Wells Fargo workers at two US branches of bank launch efforts to unionize


Workers at two Wells Fargo bank branches are planning to launch unionization efforts on Monday in a rare move to organize staff at a financial services company.

Employees in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bethel, Alaska, said they would notify the National Labor Relations Board that they plan to hold elections to decide whether to unionize, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report comes as labor action in the United States has picked up pace this year, with unions confronting companies across industries like automotive, entertainment and aerospace. The financial industry, however, has been largely insulated from such unionization efforts for decades.

“We would be foolish to not strike while the iron is hot,” Jessie McCool, a Wells Fargo compliance officer in St Louis told the Journal.

Wells Fargo is the US’s fourth largest bank with almost $2tn in assets and over 200,000 employees and has faced a series of scandals in recent years, from fake accounts to alleged mass overtime pay violations.

Workers at the bank have made previous attempts to form a union.

“We have a deep commitment to invest in and support everyone who works at Wells Fargo … have significantly improved compensation and benefits for our lower paid employees in recent years,” Saul Van Beurden, CEO of Wells Fargo’s consumer, small and business banking, said on Monday.

Beurden also highlighted investments the bank had made for employees over the past four years, such as increasing staffing levels and bumping up median base salaries.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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