American Federation of Teachers Dumps Wells Fargo Promotion Over Bank’s NRA Ties
After a failed attempt at negotiations, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) which represents 1.7 Million teachers nationwide, said on Thursday that it removed Wells Fargo’s mortgage benefit from it’s website due to the bank’s ties with the NRA.
Despite our several attempts, by phone and email, to schedule such a meeting, your office’s response has been radio silence,” said the letter, signed by the union’s president, Randi Weingarten. “We can only assume,” the letter added, “that the NRA business is more valuable to you than students and their educators are.
The union has also been putting pressure on other institutions and lenders to eliminate programs backed by the NRA and firearms industry, or find programs which take a stand against firearms altogether.
Wells Fargo later issued a statement in reply to the AFT’s decision to remove the benefit and said:
We remain deeply committed to the financial success of teachers and all of our customers. Wells Fargo wants schools and communities to be safe from gun violence, but changes to laws and regulations should be determined through a legislative process that gives the American public an opportunity to participate. We remain firm in our belief that the American public does not want banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.
To further echo the lender’s sentiment, Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo CEO said: “I don’t know if banks or credit card companies or any other financial institution should be the arbiter of what an American can buy.”
According to CNBC, “the teachers union is also putting pressure on its pension managers, who oversee $3 trillion of teacher retirement savings, to push fund companies to shed gun-maker stocks, offer funds that specifically exclude gun-related investments or drop investment managers that refuse.”