By Stelios Orphanides
Bank workers’ union Etyk, slammed Astrobank for unilaterally offering a voluntary retirement scheme to its employees described as less generous compared with those of other banks.
Astrobank, which emerged from the acquisition of the majority shareholding of the Cyprus subsidiary of Greece’s Bank of Piraeus by a group of Lebanese investors in 2016, already secured assurances from the tax department that it will exempt the compensation which beneficiaries of the scheme will receive from income tax, as was the case with Hellenic Bank, the union said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.
Still, after Etyk studied the content of the scheme, it informed Astrobank, which is currently in takeover talks with USB Bank, that it has “serious shortfalls” especially with respect to the compensation coefficients, the union added.
While voluntary retirement schemes offered by other banks to its workers allowed maximum compensation of up to €200,000 –as was the recent case with Hellenic Bank in December– that of Astrobank offers significantly less compensation, the union said.
Astrobank also informed the union “about its intention to offer a new scheme with the completion of the merger with USB which will be addressed to all the bank’s staff,” Etyk said.
Lastly, Etyk asked its members to notify the union should the bank attempt to pressure any of its workers to apply for the scheme.