The merger of CaixaBank and Bankia already has the first data on the great labor and structural impact that the operation will have on its entire network and operating centers. The group has raised this morning to the unions the dismissal of 8,291 workers, which represents 18% of its workforce. And it plans to close 1,534 offices, 27% of its network. In the Region of Murcia 410 workers will be affected, a third of the total (1,250).
Its about greater adjustment that will star a bank throughout the financial sector in Spain, even above the restructuring undertaken by entities during the previous economic crisis. It is even higher than that carried out by Bankia after its nationalization almost 10 years ago.
The labor earthquake is so large that even the Minister of Finance and Government spokesperson, Maria Jesus Montero, has had to pronounce on the matter to ensure that if the merger between the two banking groups had not taken place “We would be talking about a higher volume of workers” to the one initially raised by the entity. Montero has pointed out this opinion, aware that it is the State that has up to 16% of power in the new CaixaBank. “We are making titanic efforts through the ERTEs during the pandemic”, it has been justified to add that it would be necessary to “see what circumstances” surround the adjustment.
Compared to the previous model, which prioritized early retirement to release older workers and those close to retirement, this time CaixaBank wants to focus its adjustment as voluntarily as possible, regardless of the age of the employees who take advantage of the process. In fact, it intends for the fit to be balanced and affects 50% of those over 50 years of age and the other half to minors of this age limit. This idea has already been raised by other EREs from large companies. In the event that the surplus is not reached with the voluntary assignment, the assignment will be carried out on the basis of merit, through the assessment of professional performance in recent years.
Of the total proposed layoffs, up to 5,742 of them will be applied to branches and about 688 on subsidiaries; while 1,611 jobs will be cut in central services and up to 250 of them in territorial addresses. In addition, according to union sources, Madrid would be the most affected autonomous community -with some 1,500 departures-, followed by Valencia (half a thousand) and the Region of Murcia (410). In the case of Barcelona, would affect 595 workers.
In the rest of the provinces, the number of departures proposed by CaixaBank is as follows: Coruña (39), Álava (24), Albacete (50), Alicante (253), Almería (105), Asturias (65), Ávila (61 ), Badajoz (40), Burgos (34), Cáceres (20), Cádiz (125), Cantabria (51), Castellón (161), Ciudad Real (72), Córdoba (72), Cuenca (13), Gerona ( 85), Granada (279), Guadalajara (37), Guipúzcoa (22), Huelva (89), Huesca (8), Baleares (358), Jaén (105), La Rioja (123), Las Palmas (293), León (47), Lérida (38), Lugo (8), Málaga (39), Navarra (66), Orense (17), Palencia (10), Pontevedra (26), Salamanca (21), Tenerife (19), Segovia (25), Seville (237), Soria (4), Tarragona (36), Teruel (2), Toledo (63), Valladolid (24), Vizcaya (23), Zamora (0) and Zaragoza (43).
25 days per year worked
The bank has established four exit groups for the ERE. Has proposed up 20 days per year worked with a ceiling of 12 monthly payments forover 63years. From 58 to 63 years, with more than 15 years of antiquity, half of the pensionable salary with unemployment discount and payment of the Social Security agreement. For employees of between 55 to 58 years With 15 years of seniority, it offers 50% of the regulatory salary with a maximum of two annuities. The rest of the staff would have 25 days per year worked with a ceiling of 18 monthly payments.
This first offer put on the table by CaixaBank is part of the collective dismissal procedure that it will undertake as a result of the absorption of Bankia, although the final impact will depend on the commitment and effort of the negotiating table. The entity would have explained to the unions that the causes of the ERE are productive and organizational, a result of the merger and the current market environment, as well as the evolution of customers towards digital. The first estimates made by analysts anticipated a reduction of between 10% and 15% in the workforce. The initial proposal already speaks of 18%. In any case, CaixaBank has undertaken to implement a relocation plan so that people who leave the entity find a new job in the shortest possible period.
Regarding offices, the decay will be settled with the 1,534 of them closed and the criteria will be based on the size of the municipality and banking competition in the place; the distance between offices of both entities; the quota of presence and overlaps; avoid financial exclusion and promote offices of greater size and specialization.
The new financial group has almost 7,000 branches spread throughout Escorduroy. The intention of the entity is to maintain its physical presence in those locations where there is only one group office, especially in rural areas. And it would deepen its adjustment in the framework of the overlapping of branches, especially in medium and large cities. Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Andalusia, the Balearic Islands and Madrid are the regions with the greatest duplication of physical points of the defunct Bankia and CaixaBank.
Since both banks announced their intention to join in early September, cutting the workforce has always been on the table: integration it would cost about 3,400 million euros, of which two thirds would respond to the restructuring. And in return, the new financial corporation would be able to generate synergies of 5,000 million in five years.
The recourse to early retirement, in addition to incentivized leave, is preferred by the unions and the one that has been used preferably by the banking sector in similar processes since it is the one that creates less conflict. However, both the CEO of the entity, Gonzalo Gortázar, as the CEO, Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, at the time advocated looking for other “creative” and innovative formulas.
The CEO of CaixaBank, Gonzalo Gortázar, already anticipated in March, when the merger materialized, that this labor adjustment “It will be a process that we want to have resolved as soon as possible.” The executive even put on the table a temporary deadline, “before the end of the second quarter” to have the list of departures completed.
Neither Gortázar nor the new non-executive chairman of CaixaBank, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, had so far wanted to clarify the number of workers that will be affected by this adjustment. Gortázar had anticipated that “it will not be traumatic”, that is, without forced dismissals, but that “first, voluntariness” and also “meritocracy”, that is, “retain the best”, he indicated in the press conference of presentation of the new entity. Goirigolzarri admitted that “it is painful to be in a restructuring sector and reducing staff.” Although he has qualified that they do it out of “responsibility” and to “ensure the maximum number of jobs.”
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