On November 24, the city store is locked.
The Administration of the National Bank is proceeding with a new round of store closures, which seems to be enlisting the successful for their profits model: new reduction of the network nationwide and a corresponding reduction in personnel with “voluntary retirement” programs.
Already in October, 3 stores were closed (Corfu, Heraklion, Nice), while regional officials announced that they would close another 6 stores in November (Skalas of Oropou, Perama, Gastouni, Tyrnavo, Gargaliani, Stylida). They even want it to be done with a fast track process again and not be learned by mistake, as they have done other times, closing stores even in the middle of August last year.
The above are emphasized in a statement by the Independent Left Movement of National Bank Employees and at the same time denounces:
Their budgies in the media are already laying the groundwork: they are announcing a new voluntary retirement program by the end of the year, even mentioning that the goal is to cut another 500 colleagues, even from the network.
Mylonas Management really goes above and beyond hypocrisy: at the same time that they are reducing the stores again, paid publications appear on the financial websites promoting the opening of a new branch in Rhodes, while it is a trading office that was already operating and just from 2 people there will be 3!
At the same time that they are constantly evicting people from the network to take them to centralization units, and preparing to evict dozens of colleagues with the new voluntary, they are promoting the meager 46 recruitments nationwide. The audacity them has no limits.
Management talks about reducing operating costs, when throws millions at window projects like the rebranding that was left in the middle again, constantly hiring special partners from the market, and contractors are partying millions in every service of the bank anymore. They maximize profits for themselves and their cronies while the workers are constantly losing more
Complete indifference for the conditions prevailing in the store network. Colleagues are destroyed by the intensification, the work does not work out. The dating pressure has caused many colleagues health problems.
There are so many staff shortages, that if someone gets sick or takes leave there is no one available to fill in. For example, there are so few cashiers left, that in the event of a case of coronavirus, they are looking all over Attica.
In the province they still say that there are too many colleagues! With the new closures, new positions of employees and executives will be lost and the movement to distant stores will intensify. There are so few colleagues left in fact, who send people from Magnesia to the prefecture of Larissa or the Sporades, from Corinthia to Achaia and vice versa, from Chalkida to Istiaea or Edipsos. Colleagues drive kilometers and suffer unbearably for hours in addition to their work, while the new travel regulation often creates new problems.
It only matters that the projects run quickly, like the famous paperless ones, which ultimately everyone sees as increasing our processing time and volume of work. They force us to use our own mobile for electronic signatures but they have capital to make unnecessary changes to the look of the intranet, without warning and at the end of the month.
What we need is not another graphic design or another color on the walls and signs, what we and the clientele need is for massive recruitment to take place, to stop the bleeding of the network.
The not pressure of sales targets has escaped. Every day the regionals and their secretaries send countless emails about the product numbers, they fire the colleagues who are not “so high”, while the targeting has become individual.
They separate the clientele, now colleagues in all sectors have their own (business, premium, private) and are evaluated based on them and only these. Their absurdity knows no bounds: they don’t want us to serve the customer in front of us, but to throw the ball away and deal only with the clientele and sales.
And of course, customer inconvenience, especially of vulnerable social groups, such as pensioners, unemployed, immigrants, will increase even more with the planned changes, such as the removal of certain jobs from shops. The problem is not the electronic tasks, but that is imposed everywhere and compulsorily, as a result of which sensitive social groups, such as the elderly, do not have access and are not served. They do not even take into account that part of the population does not have access to the internet.
The call center now operates on a contract basis outside the Moschatos building, with hired colleagues on starvation wages and fixed-term contracts, which are therefore constantly rotated. Therefore the clientele is not served, as a result they come to the stores.
After all, digitization is simply the new opportunity to generate even more profit at our expense by reducing staff. We’ve said it before: machines that don’t get all trades, or the elderly obviously struggle, equate to lost employee time at the machine to direct the customer at a time when a cashier would do it quickly and helpfully or an employee to explain that he cannot issue a card and it is only done via internet banking,
Today’s unionism is part of the problem
A collective counterattack is needed here and now!
The attitude of PASKE-DAKE in all that we are living and what is to come is a shame for trade unionism. SYETE is the Bank’s best ally, it sees everything well and does not react to anything. Good targeting, good closings, good volunteering, good customer-centricity, good deployments, good evaluation. They are not invisible, they know all the plans of the Administration and they do nothing because they have agreed.
They even agreed to our extraordinary aid extravaganza in September, in points go 4 more. To spend them on specific businesses, not even everywhere, only on contracted ones, and that’s how the Bank makes a good deal. And the Association issued an announcement showing it, because it is good that the Bank gives what it wants, whenever it wants and to whomever it wants. The trade unionists of DISYE and DAKE argued that there are no deductions and contributions. Unionization in favor of black labor, without deductions and contributions to the insurance funds. Even we cannot calculate how much the Bank earned in this way, it probably cost them nothing.
We had proposed a strike for mass recruitment in the network specifically, they refused. We proposed a fight against store closures together with the local community, they refused. Not even a strike against the Adonis Georgiadis law did SYETE, back to the Administration, back to the Mitsotakis government.
They accept everything, and when colleagues ask for intervention, they often tell us what Management tells us. They refuse to register colleagues through cooperative banks, and colleagues through IKY, who ask for the obvious: to join the labor regulations and not be with 800 euro salaries and no rights!
The only thing the Bureau is interested in is how the Association will operate undemocratically, dividing the assignments among themselves without taking into account the election result and the will of the colleagues. Excluding the Perspective Sentence and the Front, 4the and 3the faction in the elections, from the meetings with the Administration. They want to hide from us the information and plans of the Administration, even letters from colleagues.
Of course, the other Associations, SEPETE (DAKE) and SYTATE (Paske) are for laughs and tears. As colleagues seethe, they congratulate each other and greet trade unionists leaving with volunteer packages. For the Bank, of course, there is always a good reason. How else do they hold the chairs with so few members?
It is not a cliché to say that it is not going any further and there must be a collective reaction. It is our need. We need a competitive union. Let’s organize the colleagues who don’t want to be underpaid and scared, who claim what they are entitled to! Let’s put a brake on the Bank’s plans before it’s too late, before we find ourselves unemployed. As one journalist wrote, “web banking is not driving away the bank employees, but the bankers” (G. Kimbouropoulos, “The natural stupidity of capital”, 21/10/2023).
On November 18 let’s all be at the General Assembly of SYETE. Let’s mobilize and act. Let’s turn it into a competition station, let the colleagues talk about the problems they are experiencing, make competition decisions, turn the page on the Association. Last year, the difference in the vote against the deed was very small. We deserve a collective upliftment, the new generation of bank employees must stand tall!