Talks between the Cyprus Co-operative Bank and trade unions on a voluntary retirement scheme for 900 Co-op employees reached an impasse on Thursday night as both sides held their ground in yesterday’s meeting, which went on for four hours without any significant results.
There is an increasing likelihood the Co-op will present a scheme to its staff independently, that is, without reaching a deal with the unions first. The scheme may even be presented before the end of the week with the affected employees given until late August to decide whether they wish to accept it. This procedure will also lead to talks over redundancy. Unions, however, have warned against the submission of a scheme without an agreement beforehand.
ETYK and the other unions have asked for compensation ranging from €100,000-200,000. The Co-op insists on €20,000 minimum with a ceiling of €170,000. Taxpayers are expected to have to pay sums of up to €125 million to cover the compensation needs of the 900 employees.
The rest of the 1,700 Co-op employees will move to Hellenic Bank and the state-owned entity set to manage the problematic assets, which were ‘inherited’ by taxpayers in order for the Co-op to be sold.
After the meeting, secretary general of ETYK Christos Panayides repeated that the scheme needs to be atractive to Co-op employees and that no-one should be forced to retire.
Unions SEK, PEO and PASYDY will have a meeting today to make their own decisions on the matter.