San Francisco, CA - Protesters picketed Wells Fargo's global corporate headquarters in the financial district here, July 10. Progressives, trade unionists, students and professionals came together to put forth the slogan "Bankers got bailed out, workers got sold out!" to the busy lunch hour crowds. Their aim was to publicly denounce the giant bank for the actions it has been trying to take against the workers at Quad City Die Casting in Moline, Illinois.
Wells Fargo wants to rescind the line of credit to the 60-year old family-owned company. Since Wells Fargo is the company's primary creditor, this will clear the way for the bank to liquidate Quad City Die Casting's assets, kicking 100 unionized workers out on the street. This is despite the fact that Wells Fargo got $25 billion from taxpayers last fall, supposedly to keep viable companies such as Quad City Die Casting afloat in the current down economy.
Said protester Pat Catolico, "Wells Fargo is behaving terribly to working people in this country, and I'm glad to be here to inform folks about it." The reaction from passersby from all kinds of walks of life was overwhelmingly positive and lots of fruitful discussions took place. Even several bank workers made a point to come down and greet the protesters and tell them they were right to call out Wells Fargo for its hypocrisy and greed in the matter.
Protests have erupted across the country condemning the bank's double dealing with the Quad City workers. Earlier, Wells Fargo sought to do the same thing with the nearly 4000 workers of the Hartmarx company in Des Plaines Illinois, before backing down in the face of withering criticism from that company's workers and their supporters.
Wells Fargo has come under intense criticism lately from various quarters. It is being sued by the city of Baltimore for its predatory lending practices to minority communities, which is one of the central causes of the current recession. In California, there have been protests in the Chicano community against the bank for its ties to the GEO group, which runs private prisons and detention facilities for immigrants. Wells Fargo is also complicating California's budget crisis by refusing to honor the IOU's the state is issuing to its contractors.