Spain's bankers to stage strikes as massive layoffs loom: union
ReutersMADRID--Workers at three of Spain's bailed-out banks will stage strikes in coming weeks as they fight mass layoffs, unions said on Monday, spreading industrial unrest to a sector where walkouts have so far been rare.
January 23, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Spain was forced to ask Europe for up to 100 billion euros (US$132.9 billion) to help its weakest banks last year and four of the lenders it took over, including Bankia, have to cut thousands of jobs and shrink their balance sheets as a condition of their rescue.
While the banks, crippled by a property bubble that burst five years ago, have hogged headlines, employees have so far mostly kept a low profile even as protests become a way of life elsewhere in Spain.
But about 20,000 layoffs planned for 2013, almost 10 percent of the total, could reduce the workforce to levels last seen in 1975, data from the unions showed — the year dictator General Francisco Franco died, marking the start of the country's transition to democracy.