Brazil banks, unions to resume pay discussions as strike bites
SAO PAULO Oct 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian banks and unions will resume pay talks on Tuesday after a strike that began late last month engaged more workers than expected, slowing branch activity.
The Sindicato dos Bancários de São Paulo, Osasco e Região, the nation's biggest banking industry union, said in a statement that the National Banking Federation, or Fenaban, convened a meeting for Tuesday afternoon. Efforts to contact Fenaban, as the bank group is known, for comment were unsuccessful.
Bank workers shunned Fenaban's Sept. 25 proposal for an inflation-adjusted salary increase of 5.5 percent. Unions seek a raise of 16 percent, an annual recurring bonus equivalent to a monthly salary and other benefits.
Analysts have pointed to the ongoing strike as a potential drag on earnings for the fourth quarter, just as banks are wrestling with the impact of the country's worst recession in a quarter century. Despite the warnings, banks may earn record earnings this year in part because of efforts to streamline their operations that unions are vigoroulsy fighting.
Fenaban had proposed larger profit-sharing than in negotiations last year, but the offer fell short of union demands. Usually banks and unions tussle over pay raises at this time every year, followed by short-lived strikes that seldom disrupt branch services. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Bernard Orr)
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