Hellenic Bank workers to hold strike on Friday

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By Stelios Orphanides

Bank workers union Etyk said Tuesday its board of directors “unanimously” decided to ask members at Hellenic Bank to hold a 24-hour strike on Friday, June 30.

The decision came after Hellenic Bank workers voted last week to authorise the union to take action against the bank’s decision to transfer around 150 employees to APS Debt Servicing Ltd, to which it will outsource management of its non-performing loan portfolio, the union said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

The union, known for its militant rhetoric, said it would not accept “arbitrary decisions aiming at reducing the rights of our colleagues to shreds” and their victimisation.

“We will not accept the circumvention of agreements and the rights of our members,” it said.

Hellenic Bank, which still struggles with a €2.5bn bad loan burden making up 57 per cent of its total portfolio, had announced its agreement with the Prague-based APS Holdings to set up APS Debt Servicing in January.

It has repeatedly said that affected workers will work under the same employment terms in the new company, due to launch its operations on July 1. It also promised to hire back any worker who would seek to return to the bank after a two-year period at APS Debt Servicing.

The Cyprus Business Mail understands that the bank’s management is prepared to engage in further talks with the union and it is expected to review the situation later today.

A Hellenic Bank source said the new unit, owned by APS Holdings and Hellenic to 51 per cent and 49 per cent respectively, will commence its operations regardless of any strike action and workers affected by the new arrangement with APS will receive their pay from the new company in the future, citing the provisions of European legislation.

On Thursday, Hellenic Bank said “no job will change, no salary, and no benefit will change” and dismissed Etyk’s position that workers’ rights would be affected.

Hellenic posted a €10.5m net loss in the first quarter, and generated a €63.5m loss last year.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Colin Evans

    I bank with the Hellenic and had some paying in to do yesterday. There was a single cashier working, female, and 4 men making themselves look busy. The customers, clearly, count for nothing and they have forgotten that they are a SERVICE industry. Does that translate into Greek? These people really need to join the real world.

    • Philippos

      They are NOT Listening Colin, they are going to join a strike instead. If this strike affects any branch in my locality, my accounts are being closed, if they are open and operating on Monday. What you describe is pretty much what happens in my branch, long waits, not enough cashiers and disinterested managers. It s a total shambles. I’m impressed that you had something to pay in, me not!

      • Neroli

        Yes people should close their accounts, but all the banks are the same

    • Neroli

      I more or less wrote the same comment a couple of weeks ago when I had to go into Bank of Cyprus ! Appalling service, everyone on their coffee break and a line of customers waiting. There is no service industry here

    • Alassia

      ‘Service industry’? Somebody needs to make that clear to them?

  • almostbroke

    So Hellenic Bank are making massive profits ? Oh sorry misread the article , making massive LOSSES!!!! And the ‘bolshy ‘ bank unions want to have yet another strike , only one solution CLOSE IT DOWN , the bank officials can exercise a few ‘rights ‘ down at the Social Welfare office ,

  • JS Gost

    The lunatics have clearly taken over the asylum…..personal greed once again comes 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Can’t wait for bank employees to loose their jobs and try and get a job in the ‘real’ world. Just like the Civil Serpents. I would not employ them to clean my water closet…..for fear of my water closet becoming contaminated.

  • Spanner Works

    Friday, last day of the month, the busiest day of the month for banks. Good choice ETYK, you should all be lined up against a wall and shot!

  • Vladimir

    Recently, I read news about COOP Bank’s workers preparing for strike, and now Hellenic’s… who is next and what do all those lazy bankers want? Money as always?

  • Maria Tottnuttygirl Philippou

    I’m a customer of this bank and frankly cannot understand the reason behind their striking if their working situations remain the same. Appalling they choose to do this on the last Friday of the month when customers’s salaries and standing orders are affected. Meanwhile they’ll be charging us consumers interest anyway. Really sick of the lack of customer service and complete disregard for the consumer’s rights here in Cyprus. Devious lazy bastards