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Wells Fargo won’t commit to union neutrality, and bank employees are preparing for an ugly fight

From Fast Company:

Workers behind an unprecedented union drive at Wells Fargo are now trying to enlist congressional allies in their battle.

Though employees have been trying to unionize America’s third-largest bank for years, a renewed push began several months ago. This time it’s been galvanized by support from the Committee for Better Banks, a group that in September helped score the first bank industry union contract in 40 years with Beneficial Bank, through what turned out to be a relatively amicable process.

In the past decade, Wells Fargo has become a sort of banking bête noire, the face of scandals that, just in recent months, include racist mortgage lending, charges of anti-money laundering violations, fake job interviews with minority and female candidates to goose the bank’s diversity numbers, and now, accusations of poor working conditions from increasingly vocal pro-union employees.

In an eight-page letter today to Senator Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, and his House counterpart Maxine Waters, head of the House Committee on Financial Services, a group of over 100 Wells Fargo workers detail workplace complaints that run from unfair wages and understaffing to pandemic-related health and other risks.

Their letter urges the two chairs of Congress’ most important industry committees to lean on Wells Fargo to commit to neutrality toward the union drive. The Senate is currently scheduling its annual Wall Street oversight hearing, and the workers’ organizing committee is asking Brown to pose the question of neutrality directly to Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf.