|Bank Amalgamated Bank|
In recent years, a nationwide movement has emerged calling for a $15 per hour minimum wage for the 42 percent of the U.S. workforce that earns less than $15 an hour. The movement has been focused on the plight of low-wage workers in fast food and food service, home care and retail–sectors of the economy visibly replete with lower wage workers.
These, however, are not the only industries in which workers earn less than a living wage. In 2015, The National Employment Law Project released a study that revealed that over half a million retail banking employees in America make median hourly wages below $15. According to the study, full-time bank tellers earn $25,800 per year on average, or a median hourly wage of $12.44. In New York, the median wage for bank tellers is $13.31 per hour, leaving 39 percent of New York State bank tellers enrolled in public assistance programs.
Given that banking is one of the highest grossing industries on Earth, it is unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of bank workers fail to earn a living wage and instead rely on public assistance. Amalgamated Bank set out to change that. First, Amalgamated raised its own minimum wage to $15 an hour, becoming the first-ever financial institution to take that step. Amalgamated then publically called on the rest of the banking industry to follow its lead and raise all employees’ minimum salaries to $15 an hour.
Amalgamated also launched a multifaceted media campaign to promote its advocacy of raising the minimum wage. The campaign included digital, social media, print and subway advertisements. At amalgamatedbank.com/raisethewage, the bank made the case for a higher wage in the banking industry and in general, and it offered supporters the opportunity to add their names to a petition to Congress urging our representatives to take action to raise the federal minimum wage.
Amalgamated Bank has a longstanding commitment to supporting people in their quest to escape the cycle of poverty, provide for their families, and improve their lives. As the preeminent bank focused on restoring economic justice for all, Amalgamated is proud to be leading the charge to build an economy in which all workers enjoy the dignity of a living wage.