CaixaBank's management has proposed an 18.7% adjustment to the workforce to the unions on Tuesday, that is, 8,291 people. This reduction in employment would mean that the new bank merged with Bankia would go from the current 44,400 workers to 36,109. The adjustments affect CaixaBank España, not the group's subsidiaries abroad. It is the largest ERE in the history of Spanish banking and the third in the business sector after those carried out by Telefónica and Seat. Santander and CaixaBank are the entities that have made the most layoffs since the financial crisis of 2008. The ERE will mainly affect branch personnel, since more than 1,500 will be closed, 27% of the total network.
The bank argues for this adjustment with the same reasons adduced by BBVA for its ERE: productive and organizational issues —that is, that with the merger there are duplications and it is necessary to make synergies—;
the existence of negative rates from 2016 to, foreseeably, 2025, which will continue to reduce financial margins;
and the digitization of customers, which reduces the need to maintain part of the offices.
Unlike BBVA, CaixaBank does not argue for economic reasons, due to the entity's losses, since the bank will present profits in 2021.
"Savage" measure and "forced dismissals" for unions
The main unions have already shown their radical opposition to this approach by CaixaBank.
For CC OO, the majority force, this proposal "is a provocation and a lack of respect, since it poses demolition conditions" in compensation.
They consider that it is leading "to forced dismissals" and that meritocracy will not be applied.
UGT emphasizes that the proposed cost savings fall only on the workforce and that what they have proposed involves dismantling the current CaixaBank labor regulations.
"We have complained to the company that after the recently undertaken integration process, we consider the first measure of reducing more than 50% of the workforce that has just been integrated to be wild."
BBVA could propose the departure of some 3,000 employees at the meeting next Friday.
The banking sector is expected to lose more than 15,000 jobs in 2021. Since 2008, banking has lost almost 100,000 jobs, 35%, according to data from the Bank of Spain.
The bank prepares a year of massive layoffs with more than 15,000 exits
Bankia unions threaten mobilizations if there are layoffs after the merger
The unions, which were considering between 6,000 and 8,000 layoffs, hope to reduce the figure proposed by the bank in the negotiation.
At the last shareholders meeting they warned that they would carry out mobilizations if the layoffs were not negotiated.
The breakdown of the adjustment of the 8,291 employees will be 5,742 in the branch network, 1,148 in the central services, 463 in the central services of the territorial headquarters, another 250 directly related to the territorial offices, 630 of the bank's subsidiaries in Spain and 58 people who are on leave.
50%, with more than 50 years
One of the novelties of this ERE is that CaixaBank has established as a condition that those who leave the bank must be distributed among the age pyramid, to avoid losing the employees with more experience, as is usually the case in workforce reductions.
Thus, only half of those who sign up voluntarily must be over 50 years of age.
"The preferred criterion will be voluntary affiliation," said the company.
“[The request for exit] could be rejected because the limit of surpluses in each area or department or province was exceeded;
To avoid a generational imbalance, it will not be accepted that more than 50% of the exits are over 50 years of age ”, according to sources from UGT and the entity.
CaixaBank establishes four groups of outputs for the ERE.
Those over 63 years of age will have 20 days per year worked with a maximum of 12 monthly payments.
From 58 to 63 with more than 15 years of seniority, 50% of the pensionable salary with discount for unemployment and payment of the Social Security agreement.
Those who are between 55 and 58 years old with 15 years of seniority will receive 50% of the regulatory salary with a maximum of two annuities.
The rest of the workforce, 25 days per year worked with a ceiling of 18 monthly payments.
Almost a third of offices closed
Regarding the offices, the entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri intends to close 1,534, 27% of the 5,639 it has.
The criteria for closing offices will be the size of the municipality and the banking competition in the place, the distance between Caixa and Bankia offices, the presence and overlap of both entities, always seeking to avoid financial exclusion, according to the bank.
It also wants to promote the largest and most specialized offices.
The entity is committed to the relocation of all employees who leave, after financing their training in other professions where there is demand.
The entity has explained to the workers' representatives that it will try to ensure that the exits are based on voluntariness and that, if this is not possible, following the criterion of meritocracy, the maintenance of the greatest possible talent in the bank will be sought. , regardless of the age and origin of the bank the employee comes from.
The bank has repeatedly announced its intention that this workforce adjustment be carried out in a non-traumatic manner and prioritizing voluntariness.
The objective is to have the negotiation closed at the end of the second quarter of the year.