Unions Target Bank Tellers…Again

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) supported the Fight for $15 Campaign and its goal to obtain a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers. After receiving no traction in that campaign, unions are now targeting the banking sector and bank tellers specifically.

This is not the first time that unions have targeted the banking industry. While the rest of the country was working toward recovering from the Great Recession of 2008, unions tried to capitalize on the negative image associated with banks and organize bank employees. The SEIU spearheaded that unsuccessful movement.

Undeterred by the SEIU’s failure, the Communication Workers of America is now backing a coalition called the Committee for Better Banks. The Committee for Better Banks is made up of bank workers, community and consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations. This coalition is leading a movement to seek higher wages for bank workers with the ultimate goal of achieving union representation for these workers. Apparently, unions are following the sound business practice of “if at first you fail, try, try, again.” While only time will tell whether tellers are open to the unions’ message this time around, banks should take this coalition seriously and ensure they are implementing best practices for union avoidance.

Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at maustin@ralaw.com.