American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten announced on Thursday that the union would cut ties with Wells Fargo due to the bank’s relationship with the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.
Earlier this month, the AFT outlined the union’s concerns about Wells Fargo’s connections with the NRA as well as its intention 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, and approximately 1,600 AFT members have opted for these mortgages annually. More than 20,000 AFT members currently hold mortgages through the program.
The AFT will officially remove the bank from its list of approved lenders, sending a letter to each of its state federation leaders alerting them of the change. The AFT will urge other Union Privilege members to follow suit.
“It can be the bank for America’s teachers, or it can be the bank for the NRA and gun manufacturers. But, given the NRA’s refusal to even help mitigate gun violence, Wells Fargo can’t be both,” Weingarten said.
“Other companies, like Bank of America, BlackRock and Vanguard, have stepped up and engaged in meaningful conversations about what responsible relationships with gun companies look like, but Wells Fargo won’t. In fact, when we tried to schedule a meeting to discuss it, its friends at NRATV started launching vile attacks on teachers and personal attacks against me.”