Don't Let Wells Fargo Be a Roadblock to Economic Recovery
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Wells Fargo is a roadblock to economic recovery. That's what members of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers (UE) are claiming, as they literally blocked a busy Rock Island, Illinois, intersection late last week to protest Wells Fargo's decision to cut off credit to the Quad City Die Casting factory.
100 Quad City factory employees risk losing their jobs if Wells Fargo doesn't extend tens of thousands of dollars in credit to continue day-to-day operating costs. So why won't Wells Fargo use some of its $25 billion in bailout funds to keep this factory afloat, particularly when the Illinois-Iowa Quad Cities region is losing $6.1 million in wages and tax revenue annually? According to UE organizer Leah Fried, "[Wells Fargo] want[s] to get out from under the TARP money because they want to get out from the scrutiny. They're hoarding." Wells Fargo has even gone so far as to prevent the company from paying the wages and benefits owed to its employees, which prompted UE to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board last week.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.