BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: Business
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Market Data 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 27 December, 2001, 15:41 GMT
Bank offers pay rise to avert euro strike
BNP Paribas euro advert
BNP Paribas has offered staff pay rises and bonuses to prevent a strike disrupting the bank's euro changeover, a report has said.

The French bank has proposed a 0.8% pay rise and bonuses of at least 686 euros (416), French newspaper Le Monde said.

The offer followed a strike threat by trade unions demanding increased security, as well as better pay and conditions during the currency introduction.

Security concerns were heightened on Thursday with news of a bank robbery in Italy, where a gang escaped with 1bn lira (310,000) worth of euro notes, or about 520,000 euros.

July deal

BNP Paribas is, along with other French commercial banks, facing a strike during the first few days of 2002 when euro notes and coins are introduced across the 12-nation eurozone.

French euro coin
The workers are offered 686 of these

The bank clerks have demanded more compensation for the extra work relating to the currency changeover, better training in order to deal with the introduction of euro cash, and better protection against bank robbers and other criminals.

They have argued that a number of private banks have refused to abide by a deal struck in July over the issue.


The French postal service, La Poste, is also facing a threat of strike action from 2 January.

Little Prince on a French 50 franc note
Strikes could delay the changeover from the franc

As post offices also provide banking services in France, the distribution of new notes and coins could be severely disrupted.

If the strikes go ahead, they could slow the spread of the euro into circulation in France as small businesses will continue to give change in francs as long as they cannot access euros from banks.

That would be a best-case scenario.

The worst case effects of any strikes would be to cause chaos when euro notes and coins are launched.

See also:

27 Dec 01 | Business
Euro fuels price rise fears
27 Dec 01 | UK Politics
British shops urged to accept euro
20 Dec 01 | Europe
Euro chaos threatens France
05 Dec 01 | Business
Are banks ready for the euro?
28 Nov 01 | Business
French strike threat to euro launch
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories