Robert Reich asks: Should banks pay their tellers a living wage?

When we think of minimum-wage workers, most of us think of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Walmart.

But that leaves out the financial sector. The most common jobs in banks are bank tellers. According to the National Employment Law Center, bank tellers earn an average of $12.25 an hour; a full-time teller earns $25,800 a year. That’s close to a poverty wage for a family of three. In New York State, the median bank teller gets $13.31 an hour, with the result that almost 40 percent of them receive public assistance.

Why can’t Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and other giant banks pay their tellers a decent wage? One bright note: New York’s Amalgamated Bank is the first to institute a $15 minimum wage. The Bank’s president and CEO, Keith Mestrich, has been a vocal supporter of the Fight for $15 movement, and has called on other banks to follow its lead.

What do you think? Should banks pay their tellers a living wage?

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NEWEST BOOK: “Saving Capitalism”
MOVIE: “Inequality for All.”


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