WHAT'S WITH WELLS FARGO?

Remember when the name "Wells Fargo" conjured up something positive? It was the fast express service of the 1800s, delivering money, mail, and other materials "ocean to ocean" by means of speedy, six-horse stagecoaches.

Remember when the name “Wells Fargo” conjured up something positive? It was the fast express service of the 1800s, delivering money, mail, and other materials “ocean to ocean” by means of speedy, six-horse stagecoaches.

Today, though, Wells Fargo bank is more like the stagecoach from hell, intent on delivering bad news to working folks. In January, fresh from receiving a $25 billion bailout from us taxpayers, this banking behemoth cut off credit to Hartmarx, America’s largest maker of men’s clothing. This forced the otherwise-successful company into bankruptcy, costing 4,000 workers their jobs.

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But there’s good news. Those laid-off union workers refused to lay down, instead rallying broad public support that recently compelled Wells Fargo bankers to back off from plundering the assets of Hartmarx. Instead, the bank has begrudgingly accepted a bid from another company to buy the business, keep the factories open, and rehire the workers.

However, Wells Fargo’s stagecoach of economic devastation has now arrived in Moline, Illinois, where the bankers dismounted and severed the credit lifeline of Quad City Die Casting. With no financing for its manufacturing operations, this viable business was forced to close in early July, costing the region 100 good jobs. Wells Fargo – which We the People kept going with our bailout – has refused even to sit down with the union workers to help keep their plant going. The bankers have also cut off health-care benefits and are refusing to pony-up vacation pay owed to the employees.

Once again, though, the workers are battling back, seeking public support to rein in these banksters who are using our bailout money to eliminate good jobs and stifle America’s economic recovery. To help, check the United Electrical union’s website: www.ueillinois.org.

“Workers at Des Plaines suitmaker jubilant for victory over liquidation,” www.dailyherald.com , June 29, 2009.

“Wells Fargo Cheats Union Families By Cutting Off Health Care,” www.alternet.org, July 7, 2009.

“Worker Uprising Against Wells Fargo Spreads After Major Victory to Keep Factories Open,” www.alternet.org, July 3, 2009.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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