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Brazilian bank employees go on strike

A woman walks past a bank branch with posters reading "Bank employees on strike" in Brasilia on Oct 6, 2015. The employees of Brazilian banks went on indefinite strike in demand of a wage increase of 16%.

[RIO DE JANEIRO] Brazilian bank employees went on strike on Tuesday to demand a 16 per cent pay rise and better working conditions, their union Contraf-CUT said.

The strike affected state and private bank outlets across the country and was announced as indefinite. Workers are also demanding a greater share of profits.

Contraf-CUT said the vote to strike took place Thursday after workers rejected an offer from the employers' association of a 5.5 per cent pay rise.

The Brazilian Banking Federation (Febraban) said clients could still make withdrawals, deposits and other basic transactions through online banking, phone apps and cash machines.

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Last October, bank employees went out on strike for a week, demanding a 12.5 per cent rise in pay and settling for a 8.5 per cent hike.

Brazil's five main banks - the private Unibanco, Bradesco and Santander, and the state-owned Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal - saw 60.3 billion reais in profits (S$22 billion at the time). That was an 18.5 per cent rise over the previous year.