Thousands of workers at BNP Paribas bank in France are staging a one-day strike today, 13 October.
Trade unions at the bank, including UNI Global Union affiliates, CFDT, FO and CGT, are calling for industrial action, which is rare in the French finance sector.
Workers are protesting new measures from the French multinational that would reduce working time and staff levels, and lead to worker relocations, branch closures and losses over childcare and transport.
Trade unions say BNP Paribas management are refusing to negotiate with them, despite numerous proposals for dialogue supported by employees. They say the bank’s plans will also have a negative impact on customers. A statement from CDFT said:
“Since the start of the health crisis, employees in the banking sector have provided business continuity necessary for the economy and maintaining customer service. It is in these difficult times that social dialogue should be most productive. This is not what BNP Paribas management is doing.”
Meanwhile, a recent survey at the bank has revealed an explosion of stress amongst staff.
UNI Europa Regional Secretary, Oliver Roethig, said:
“Bank workers are rooted in the communities they serve. Pulling out of these communities creates exclusion: for those who are not digital natives, those who live outside of major cities… For a broad-based recovery, we need inclusive measures at every level. That is exactly what these workers are striking for today.”
UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, said:
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at BNP Paribas in France, who have shown great dedication and service during the pandemic. Strike action is always a last resort and we call on BNP Paribas to negotiate with unions and stop using the COVID crisis as a means to push through blanket measures that so undermine workers’ conditions.”
BNP Paribas is the world’s eigth largest bank, employing approximately 200,000 people in France.