Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Staff at Romanian bank BCR postpone strike

BUCHAREST, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Employees of Romania's biggest bank BCR postponed a pay strike planned for Wednesday after receiving a new pay offer, the head of the bank's staff union said on Tuesday.

"There will be no strike tomorrow in BCR," Ciprian Ionescu, head of the bank's Independent Trade Union told local television station The Money Channel.

"We have received an offer from the bank today. We have the duty ... to analyse it. The conflict is not over. We will decide what comes next after talks."

BCR, owned by Austria's Erste Bank (ERST.VI) ERST.BX, had said on Monday the union was demanding an additional 3 percentage points rise over the bank's offer to raise wages by half of Romania's 6.6 percent inflation rate in 2008.

Other demands concerned employee holiday bonuses, which the bank has linked to its financial performance.

BCR, which has over 9,000 employees, has said it will contest any strike in court.

"The new offer meets almost all union objectives and includes a potential additional remuneration of employees pending the fulfilment of a well-defined performance criteria," the bank said in a statement.

The bank has yet to release details of the offer, saying negotiations were continuing. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by David Holmes)

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