OTOE accuses two banks of violation of working and banking hours

Download article in original language : GR9908146NEL.DOC

In July 1999, following earlier allegations of violations of working and banking hours in Greek banks, the Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) lodged a complaint with the Labour Inspectorate against EUROBANK and ASPIS Bank.

On 15 July 1999, further to previous initiatives in relation to alleged violations of working and banking hours in banks (GR9903116F), the Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) proceeded to lodge a complaint with the Labour Inspectorate against EUROBANK and ASPIS Bank, claiming violation of working and banking hours, as communicated in documents transmitted to their staff and customers respectively.

On the same day, OTOE sent issued a press release in which it notified workers of the alleged violation of working and banking hours by certain private banks. In the press release, OTOE called the alleged violation by EUROBANK and ASPIS Bank an arbitrary, illegal and provocative act, and stressed that bank employees' hours were laid down by a collective agreement in 1984, enforced by Law 1483/1984, and must be respected by all banks operating in Greece. It also claims that the two banks' alleged "illegal" acts undermine the introduction in banks of the 35-hour working week, whose agreed pilot implementation began on 1 August 1999 (GR9906135F). It added that, for transactions carried out after 14.00, customers are charged the next day's prices. Based on the above complaints, OTOE has demanded that:

  • the Labour Inspectorate bring a charge against the two banks and that, in the event they do not comply immediately, legal action be taken against the offenders; and
  • monitoring be carried out in other private sector banks, which may not have issued written instructions but may still be violating banking and working hours.

At a meeting held on 20 July 1999 between OTOE and the Ministry of Labour, the minister and deputy minister stated that the violation of working and banking hours is a criminally punishable act, and gave orders to the Labour Inspectorate to make sure that banks strictly observe working and banking hours, as laid down by law and by relevant collective agreements.

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