Economy & Politics

The trade union war rages on the Place

The first official negotiation meeting for the future collective banking agreement organized on Wednesday promises to be very tense. In question, the battle engaged between Aleba and OGBL / LCGB which could cause collateral damage.



The first official negotiation meeting for the future collective banking agreement organized on Wednesday promises to be very tense. In question, the battle engaged between Aleba and OGBL / LCGB which could cause collateral damage.

The future of some of the employees of the Place is partly played out on Wednesday, from 4 p.m. On this date, the first official meeting will be held between unions and ABBL representatives following the denunciation of the collective agreement in the banking sector. A meeting between social partners enshrined in law which could indelibly influence the continuation of negotiations.

Ten days after the announcement of an agreement in principle between Aleba and the employers’ representatives of banks and insurance companies, the OGBL and the LCGB denounce “a unique rider”. All of this against a backdrop of questioning of sectoral representativeness.

Because two main options should emerge from this meeting organized by videoconference: either the start of a social dialogue after a serious adjustment between Aleba and OGBL / LCGB, or the continuation of the current open war between the three unions active in the financial sector. In view of the statements made for several weeks and the ambient animosity, the second option appears to be the most probable.

Except that this battle, especially in the media, eclipses, to this day, the challenges that await the Place in a post-covid context. Because if banks and insurance companies are preparing to face the consequences of a probable wave of bankruptcies and a fall in premiums, they must also and above all adapt to the emergence of a new cycle. Marked by stricter international regulations, the maintenance of low rates and the appearance of new, more agile players, this new environment will result in a questioning of the economic models in place. And a likely drop in bottom line, at least for a while.

It is precisely these aspects that Aleba on one side and ABBL and ACA on the other brandish to defend the agreement in principle reached in early November and renew the current collective agreement. “People are currently worried enough about their jobs, we are not going to argue again for 18 months for very little added value”, summarized Guy Hoffmann, president of the ABBL last week, to our colleagues from the Land.

Words that are reflected, in the compromise found between the current union representing the financial sector and employers’ representatives, in a flagship measure. Namely the absence of any salary increase in 2021, before a revaluation of 1% in 2022 and 2023. In return, the ABBL intends to conduct a “clarification” of the rights of employees over 50 years. Understand, the granting of a 26th day of leave for this category of staff.

The Luxembourg Association of Banks and Bankers Luxembourg (ABBL) and the Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (ACA) announced Monday evening that they had reached an agreement in principle with Aleba for a collective agreement for the years 2021- 2023.

A vision and a way of doing things far from being shared by the OGBL and the LCGB, eager to “avoid all forms of unhealthy compromises which only reflect the lowest common denominator”. Clearly, the desire of the two national unions to “fight tooth and nail for strong measures”. This has resulted in the creation of a common catalog of demands, sent to the ABBL, which calls in particular for “innovative forms in terms of the organization of working time or by the negotiation of plans to maintain employment. employment within companies ”.

WI. Ranking of banks. Banken, Finanzplatz Luxemburg, Arendt,. Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort

Tensions between unions in the financial sector are likely to escalate further after the official request from the OGBL and LCGB to look again at the results of the 2019 social elections. Objective: cancel the agreement in principle reached between employer representatives de la Place and the Aleba.

Whatever the outcome of Wednesday night’s meeting, further negotiations remain dependent on the decision to be taken by Dan Kersch (LSAP). Because the Minister of Labor will have to decide whether or not he follows the conclusions of the ITM report on the sectoral representativeness of Aleba. A report that follows an official request by the OGBL and the LCGB regarding the results of the 2019 social elections which saw Aleba narrowly fail to cross the 50% mark.

With 49.22% of the votes cast, the union still retained its first place ahead of the OGBL and the LCGB. But all the same finds itself weakened and far from its results of 2008 when the union which claims its political neutrality reached 52.36% of the votes. In the event of loss of representativeness, Aleba would then no longer have a say and would see the voice of its some 10,000 members silenced. Unionally engaged staff that the two national unions would welcome with open arms …


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