In an historic development for the financial services industry, a group of employees at a Wells Fargo branch bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico voted this week to join Wells Fargo Workers United, a grassroots labor union backed by the Communications Workers of America. The successful vote marks the first time in memory that employees at a major U.S. bank have elected to unionize. Workers at Wells Fargo branches in California and Florida have also filed for union elections in the past month alone.
This breakthrough success builds on years of grassroots organizing that has been taking place at Wells Fargo and other U.S. banks. We have reported as recently as this week that the wave of unionization efforts sweeping the country is coming to financial services, and in particular retail banking. This could be just the beginning for Wells Fargo and other big banks that, like employers in more traditionally union industries, have thousands of hourly paid workers in front line jobs such as retail banking.
We have advised our banking clients to begin planning now for potential unionization efforts. Businesses cannot be caught behind the 8-ball given the lightening quick timelines in place at the NLRB for scheduling union elections and a pro-union administration that has shown its willingness to change the law over the past three years in order to facilitate union organizing across the country.
We will continue to monitor this developing situation.