BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Market Data
Your Money
E-Commerce
Economy
Companies
Fact Files
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 2 January, 2002, 17:37 GMT
French bank unions call off strike
Coffee in Paris, paid in euros
The strike had little impact on businesses
French bank workers have decided to call off their strike after it managed to achieve only a very limited support.


People have a big responsibility. Everyone has problems but one can not take the euro hostage

Laurent Fabius
The strike, which had threatened to disrupt the launch of the euro on its first working day, appeared to have little impact on business, as majority of bank branches remained open throughout the day.

France's finance minister, Laurent Fabius, said the strike was "not at all being followed", and that the protest did not cause significant trouble.

"People have a big responsibility," he said.

"Everyone has problems but one can not take the euro hostage."

Union demands

French bank unions had called the strike after demands for higher wages, better security and more staff were not met.

But many returned to work after draft accords were signed with some trade unions, while many holidaying employees were still unaware they had been asked to stay away from their offices on Wednesday.

Apart from the limited effect of the strike and some shortage of euro cash in parts of southern France, the launch of the euro in France proceeded smoothly.

A strike call at post offices, which also serve as banks, attracted the support of only 5% of workers.

Italian job

Italy's Central Bank workers followed their French colleagues into industrial action, with two of the six bank unions announcing a strike.

But the action was expected to have an even smaller effect, with only a few of the bank's offices in small towns closed.

Antonio Finocchiaro, a vice-director at the Bank of Italy, said that the country's banks and post offices should have received ample supplies of euro notes and coins, and that the strike was not expected to disrupt the switch from the lira.

The one-day strike was called in protest at delays over the renewal of a new labour contract.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
French union representative Karen Zial-Montpellier
"At the moment nobody can tell how much disruption has been caused"

Key stories

Background

AUDIO VIDEO

FORUM

FACT FILES

INTERACTIVE QUIZ

SPECIAL REPORT

TALKING POINT
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

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes