Banco do Brasil's planned labor changes are 'absurd' -union

SAO PAULO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A Brazilian bank employees union said Banco do Brasil’s plans to make it easier to hire and fire staff are “absurd” and will be resisted by the state-controlled lender’s workers.

“This is an attack against employees’ rights and, thus, workers will not allow it to happen,” Ernesto Izumi, a leader at the Sao Paulo-based union, said in a statement posted on the union’s website late on Monday. The union, with 140,000 members, is the largest representing bank employees in the country.

Reuters reported on Monday that Banco do Brasil was planning changes to better compete with private rivals, including weaker job protections for its 94,000 workers, according to sources, and was in talks with the Economy Ministry on job rules.

The story also said the plan could prove to be politically tricky and face resistance from Banco do Brasil’s staff.

On its website, the union said that Economy Minister Paulo Guedes was planning “to destroy” Banco do Brasil, based on what had been reported. It is “absurd to say that Banco do Brasil is not competitive as it is one of Brazil’s biggest banks and was built by its workers,” Izumi said. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl Editing by Paul Simao)