Etyk angry over Co-op sacking workers with NPLs


By Stelios Orphanides

Bank workers’ union Etyk said that it may resort to strike action to protest the dismissal of an unspecified number of Cyprus Cooperative Bank employees not servicing their non-performing loans.

“Our organisation was surprised to discover that the administration of the Co-op fired workers over problems with their accounts,” related to non-performing loans, the bank said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. “This fact is of particular importance as the Co-op belongs to the state and it is effectively managed by the government. Therefore, whatever happens at the Co-op, especially anti-labour actions, it carries the government’s seal (of approval)”.

The union said that the bank, which in 2014 and 2015 received a capital injection of €1.5bn in taxpayer’s money, failed to carry out a disciplinary procedure to determine whether the fired workers had committed any offences.

“Nobody is fired for owing money, but you try instead (to find out) why he received excessive loans which he cannot repay,” Etyk added. “Nobody should remain complacent even if not included among those fired, since should the bank’s administration be allowed to act in this arbitrary and unlawful way, more such actions will follow”.

The union added that it will take “all necessary action, without ruling out strike”.


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

  • Cydee

    Interesting. There has to be more to this story…

  • SuzieQ

    Has this bank only just realised it should have made sure its employees could afford to pay their loans? As a taxpayer I should be horrified, but I’m running out of horror!

    • Neroli

      Criminal, and yes they should be sacked, they have a loan that they probably have at reduced interest rates and they have a wage – and if etyk has anything to do with it I’m sure it’s not paltry! All people should be paying their loans unless they’re in dire straights and bank workers aren’t!!

      • GSP

        I was always of the belief that workers in banking were told that if they had outstanding debts they would be dismissed. But maybe that is only in the real world.

        • Neroli

          This is not the real world as we know it !

  • Douglas

    The Bank knows the level of these employees salaries and I imagine they know full well they can meet their mortgage payments but just chose to not pay up. As the Government stated if it’s their main home they cannot be evicted so they assumed they were on a winner, makes sense for a Bank to terminate its employees behaving dishonestly.

  • Debbie Parperi-Phylactou

    As a HR and IR specialist, based upon the information contained in this article, this is not a valid reason to terminate an employee. For example, if an employee owes the employer payment for a product or service purchased from the employer, the employee becomes a customer. If, as a customer, the employee does not pay in accordance to the contract, then a court order to garnishee wages should be applied for. A deduction from the salary will go towards payment of the product or service. Dismissal can be construed as unfair, and also, no hope in hell of paying back what is owed. There must be more to this story because it doesn’t make sense to not take NPL payments out of salary!

    • Neroli

      This is Cyprus!

    • Garry Smith

      I think this sentence probably explains it Debbie

      “Nobody is fired for owing money, but you try instead (to find out) why he received excessive loans which he cannot repay,” Etyk added.