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posted by martyb on Friday November 13 2015, @07:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the better-compensated-workers-makes-many-people-happy dept.

The Center for American Progress reports:

In August, New York-based Amalgamated Bank announced it would immediately raise its minimum pay to at least $15 an hour.

The bank, which is owned by the union OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union), came to the $15 wage floor in the midst of contract negotiations with the union. The contract also specifies automatic 3 percent increases each year.

[...] "Morale in our bank is just great after this" [said CEO Keith Mestrich.] He's even heard from potential customers who say they have sought out the bank after the announcement.

[...] But the bank isn't satisfied to make its own changes. It also wants to change the industry. A recent report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that bank tellers, the most common job in the financial services industry, make a median wage of just $12.44 an hour; and three-quarters make below $15. That means that about a third of bank tellers rely on some kind of public [assistance], such as Medicaid, food stamps, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, to get by. Many who work in customer service, maintenance, protective service, and production also make below that wage.

[...] Amalgamated has launched a campaign to get a $15 minimum wage--a level that has already been passed in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle--and encourage all other banks to adopt one in their own businesses. It also recently sent a letter to other banks urging them to adopt other practices that it calls "principles of responsible banking" such as ending the intense opposition to regulation, advocating for policies that would help customers, and embracing corporate transparency.

I hope you have your bloat blockers engaged before clicking the links to the bank's site.


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  • (Score: 2) by ledow on Friday November 13 2015, @07:52AM

    by ledow (5567) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:52AM (#262549) Homepage

    Wow, you still have bank tellers in the US?

    The last few years all I get is a machine in the corner with a big queue and some unqualified sprat saying you have to use it.

    In fact, that's the biggest reason that I just don't go into a bank any more. Fortunately, I'm no longer paid by cheque so I have had literally no reason in the last few years to enter a bank for my own purposes, except for one tax refund cheque.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday November 13 2015, @01:47PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday November 13 2015, @01:47PM (#262628)

      I was going to say, in the last 15 years I think I have interacted with a bank teller (in person) less than 5 times, I might have made 5 or 10 telephone calls to the bank to arrange things like house sale funds transfers, but beyond that, I am my own teller via the online portal. Before that, I mostly transacted by mail and phone...

      I think it's great that the remaining tellers are getting raises, but wonder if their jobs aren't ultimately doomed anyway - how much "tax" is it to handle paper money and/or checks, physically transporting yourself and your "money" to and from a bank branch, and how much "tax" does the bank have to put on your accounts to keep those physical storefronts open? For someone who works 40 hours a week, paid $15/hr bi-weekly, that's 30 minutes dealing with the bank for every 80 hours worked (0.625% "time tax") plus likely another $4 cost of transport (0.3% of the paycheck) and another $4 or so cost to the employer and bank just handling the paper checks. We're up over 1.2% tax already - why not direct deposit instead?

      And, if everyone is direct depositing, paying by card, and using ATMs for cash withdrawal (I spend less than 1% of my income as cash, ymmv), why do we need bank tellers?

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @01:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @01:53PM (#262632)

        When I have a check to deposit it's always through the drive-thru or walk-up ATM, especially as I tend to go to the bank at odd times when it is convenient for me rather than whenever the hell the tellers are working. Also that's just if I need some cash back, otherwise these days you can use the banks app to take a photo of the check and deposit it online even.

        Even when opening an account at this bank I did it entirely online, the only times I've interacted with a teller was when I needed to get a cashier's check for the house closing or to withdraw a large amount of emergency cash before leaving on vacation.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @03:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @03:16PM (#262680)

          otherwise these days you can use the banks app to take a photo of the check and deposit it online even.

          You have a bank app installed on your phone? Do you do security? We are hiring...

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Friday November 13 2015, @02:33PM

      by TheRaven (270) on Friday November 13 2015, @02:33PM (#262653) Journal
      My bank released an update to their Android app that asks for so many permissions that I uninstalled it. I now go into the branch around once a month for something trivial that I'd have otherwise done on the app, just so that it's costing money for them to do stupid things. I always make a point of saying that I would have used the app if it didn't require obnoxious permissions when the person at the entrance is conducting that survey.
      --
      sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @04:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @04:27PM (#262721)

      Yes they have a fairly cake job. Basically break bills down. Count down the 'change jars'. Do the occasional deposit. Open accounts for new customers.

      I usually use them with deposits. My bank likes to rearrange the menus on the ATMs about every 3 months and make the menus quite the labyrinth. Then relabel my accounts as checking 1/2/3. So I go in and get it done correctly first time. If I had 1 account it probably would not be a big deal. But apparently since I have a savings and my wife has a checking they all need to be shown to me in random order.

      But their *real* job is to sell other products, loans/IRAs/deposit boxes, etc.

      Also many local businesses use them as it is easy to show up with the days take in cash and just get it counted down correctly and deposited. Try jamming 6 kilos of change that thru an ATM...

      Have not had anyone give me cash in awhile. So I have not been in there in probably a year.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by bziman on Friday November 13 2015, @07:27PM

      by bziman (3577) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:27PM (#262797)

      Wow, you still have bank tellers in the US?

      The last few years all I get is a machine in the corner with a big queue and some unqualified sprat saying you have to use it.

      In fact, that's the biggest reason that I just don't go into a bank any more. Fortunately, I'm no longer paid by cheque so I have had literally no reason in the last few years to enter a bank for my own purposes, except for one tax refund cheque.

      I haven't used an ATM in over a year. I actually like the social interaction of walking into a bank and talking to a real live human being. My bank has convenient branches and hours, and I've never had to wait in line, except maybe for a minute on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when they're really busy.

      Even in the United States, there are many businesses that still write or require checks, often so they don't have to pay the transaction fees for ACH debits or credit card processing. And of course, cash will always be king.

  • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Friday November 13 2015, @07:57AM

    by davester666 (155) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:57AM (#262551)

    The bank, which is owned by the union, negotiated with said union for a workers contract.

    How you say "conflict of interest".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @08:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @08:18AM (#262555)

      Could be worse. A certain popular chain of stores similar to walmart created and owns the union all employees must join. The employees literally pay for the privilege of the store owners dictating they deserve the bare minimum required by law.

    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Friday November 13 2015, @09:32AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2015, @09:32AM (#262566) Journal

      Hmmmm, seems the Union should have long ago told the bank exactly what the minimum wage should be.
      I'm having a hard time figuring which is more corrupt, the bank, or the union.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday November 13 2015, @07:34PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:34PM (#262801) Journal

        I'm having a hard time figuring which is more corrupt, the bank, or the union.
         
        I'm having a hard time figuring out how paying people $15/hr implies corruption.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 14 2015, @05:37AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 14 2015, @05:37AM (#263087) Journal

          It's not the Finally paying them, its the denying them all these years, and the union, who owns the bank, letting them get away with it.
          That wasn't so hard to figure out.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @02:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @02:31PM (#262651)

      I had to "join" the most popular union in order to work at a union job location. The funny thing is, the non-union company benefits were better than the union contract benefits that had a $350 initiation fee and $45 month dues. The union reps were fat lazy assholes driving expensive cars on our dime. When there was a problem, they didn't do a thing to help out. We finally voted the union out, and 20 years later the lawsuit between the company and union still hasn't been settled, the union rep said they would keep it tied up in the courts to fuck the employees as long as possible. For that reason, the one benefit I lost out on was a company matched retirement plan, it couldn't be instated until the case was settled. Think about that when you have to join a union.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @11:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @11:04PM (#262870)

        Pretty much my experience with unions too.

        Oh, you have a problem? Tell the steward. He'll know which shredder gets your form.

        Oh, your problem is unaddressed? That there sure is a shame, son.

        You had the cheek to call OSHA? Hope you enjoy finding a new job.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @03:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @03:00PM (#262664)

      I'm not sure I understand. If the union owns the bank, it has the right as the primary shareholder, both morally and legally, to compel the bank to act in its best interests as it sees fit - which includes adjusting pay.

      Am I missing something? Could you expand?

      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Friday November 13 2015, @05:49PM

        by davester666 (155) on Friday November 13 2015, @05:49PM (#262771)

        Yes, effectively, the union is sitting on both sides of the table and you can't 'negotiate' with yourself.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Friday November 13 2015, @07:31PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:31PM (#262799) Journal

      The bank, which is owned by the union, negotiated with said union for a workers contract.
      How you say "conflict of interest".

       
      It's two different unions:
       
      Amalgamated Bank is majority-owned by Workers United, an SEIU Affiliate.
      The union representing the employees is OPEIU International (Office and Professional Employees International Union)

      • (Score: 1) by andersjm on Saturday November 14 2015, @12:46PM

        by andersjm (3931) on Saturday November 14 2015, @12:46PM (#263207)

        There's still no conflict, only interest. Both parties to a negotiation want the same thing, so they agree on it.

  • (Score: 2) by deimios on Friday November 13 2015, @08:22AM

    by deimios (201) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2015, @08:22AM (#262557) Journal

    So let me get this straight: the least payed employees are the ones that have the most contact with the customers. Sounds like a recipe for success...

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by davester666 on Friday November 13 2015, @09:29AM

      by davester666 (155) on Friday November 13 2015, @09:29AM (#262564)

      You certainly can't have the commoners mixing with important people.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Friday November 13 2015, @09:40AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2015, @09:40AM (#262569) Journal

      the least payed employees are the ones that have the most contact with the customers. Sounds like a recipe for success...

      It is. They don't even need much supervision either: one customer complaint and it's half a paycheck gone for the month; two such complaints and you are out. With unemployment still high, can hire a replacement in half a day.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @01:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @01:52PM (#262631)

      This is how it works in most stores... Or did you think grocery store managers make less than the cashiers and baggers?

    • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Friday November 13 2015, @04:11PM

      by SanityCheck (5190) on Friday November 13 2015, @04:11PM (#262709)

      This is not software development.

  • (Score: 1) by Osamabobama on Friday November 13 2015, @05:00PM

    by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday November 13 2015, @05:00PM (#262742)

    I hope you have your bloat blockers engaged before clicking the links to the bank's site.

    You actually expect readers to click on the links? Before commenting? Where am I?

    --
    Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @05:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @05:59PM (#262774)

    When consumers have more income, corporations raise prices to boost their profits. The products still cost the same to make, but why not charge the customers more, "just because we can"?

  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday November 13 2015, @07:02PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:02PM (#262790) Journal

    That means that about a third of bank tellers rely on some kind of public [assistance], such as Medicaid, food stamps, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, to get by.
     
    Glad to know my tax dollars are going to subsidize these banks' manpower/benefits costs...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @08:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @08:52PM (#262824)

      Banks make billions in profit every year. They can afford to pay their employees without raising fees.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @09:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @09:24PM (#262838)

      It sounds like you are in favor of a mandated living wage.
      Further, it sounds like you think it is unfair that *some* companies (WalMart[1], et al) get to sponge off the taxpayer.
      N.B. Those companies actually hand out how-to-get-federal-aid advice sheets and the corresponding forms when someone signs on with them.

      [1] That would be the company in the USA with the largest number of employees, having displaced General Motors years ago.

      We should note here that no worker in Denmark is paid less than $20/hr--and they don't have a mandated minimum wage there.
      Clearly, the USA's system is anti-competitive and horribly broken.

      -- gewg_