Workers Want A Piece of the Wells Fargo Pie

More than 100 workers rallied at the Wells Fargo in Minneapolis calling on the bank to stop funding job killing politicians and use some of the federal bailout funds to aid Minnesota job seekers. Between Political Action Committee contributions and employee contributions, Wells Fargo has given more than $5 million to politicians, including at least $8,700 to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, $12,250 to Congressman John Kline, and $28,000 to Congressman Erik Paulsen. All of them Republicans. More than $10,000 of donations to Paulsen came directly from the Wells Fargo PAC, with additional money as a personal contribution from Wells Fargo CEO Jon Campbell.

The protesters watched as actors with large masks representing Bachmann, Paulson, Kline and Campbell consumed cream pies without giving any to the watching workers.

Wells Fargo’s Political Action Committee and executives have funded other politicians like Paulsen, Kline, and Bachmann, who are pushing radical budget cuts that will kill the jobs of teachers, nurses, and other hardworking Minnesotans. Minnesota Wells Fargo CEO Jon Campbell serves as chair of the board of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce that opposed Democratic Governor Mark Dayton’s plan to raise income taxes on the richest two percent of taxpayers, and instead supported an all-cuts budget for the state that slashed education and healthcare funding.

Where the money goes – pie charts

While watching the pie eaters, protesters passed out pie pan flyers illustrating the unfair distribution of funds.

“Wells Fargo continues to make billions of dollars in profit off of a taxpayer-funded bailout. Working families shared a piece of the pie with them, and now, rather than sharing a piece of the pie with working families, Wells Fargo has instead foreclosed on homes, laid off Twin Cities workers, and funded job-killing politicians,” said Donna Cassutt, a spokesperson for Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, the coalition that sponsored the action. “It’s time Jon Campbell and Wells Fargo used their vast wealth and gratuitous tax breaks to benefit Minnesotans struggling to make ends meet, rather than taking advantage of Minnesotans by funding their political allies.”

The protesters “chased” the offenders down Nicollet Mall to the interest and amusement of sidewalk cafe patrons. Marshals controlled intersection crossings and auto traffic. Minneapolis police watched from a respectful distance as there were no disturbances. The workers chased the “bad guy”s onto a waiting bus at Peavey Plaza, chanting, “We’ll be back!”.

Minnesotans for a Fair Economy is a coalition representing those working families that has lobbied for fair taxes and good jobs for all Minnesotans. Member groups include Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), ISAIAH, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), TakeAction Minnesota , and United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1189.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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