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Bank Workers Rally for Better Treatment

On Monday, April 13th in Minneapolis workers held a rally calling for better jobs for themselves and better treatment for their customers, as a part of the National Day of Action for Bank Workers.

The events were organized by the Committee for Better Banks, a coalition of bank workers, community and consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations coming together to improve conditions in the bank industry.

The workers delivered a petition — signed by over 11,000 — calling on Wells Fargo to end excessive sales targets for Wells Fargo team members. The LA Times reported that some employees at Wells Fargo were threatened with being fired if they fell short of sales quotas after two months.

One of the workers who will join today’s protests, Khalid Taha, described the pressure to the Guardian, noting that in 2014, the sales goals were to sell 15 new financial products per day:

“'[It’s] unreasonable. You don’t sell more than a product per customer. You can, but it’s not that easy. And most of our customers are current customers. They already have several products.’

Taha pointed out that customers who visit the bank often just want to get a statement, check their balance, or change their address.

‘These are all of the services we are required to do as well. That’s a challenge for us because we open our doors from 9am to 6pm at my branch – and that’s for both my sales and my customer service goals,’ he said.”

The petition calls on Wells Fargo to immediately lower excessive sales targets for team members, noting that “Sales at all costs is no way to build trust with our communities” and “when aggressive sales goals compete with customers’ needs, one side always wins.”

The day of action comes on the heels of a report published by the Center for Popular Democracy that interviewed hundreds of front-line bank workers, and found that not only was there increased pressure for sales, many workers said there was no way to file formal complains about it, either: nearly 38 percent of surveyed workers stated that there was no real avenue to make complaints about such practices in the workplace, according to the report.

The events come at a time when bank tellers face increasing economic hardships. Nationwide, three out of ten bank tellers need some form of public assistance just to get by. Meanwhile, bank CEO pay is still sky-high:

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