Labor activists picket Wachovia in Columbia

As part of a national effort led by the AFL-CIO, labor supporters held a lunch-time informational picket in front of Wells Fargo/Wachovia’s Columbia headquarters. Members of the SC Progressive Network joined the SC AFL-CIO, SC Alliance for Retired Americans (our newest Network member) and the Central Labor Council in passing out fliers and talking to passersby about the bank’s practices.

“America needs 11 million jobs, and big Wall Street banks should pay to rebuild jobs and the economy they helped destroy,” said Jenny Patterson, President of the Columbia Central Labor Council.

Since the recession began, America has lost nearly nine million jobs when we needed to create more than 2 million just to stay even. While Americans have lost jobs, homes, retirement savings and hope, Wall Street banks took billions in taxpayer bailouts and gave executives some $145 billion in 2009 pay and bonuses. Now they’re spending millions lobbying to kill financial reform.

The AFL-CIO is calling for a major jobs plan to extend unemployment
insurance benefits, food assistance and health benefits; rebuild our crumbling infrastructure; increase aid to state and local governments to save critical services and jobs; increase funding for neglected communities to match people who need jobs with work that needs to be done; and use TARP money to get credit flowing to small businesses for job creation.

What you should know:

* Wells Fargo/Wachovia got a $25 billion taxpayer bailout.

* Wells Fargo/Wachovia paid CEO John Stumpf $21.3 million last year.

* Wells Fargo/Wachovia spent $2.9 million on lobbying last year to kill financial reforms.

SOURCES: Company SEC filings, The New York Times, Center for Responsive Politics

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