Wells Fargo employees are having meetings about us. Yes, we are starting to get under their skin.
A member from Marshalltown, Maria Alvarez, called and reported on her interaction with the branch manager when she closed her Wells Fargo account because of their investments in private prisons, predatory lending, and giant executive bonuses.
The manager was angry at her and angry at CCI that we had published an advertisement in the Spanish weekly newspaper (photo), El Enfoque, calling on the Latino community to move their money. He said the allegations about Wells Fargo’s investments in private prisons are lies and people are uninformed.
He also told her that there was a meeting of all employees at their branch to train them on how to respond to people raising the issue of Wells Fargo’s relationship with private prisons! They had seen our ad in the newspaper and a lot of people are talking about it. He told Maria that some women asked him to prove that Wells Fargo was not investing in private prisons, and another man who said he was from Latinos en Accion de CCI came and closed his account last week!
Maria, armed with CCI’s facts, laid it all out: Wells Fargo is the #3 investor in GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the nation, with 4.7 million shares. Wells Fargo has a significant financial stake in private prisons, not just a couple of shares. And between March 2011 and March 2012 they added over 800,000 shares. Not to mention that they finance factory farms, pay day lenders, and were sued for discriminatory lending.
The private prison industry contracts with federal and state governments to manage jails and have specifically targeted immigrant detention as an area where they can increase their profits. Prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) sat on ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task force which wrote Arizona’s anti-immigrant bill that passed in 2010. Since then, copies of the law have been lobbied for and passed in more states around the country so that companies like GEO Group and CCA increase their profits from the suffering of immigrant families. Organizations around the country are calling on Wells Fargo to divest from private prisons, but so far we have received a resounding NO.
Maria made sure to communicate that that she is not against him or other Wells Fargo branch workers, but the CEO John Stumpf and bank presidents who get giant bonuses and set the policies that value profit over people.
Join the Fight
Can you support our “Move our Money” team and join us for an action this Friday, June 15?
For more information on how to move your money, call Iowa CCI at 515-282-0484.
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