Bank workers’ union ETYK has said that the Bank of Cyprus has rejected 70 applications for early retirement, or 17 per cent of the total requests submitted by more than 400 of its workers, and described the decision as “tough and unfair”.
“The bank was proclaiming that it needs to reduce staff levels and raised the issue to ETYK,” the union said in a statement on its website on Monday. “It would be therefore reasonable and fair if the bank had accepted all applications and taken into account that they took their decision after serious consideration and weighing all consequences such a decision would have for their families”.
The bank’s decision, as well as pressure exercised on applicants to change their decision, have upset the workers affected, ETYK said.
“It will have to be noted in the file of every worker that the bank’s administration deprived them the chance from leaving as per terms of the scheme by considering them very useful (or) necessary for the bank’s operation,” ETYK said.
The voluntary retirement scheme is the third offered in one year. Two earlier versions of the scheme presented to workers in February and March failed to attract sufficient number of voluntary retirees. Bank of Cyprus improved the scheme’s benefits in May, after ETYK consented to divert contributions to the union’s solidarity fund towards making the scheme more enticing, helping to avoid up to 193 redundancies.
The Bank of Cyprus group employs more than 4,300 workers in Cyprus.