“What we are proposing is that at this time of pandemic, there is a special measure that prohibits companies with profits from firing. Just as companies that receive state support cannot make redundancies, companies that have profits should not be able to fire during the pandemic,” explained Catarina Martins, during a protest action by Santander workers, in Lisbon.
The blocist leader added that Santander bank “reported almost 300 million euros in profit last year, it is not affected by the pandemic”, so “there is no reason for it to carry out an operation that will weigh on the country’s Social Security system. in this moment of crisis”.
Catarina Martins argued that “solidarity is required of everyone, companies with profits, large companies, cannot be left out of this effort”.
For that reason, the BE wants to “exist this ban” on layoffs for the duration of the pandemic.
“Let’s not be mistaken. It is an operation of large companies in Portugal to lower wages, to lower the value of work, and that is why it is necessary to fight what is happening now,” he added.
Questioned by journalists, Catarina Martins added that the proposal will be delivered to the Assembly of the Republic “this week”. Contacted by Lusa, a BE source said that the party is still deciding how to implement this proposal.
During the protest, João Pascoal, from the bank’s workers’ committee, denounced a process “of great pressure for workers to accept the terminations by mutual agreement”, considering, therefore, that it is “a hidden dismissal”.
Santander’s intention, he continued, is to replace workers with a permanent contract with workers in an outsourcing regime and with precarious bonds.
The company “want, this year, to reduce the current staff, 1,400 workers”, of which 700 “already have the process advanced”.
Questioned after this protest action, the communication director of Santander Portugal, João Paulo Velez, rejected the pointed criticisms.
“The bank does not intend to make any dismissal, on the contrary, it wants negotiated solutions”, he said, adding that unilateral terminations will be the “last remaining solution”.
Regarding the pressure and intimidation denounced by the workers, once again, the response was rejection: “People only leave, they only sign, let’s say, and only accept terminations by mutual agreement (…). There is great pressure, yeah a situation that obviously raises problems on both sides”.
On Tuesday afternoon there will be a demonstration of workers in the banking sector in front of parliament.
Source: Correio da Manhã by www.cmjornal.pt.
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