Bank staff in “psychological terror” take to streets to defend their jobs

Banking staff from some of the largest banks in Portugal are living “moments of psychological terror”, reports Jornal de Notícias today.

They are being forced to rescind contracts and take early retirement as employers ‘outsource’ cheaper labour, says the paper

Roughly 3,000 banking staff see their futures at risk.

For the first time the sector’s seven syndicates are working together and have called a protest, to take place outside parliament at 4.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday).

The objective is to appeal to the government to intervene.

Says JN, the latest destruction of employment follows the shedding of roughly 13,000 workers over the last six years, and comes at a point when banks are making profits.

Said Mário Mourão, president of the Syndicate of Workers in Portugal’s Financial Sector: “They are firing when there is a lack of staff. There is still recurrent work in unpaid overtime – and then they hire people with no training, on minimum wage through outsourcing…”

For Mourão it is not just immoral, it could put the whole premise of banking secrecy and client security at risk. Outsourced employees “have no training. They are here today, substituted by others tomorrow. There is no stability…”

The principal banks involved are Montepio, Novo Banco, BCP and Santander Totta.

In a joint statement to the press, the various syndicates denounce the situation as  “unjustified mass destruction of jobs” that will “condemn thousands of bank workers and their families to the scourge of unemployment”.

Hopes are that prime minister António Costa will agree to meet syndicate leaders and reach some kind of solution.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com