– From UNI Global Finance Trade unions in the Americas are leading a new charge to organise low-wage bank workers in the United States. Almost one third of the US bank tellers rely on public assistance, while the top CEOs income continue to increase, a …

Walton Pantland

rtx157i0

From UNI Global Finance

Trade unions in the Americas are leading a new charge to organise low-wage bank workers in the United States.

Almost one third of the US bank tellers rely on public assistance, while the top CEOs income continue to increase, according to the Committee for Better Banks, a coalition of labor advocacy groups that published a new report on the 4th of december. The report also says that there are now 19,800 fewer people employed in the financial industry in New-York city than before 2008.

UNI Finance, the global voice for finance employees around the world, denounced the devastating impacts of the financial crisis on job losses as well as on the health of finance in its global survey “Banking: the Human Crisis”. UNI Finance is now planning to go a step further by organizing a week of action in New-York together with a broader coalition of unions and labor activists based in North and South America. The group is also asking for “One New York for all of us”. In 2014, New York City will have a new mayor and could embark on a new era, one that benefit all New Yorkers, not just the 1% of Wall Street top CEOs. The city and its banks need to invest in public health, education and quality jobs at all levels instead of financial speculation that only benefit a few.

In a recent article by Al Jazeera, UNI Finance Head Marcio Monzane said, “We want to create a (banking) system that’s sustainable in the long term. We need to have an actor that can make an intervention in society, and trade unions are an important actor to do that.”

“In countries such as South Africa, Australia and Argentina, employees of banks and insurance companies have pursued better pay and conditions through trade unions. The idea has floated around U.S. activist circles in recent years as well and may now be gaining real traction,” the article said.

“The Brazilian union CUT (Unified Workers’ Central) has provided seed money for organizing efforts in New York City, Miami and Orlando, home to Banco do Brasil branches and call centers. (Brazilian unions have also supported American automotive workers.) CUT president Vagner Freitas explained this transnational strategy at a union convention in September, saying, “We don’t have the bank workers in the U.S. organized, so we can’t organize workers around the world. A lot of them are in the U.S., and they have a great role to play.”

More

Washington Post article about the Committee for Better Banks Report.

Related files:


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Author avatar

Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

Read All Articles