March 24, 2020 / 12:19 PM / 14 days ago

Italy bank staff working unprotected, strike may be only option: union

MILAN (Reuters) - Banks employees in Italy are working without adequate protection against coronavirus infection in branches that are still open and a strike may be the only option unless there is a coordinated response to fix the situation, a senior union official said.

Speaking at an online forum organized by financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Lando Sileoni, secretary general of banking union FABI, said unions would hold a call with banking lobby ABI at 1400 GMT and expected adequate answers then.

“While 50-60% of bank employees are smart-working ... we’re in daily contact with the staff in the trenches,” he said.

“Bank tellers representing 40-45 of staff are in contact with the public without masks, gloves or even the protective plastic barriers that postal offices have introduced,” he said.

Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by James Mackenzie

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