A win for bank workers: Santander takes step towards a fair wage in the U.S.
Banco Santander workers in the United States have won another victory in their campaign to make the bank’s American subsidiary a responsible employer.
Santander announced last week that it would raise its minimum wage to $15-an-hour, bringing it in line with others in the industry. The announcement undoubtedly came from pressure created by the Committee for Better Banks, a coalition of bank workers, community and consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations coming together to improve conditions in the bank industry.
Bank worker advocates applaud the step but believe that Santander should do more.
“Santander is one of the last banks to institute a $15 minimum wage, raising pay only after the industry’s largest banks and smaller regional banks also responded to calls for higher wages from bank tellers and call center workers across the country. We know this wouldn’t have happened without workers and communities standing up together for $15 and building a movement to change on our country’s most profitable industries,” said Teresa Casertano, global organizing coordinator with the Communications Workers of America, a lead organization in the Committee for Better Banks.
“While today marks a step forward for some families, it appears that there are still many Santander employees in Puerto Rico and at Santander Consumer, the nation’s largest subprime autolender, fighting for $15. Across Santander’s entire footprint, more than 15,000 are fighting for right to join together to improve their jobs, end predatory practices, and ensure that all Santander workers have a living wage."
UNI Finance has supported bank workers’ efforts to win better wages and the right to form a union without intimidation. Last year, it brought U.S. Santander workers to London to meet with their union colleagues.