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Hellenic Bank employees to stage walkout

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Hellenic Bank employees announced on Friday they are to stage a three-hour walkout on November 6.

The move was announced by employees’ union Etyk, which condemned the “provocative behaviour” of the bank’s management and stressed the need to “take dynamic measures to defend the dignity and the rights of employees.”

They accused the bank’s management of “refusing to implement decisions made by the Labour Ministry” and a “clear violation of existing collective agreements.”

“Every time we reach an agreement to renew our collective labour agreement, it is torpedoed from within without actually having the complete proposal presented to the board of directors,” they said, also accusing the bank’s management of playing “various tricks” in the process.

They added that this practice has been observed under the chairmanship of Evripides Polykarpou, under the bank’s former CEO Oliver Gatzke, and under its current interim CEO Antonis Rouvas.

They said non-signing of agreements “gives the bank the opportunity to continue exploiting its employees,” especially those who formerly worked for the Cooperative Bank before its collapse.

To this end, they said the bank recruits new hires on contracts outside of agreements reached with Etyk, which do not correspond with collective labour agreements.

In addition, Etyk pointed out that Hellenic Bank received a €20 million discount on its purchase of the Cooperative Bank and that it had been agreed that the money saved on the purchase would go towards equalising the salaries between former Cooperative Bank employees and those working for the Hellenic Bank.

“Of course, they did not meet their obligations here either,” they said.

They also claimed that the bank had given “huge salary increases” to “a number of senior executives”, despite the fact that the granting of bonuses to executives had been prohibited while the salaries of lower-grade employees were being reduced.

Additionally, they said they would “not allow” Hellenic Bank staff to be handed over “unprotected” to Eurobank as the Greek bank increases its control in the company.


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