Over half of Brazilian banks remain closed after one-month strike

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The strike of Brazilian bank workers entered its 30th day on Tuesday, leaving a total of 13,245 banks, or 56 percent, of all Brazilian banks remain closed.

This is the longest strike ever organized in Brazil by banking staff, said the National Confederation of Workers of the Financial Sector (CONTRAF).

Public and private banking employees declared an indefinite strike in early September to put pressure on their employers for a pay hike and other benefits, including a larger share of the profits, a minimum monthly salary of 3,940 reais (1,194 U.S. dollars), a larger food bonus and measures to reduce layoffs.

The strike began when bank owners refused to grant a 14.78-percent pay hike and offered only a 6.5-percent hike, which was lower than the inflation rate of 2016.

The unions turned down a new offer of 7.5 percent tabled last week by bank owners with a yearly hike of 0.5 percent.

Strikes by banking sector employees, who number around 512,000 across Brazil, have been common lately. In 2015, they went on strike for 21 days, only returning to work after banks met their demand for a 10-percent hike.

Brazil's five largest banks made combined profits of 29.7 billion reais (9.11 billion dollars) in the first half of 2016, said CONTRAF. Endi

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