Bank workers’ union Etyk cancelled a two-hour warning strike at Hellenic Bank on Thursday, which had been planned to protest against the management for supposedly separating workers into two categories after the integration of parts of the co-operative bank.
The stoppage had been scheduled between 12.30pm and 2.30pm but a statement issued just after the starting time said it was cancelled without elaborating.
Worker union Etyk had accused the bank of applying racist practices by separating staff according to where they came from.
“The bank is stubbornly and without justification, refusing to pay into the provident fund … the contributions for staff who were previously employed at the cooperative central bank,” Etyk said.
It also accused the management of not including the new workers into the bank’s pay scales, something that should have been done on day one.
“Inclusion in the pay scales must be done with Etyk’s cooperation so that integration can be fair and meritocratic and naturally not aiming at limiting expenses nor at unnecessary waste,” the union said.
After induction, the bank is obliged to fill vacant positions but also review all positions across the board, the union said.
The management said it was saddened that Etyk chose to disrupt the bank’s smooth operation with its actions, using the provident fund issue.
Since, September 1, the management said, Hellenic has kept all provident fund contributions for ex co-op staff in a separate account until it the technical issue of where they should go was resolved, in line with legislation.
“Ex co-op bank staff contributions are ensured starting September 1, 2018, and will be paid” the moment the matter was resolved, the bank said.
It added that the management was working hard to create a system that promotes meritocracy, that is, pay and advancement prospects would take into account performance and contribution.
Hellenic’s intention was to consult and talk with the unions since the objective was common: to secure staff interests and improve working conditions and the lender’s successful course, the management said.