Source Pravda.Ru

Bank workers strike enters second day

More than 100,000 workers have joined a nationwide bank workers strike that on Friday entered its second day, a union spokeswoman said.

Meire Bicudo, a spokeswoman for the National Confederation of Bank Workers said workers in 22 of Brazil's 26 states plus the capital district of Brasilia were on strike.

"Of the country's 400,000 bank workers, more than 100,000 are on strike and that number is growing," Bicudo said.

Bank workers are demanding a wage increase of 11.77 percent amid record earnings by Brazil's banks, which have offered a 4 percent raise plus a one-time bonus for most workers of 1,000 reals (US$436).

According to the Brazilian Bankers Federation, the strike had very limited impact on Thursday, its first day, affecting only 5 percent of the 17,400 bank branches across Brazil.

The strike's impact on Friday was being evaluated, the federation said.

Worker representatives have complained that bankers are refusing to negotiate, but the federation insisted it was open to talks.

Most Brazilians will probably not be affected by the strike because the country's banking system is highly automated, with widespread use of ATMs and the Internet to conduct electronic transactions.

Up to 17 percent of bank transactions in Brazil involve face-to-face visits by customers to bank branches, Bicudo said, AP reported.

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