Ireland's largest banking trade union threatened Bank of Ireland
Ireland is restructuring and shrinking its banks under an EU/IMF bailout deal after they were crippled by the bursting of a property market bubble.
The reforms are aimed at ending the lenders' dependence on emergency funding from the European Central Bank and the Irish central bank.
The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA), representing some 22,000 workers, said on Thursday that Bank of Ireland was being provocative by trying to force through changes without proper staff consultation.
It did not say what changes the bank was trying to make.
Bank of Ireland is in talks with the government about redundancies as it shrinks operations. In 2010 it announced plans to cut 750 jobs but has not reached that target.
The union's Bank of Ireland committee would consider all options at its next meeting, including industrial action, if the lender did not consult with staff about the unspecified changes, IBOA General Secretary Larry Broderick said in a statement.
Bank of Ireland declined to comment.
The IBOA said Bank of Ireland told union officials it was under pressure from the Department of Finance, which is overseeing the restructuring of the banking sector.
Deposits and certain liabilities at Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks
We are aware from our dealings with other institutions covered by the state guarantee that intervention by the Department of Finance in their day-to-day operations is becoming increasingly problematic, Broderick said.
Despite comments by various cabinet ministers to the effect that the government has no wish to micro-manage financial institutions, unfortunately that appears to be precisely what is happening -- and with adverse consequences.
A spokesman for the Department of Finance said it was taking account of the new norms in the banking sector and in the wider economy in its discussions with the banks.
AIB has said it plans to phase out more than 2,000 jobs by the end of 2012.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Hulmes and Matthew Lewis)