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CatalunyaBanc plans a mass layoff of 34% of its staff, affecting some 2,500 workers

The Catalan bank was nationalised in 2012 and is going through an important restructuring process before being privatised again. Currently, the financial entity is owned by the FROB (Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring), which is run by the Bank of Spain and the Spanish Government. The FROB has been delaying the auction to sell CatalunyaBanc and is now proposing to layoff 2,453 workers of the bank and its subsidiaries, according to trade unions. This would represent firing some 34% of its staff. The company is proposing a compensation of 20 days worth of salary per year worked for those it plans to layoff, following the labour market reform, with a maximum of the equivalent to 12 months salary being given. CatalunyaBanc ended the first half of 2013 with a net profit of €183 million, after having transferred part of its real estate toxic assets to the so-called “bad bank” SAREB.

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20 August 2013 09:35 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- CatalunyaBanc is planning to layoff 2,453 workers of the bank and its subsidiary companies, according to trade unions. This would represent firing some 34% of its staff. The company is proposing a financial compensation of 20 days worth of salary for each year worked for those it plans to layoff, with a maximum level being set at the equivalent to 12 months of salary. This is the minimum set in the Labour Market Reform. CatalunyaBanc ended the first half of 2013 with a net profit of €183 million, after having transferred part of its real estate toxic assets to the so-called “bad bank” SAREB. The Catalan bank was nationalised in 2012 and is going through an important restructuring process before becoming privatised again. Currently, the financial entity is owned by the FROB (Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring), which is run by the Bank of Spain and the Spanish Government. The FROB has been delaying the auction to sell CatalunyaBanc in order to carry out a substantial restructuring process.


The managers of CatalunyaBanc, which is the private bank of the former savings bank CatalunyaCaixa, are planning a mass layoff in the coming months. They have not disclosed exact figures but according to the mass layoff documents, trade unions estimate the decision could affect 2,453 workers out of a total staff of some 7,200 employees. The company would be proposing firing employees below 50 years old and compensating them with 20 days worth of salary for each year that they have worked in the company, up to a maximum of 12 months salary. This is the minimum standards set up in the last Spanish Government’s Labour Market Reform. If employees accept a 15% salary reduction, geographical mobility measures and reducing working hours, the financial compensation for those being laid off would be increased by up to 18 months worth of salary. The workers’ representatives committee rejected the offer because it practically does not leave any room for negotiation. They have asked the company for a new offer, which could be presented next Thursday.

Workers expect a new proposal allowing a negotiation process

Union representatives are expecting CatalunyaBanc’s management to present a new proposal in the coming days since “there is no need in talking to the workers [if what they want is] to implement the labour reform as the company is pretending to do”, stated union sources. If there is not a new proposal, the workers say to “be ready” to give “a strong answer” to the company’s plans.

The workers also regretted that the mass layoff proposed by the company is only following the conditions of the banking system bailout agreed between the Spanish Government and the European Union. The same union sources criticised that “it does not make sense” to carry out such a restructuring process when CatalunyaBanc is in the middle of being sold to another financial entity.

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  • CatalunyaCaixa's headquarters, which are based in the Barcelona's city centre (by O. Campuzano)

  • CatalunyaCaixa's headquarters, which are based in the Barcelona's city centre (by O. Campuzano)