Bank Workers at Santander Demand a Voice in the Workplace
Bank workers in the Committee for Better Banks – a coalition formed by CWA, bank workers, and other community and consumer advocates – are speaking out for better working conditions.
This week, Santander workers, customers, and consumer advocates in Dallas and Boston delivered letters demanding that Santander executives respect workers' right to form a union and treat American workers and customers with the same standards as it treats those abroad.
Bank workers around the world showed their support. Thousands of Santander workers in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Germany held protests in support of their American co-workers.
"Our neighbors and communities trust us to help them – whether it's with a loan or saving for their kid's college tuition – but Santander executives choose to put us in an impossible position between providing for our families and doing what's best for our customers," said Peggy Spencer, a Santander worker and Committee for Better Banks member in the Dallas area. "We're taking our first major step to winning a voice on the job, improving working conditions and putting an end to discriminatory, deceptive practices that are holding back thousands of families."
Santander is one of the world's largest banks with more than $555 million in profits each month from a growing fleet of banks in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England, and its subsidiary Santander Consumer USA is the country's largest subprime auto lender, bringing in $4 billion in the last four years.
But even as Santander's profits grow, the bank faces increasing scrutiny of its risky and unethical business practices. A new report by the Committee for Better Banks finds that Santander's home mortgage lending discriminates against thousands of low-income borrowers and borrowers of color in cities throughout the Northeast, including denying more than 26% of borrowers of color a mortgage loan.
Santander is the only bank in America to fail the Federal Reserve stress test three years in a row, raising concerns from members of Congress and regulators about its ability to serve its more than 2 million U.S. customers. In just the last couple of years, Santander has been fined more than $1 billion for deceptive practices from illegal overdrafts and overcharging Black and Latino customers to illegally repossessing cars owned by members of the U.S. armed services serving overseas.
Santander workers, customers, and consumer advocates in Dallas and Boston delivered letters demanding that Santander executives respect their right to form a union and treat American workers and customers with the same standards as it treats those abroad. Thousands of Santander workers in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Germany held protests in support of their American co-workers.