NEW YORK, July 12, 2016 – Today, Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, issued the following statement on JP Morgan Chase’s decision to raise its minimum wage for workers. Last year, Amalgamated Bank became the first bank in the nation to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour and called on the entire banking industry to join their fight for a higher minimum wage. Amalgamated Bank was also a strong public supporter of raising the minimum wage in California, New York and Washington, DC.
"We are pleased to see JP Morgan has joined our fight to raise the minimum wage for banks. If there is one industry that can afford to give its workers an honest living wage, it's the banking industry.
"JP Morgan's actions today are a step in the right direction, but more must be done if we are to do what is fair and just for our bank employees. Just as we did last summer, we call on the entire banking industry to recognize the problem and take action by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour to ensure an honest and decent living wage for everyone."
Last summer the National Employment Law Project issued a study on salaries in the banking industry. Among other things, the study found:
- Over 30% of people working in the retail banking industry make less than $15 per hour.
- The median hourly wage for bank tellers is $12.44.
- Almost three-quarters (74.1 percent) of bank tellers in the United States earn less than $15 per hour. Almost half of bank customer service representatives (44.2 percent) earn less than $15 per hour.
- The workforce is overwhelmingly female; more than five in six bank tellers (84.3 percent) are women.
- Latinos account for almost 20 percent of bank tellers, while they constitute 16.5 percent of the total U.S. workforce. White workers account for about 61 percent of bank tellers, and they account for 64.5 percent of the total U.S. workforce. African Americans make up slightly more than 11 percent of bank tellers, which is roughly equivalent to their share of the overall workforce.
The full NELP study can be found here: