April 12th, 2018

Gun Politics: Teachers Union Issues ‘Ultimatum’ to Wells Fargo

AFT Teachers union boycott Wells Fargo NRA gun control

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) plans to boycott Wells Fargo unless that bank stops doing business with the NRA and gun makers. AFT President Randi Weingarten stated: “We’re issuing Wells Fargo an ultimatum — they [sic] can have a mortgage market that includes America’s teachers, or they can continue to do business with the NRA and gun manufacturers. They can’t do both.” The AFT has publicly stated that if Wells Fargo continues to support firearms businesses and the NRA, the AFT will discontinue its popular Wells Fargo mortgage program offered to teach union members. According to Bloomberg, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $430 million to firearms companies over the years. Wells also operates accounts for the NRA.

Report by Dave Dolbee of Cheaper Than Dirt Blog
Last week, the AFT released correspondence between Weingarten and Wells Fargo President Tim Sloan. The release outlined the union’s concerns about Wells Fargo’s connections with the NRA — as well as its threat to stop offering Wells Fargo mortgages, if Wells Fargo continues being the NRA banker. The Wells Fargo mortgage program is part of the Union Privilege program. More than 20,000 AFT members currently hold mortgages through the program.

If Wells Fargo fails to meet the AFT’s demands, the AFT says it will push other Union Privilege organizations to boycott Wells also. The AFL-CIO was copied on the AFT’s demands to Well Fargo.

AFT President Weingarten declared: “The lives of students and educators must be valued more than guns. This is America — Wells Fargo has the right to be the NRA banker, but we have rights too. That’s why if Tim doesn’t ditch his guns business, we’ll ditch Wells Fargo. No words will dissuade us from our view that our society must value people over profits. We have a responsibility on behalf of our members and their students who face potential gun violence every day.”

Dave Dolbee asks some key questions about this AFT ultimatum: “I wonder how the members of the ATF feel about the move. I mean, did the membership vote for this?” Doblee wonders if the interests of the majority of AFT members are really being served by this boycott, or whether an extremist policy has been adopted based on the political viewpoints of a handful of AFT leaders.

Points to Ponder — Guns vs. Cell-Phones
While the events in Parkland, Florida were tragic, and the nation must develop strategies to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, there are other risks to young students that may be statistically far more significant than gun violence. Newsday.com reports that over 3000 school-age teens die every year in vehicle accidents caused by texting while driving. Another 300,000 teens are injured in texting-related driving accidents.

That works out to 54 teen deaths per week from texting while driving. That is three times the Parkland HS death toll. Will the AFT teachers’ union demand that Wells Fargo stop doing business with smart-phone manufacturers or cellular providers? By distracting teen drivers, cell phones kill countless more students every year than do firearms. So which problem truly deserves more attention from policy-makers?

AFT Teachers union boycott Wells Fargo NRA gun control

Similar Posts:

Tags: , , , , , ,