Bank of Valletta’s decision to open five branches to customers on Saturday has upset country’s largest union.

The General Workers Union said that the bank had caved in to pressure from “some who do not want to adapt to the unique situation we all find ourselves in” and said it expected the bank to stick to the measures it had originally announced to protect its workers. 

Bank of Valletta said late on Friday that five of its branches -  Paola, Naxxar, Żejtun, Żebbuġ and Victoria - would open on Saturday between 9am and 12.30pm. 

The announcement came just a few days after the bank had said that its branches would remain closed on Saturdays, to reduce person-to-person contact amid the coronavirus pandemic. Other banks have not made any such announcements and continue to operate as normal on Saturdays. 

The GWU said it was in talks to ensure that other such measures to protect workers from the risk of infection were not undermined. 

“Members of the public have from Monday to Friday to cash cheques, apart from the fact that many pensioners receive theirs direct into their bank account. There are ATMs, cards and online banking services which are safer to use in the circumstances,” the GWU said. 

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