Ibercaja raises unions to cut 550 jobs and close 160 offices

Ibercaja It plans to reduce its workforce by 550 workers and close 160 offices in Spain as part of a restructuring plan put in place to reduce the entity's costs.

The initial plans of the entity have been announced to the union representatives of the workforce at a meeting held on the morning of Wednesday, one day after the intention of the financial institution to launch a new dossier for the regulation of employment (ERE).

As explained to Efe union sources, before the meeting held with the management of the company, the CEO of the entity, Víctor Iglesias, has maintained a prior contact to explain to workers' representatives their vision of the current situation and the need for the ERE proposed.

These sources have explained that in the framework of the negotiation, the unions have stressed the need to ensure that the casualties are carried out voluntarily and with “dignified” conditions and to minimize the labor and geographic mobility impact for those affected. for the closing of offices.

They have also demanded measures to improve the working conditions of the rest of the workforce and avoid financial exclusion.

2017 agreement

The aforementioned sources have explained that these same conditions were those that facilitated an agreement in 2017 for an ERE that meant 590 incentive withdrawals and the closure of 140 network offices.

As explained to Efe CCOO union spokesman Miguel Ángel Villalba, although the first contacts maintained have been “positive”, it is necessary to be “prudent”, because these are words that they expect to be “confirmed with facts”. He added that at the next scheduled meeting, on the 17th, the entity's management has promised to present the technical report that has motivated the decision of the ERE and to provide a period of time to analyze all the necessary information.

Ibercaja justifies the decision taken with the need to “adjust costs” at a time when bank profitability is affected by zero interest rates, lack of credit growth, digitalization of services and a strong competition in the sector.

The intention of the management of the entity is to initiate the processing of the ERE in a couple of weeks and to carry out its approval, by agreement with the unions, throughout the month of April.

The sources cited have highlighted that the news has been received positively among the older workers of the workforce given the possibility of receiving incentive early retirement, but with concern among others assigned to offices that could be closed in the near future.