The Service Employees International Union is urging people who bank with Wells Fargo to take their business elsewhere, citing the bank’s record of bankrolling anti-immigrant and anti-worker forces in Minnesota.
The union, led by SEIU Local 26, will stage a rally at the Wells Fargo Bank downtown Minneapolis (6th St. & Marquette Ave.) on Friday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Union leaders and activists will urge customers to withdraw money from their Wells Fargo accounts and reinvest it elsewhere.
Gerardo Cajamarca, a member of Local 26, accused Wells Fargo of “hypocrisy” in its dealings with immigrant communities, particularly Latinos. The bank targets immigrant communities through its marketing efforts, the union said, but “is also helping bankroll a for-profit prison system that unfairly targets the same groups.”
The SEIU and its allies also will call out Wells Fargo on Friday for financially supporting politicians like Rep. Michele Bachmann, who co-sponsored a bill that would eliminate birthright citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants. The union says it will expose the bank’s record of foreclosing on homes owned by immigrants and targeting immigrant communities with offers of “reckless subprime mortgages.”
Friday’s rally outside Wells Fargo will serve as a follow-up to an action staged by the SEIU and its community organization, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, on April 17. Activists used the deadline for filing income-tax returns to expose Wells Fargo’s record of avoiding taxes by exploiting loopholes in the tax code and parking profits in offshore tax havens.
“In an election year, when candidates will seek the Latino vote, the public should be made aware, again, of just who is bankrolling whom in ways that are harmful to Latinos and other minority and immigrant communities,” the union said.
The Wells Fargo protest will serve as the culmination of the “99 Percent Week of Action,” targeting major banks like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. Read more about the week of action on Workday Minnesota.