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Brazil’s bank workers begin nationwide strike

A resident walks in front of a closed bank in downtown Rio de Janeiro Sept. 18, 2012. Workers at Brazilian banks began a strike on Tuesday.

SERGIO MORAES/REUTERS

Brazil's bank workers began a nationwide strike on Tuesday over demands for better pay and working conditions, according to national financial-sector workers' union Contraf.

The workers' demands include a nominal wage increase of 10.25 per cent, a profit-sharing agreement, better health and working conditions and better security.

On Aug. 28, Brazil's national banking federation Fenaban offered a 6-per-cent nominal wage increase amounting to a 0.5-per-cent rise after accounting for inflation – a package the union rejected as "insufficient."

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Bank shares fell across the board on Tuesday on Brazil's bourse. Shares of Itau Unibanco, Brazil's largest non-government bank, slipped 1.36 per cent, while those of rival Bradesco fell 1.23 per cent. Shares of state-controlled Banco do Brasil dropped 1.67 per cent.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index little changed, up just 0.05 per cent at 61,837.00.

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