Workers at the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank have decided to end their strike and return to work, a month after the Central Bank of Cyprus triggered the depositors deposit scheme, a spokesman for the staff said on Monday.
“Staff voted to lift the strike and to suspend protest activity from 9 May 2016 in order to minimise disruption to FBME Bank and its depositors,” the spokesperson said.
The decision followed a re-negotiation of a previous agreement by the striking workers and colleagues with the Central Bank of Cyprus’ (CB) resolution authority leading to “a revised proposal of action”, the statement said.
“Whilst there are still steps that need to be taken by all parties, a quick and orderly resolution to the ongoing dispute is now anticipated,” the statement said. “By ending the strike and the protest before their rights are satisfied in full, staff are demonstrating their goodwill and commitment to a solution. Staff expect the authorities to show the same goodwill and spirit of cooperation and trust that they will act for the best interests of all the affected parties.”
Chris Iacovides, the CB-appointed special administrator at FBME said that while workers have “ended their protest”, returned to work and are following his instructions, “no renegotiation of anything took place”.
He said that the workers can claim immediate disbursement at the court, as he already encouraged them to do on May 4.
Last week, Iacovides rejected demands for the immediate payment of the workers’ loyalty scheme in excess of €12m, saying that the amount was not a privileged obligation. The two sides had earlier agreed that the administrator would disburse €3.5m to the workers representing their notice until dismissal, remaining vacation and thirteenth salary, benefits to pregnant workers and mothers in maternity leave and three quarters of their bonus.
Monday’s staff statement gave no further details and the lawyer Stephanos Skordis who represents their interests was unavailable for a comment.
The Financial Crime Enforcement Network, a division of the US Treasury, reaffirmed in March its decision to ban American banks from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts with the Tanzanian bank, which it described as “primary money laundering concern”.