By Noemie Bisserbe
PARIS--Trade unions at French bank Societe Generale SA (GLE.FR) called a one-day national strike Tuesday to protect jobs at the bank as it continues its cost cutting plans.
"It seems that the management is trying to give itself the means to easily proceed with new lay-offs," said Alain Treviglio, a trade union representative with the French Democratic Confederation of Labour, or Cfdt. "Employees are very worried," he added.
The call for a strike highlights the growing tension between the bank's employees and its senior management who are under pressure to cut costs to cope with Europe's unfolding sovereign debt crisis.
A spokeswoman for Societe Generale said that while the bank was considering outsourcing part of its back office activities, it didn't intend to implement a "global job cut plan."
The Paris-based lender, France's second-largest listed bank, announced plans in September 2011 to accelerate asset disposals, and launched a cost-cutting program aimed at freeing 4 billion euros ($5.22 billion) in capital by 2013. The bank completed its restructuring plan late last year, cutting 880 jobs in France in the process.
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