide strike on Sept. 19, as bank representatives haven't
improved on their initial proposal to increase salaries, the bank workers' union said late Thursday.
The National Bank Federation, or Febraban, has proposed a 6.1% salary increase, well short of the 11.93% pay raise
requested by the bank workers, according to a statement from the union, which represents more than 90% of the 480,000
bank workers across the nation.
The union said the proposal by banks did not represent a real wage increase, given the fact that annual inflation in
the period was above 6%. The average monthly salary for a bank employee in Brazil is 4,400 Brazilian reais ($1,913),
well above the average salary in Brazil of around BRL1,848 a month.
Strikes over wages have become a regular annual occurrence in Brazil in recent years, as bank profits have soared amid
stable economic growth and rising prosperity. Although they can hinder customers, the strikes rarely have a major impact
on banks' operations or profits.
In the latest talks, the banks have argued that an economic slowdown has increased levels of overdue loans, and
falling interest rates have squeezed margins, but the unions have rejected these arguments.
According to analysts, strikes in recent years had no impact on banks results, because they can continue their normal
operations via other tools, such as ATMs and Internet.
Last year, bank workers took industrial action for nine days. At the time, workers started negotiations demanding a
10.25% pay raise but eventually accepted a 7.5% hike.
Write to Rogerio Jelmayer at email@example.com
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