Teachers Union Cuts Ties With Wells Fargo Over NRA Support

Marco Green
April 21, 2018

A national teacher's union ended a program directing members in need of mortgage loans to Wells Fargo because of the bank's relationship with the National Rifle Association and gun makers.

The activity came after Wells Fargo spurned the association's call to cut loaning ties with or force new confinements on guns business accomplices following the February 14 mass shooting that murdered 17 individuals at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

In an April 3 letter to Weingarten, Sloan wrote, "We believe that the best way to make progress on the complex issues concerning gun violence is through the political and legislative process in which all citizens have the opportunity to participate".

The American Federation of Teachers has 1.7 million members and channels about 1,600 mortgages a year to Wells Fargo.

AFT's President Randi Weingarten said in a statement that when the union tried to schedule a meeting to discuss "responsible relationships with gun companies", the bank's "friends at NRATV started launching vile attacks on teachers and personal attacks against me".

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten explained the partnership ended because Wells Fargo chief executive Tim Sloan failed to meet with union officials to address concerns about the bank's ties to the gun industry. As of Thursday, she said, the union widely known by the acronym AFT would no longer offer or promote the Wells Fargo mortgage program.

"Wells Fargo needs schools and groups to be sheltered from gun savagery, yet changes to laws and controls ought to be resolved through an authoritative procedure that gives the American open a chance to take an interest", the bank said. As Charles reported for NPR's Newscast, "Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and others have limited their ties to the gun industry".

"Gun violence is a public health epidemic, and in order to help stop it, we'll stop the flow of resources to the companies that manufacture these weapons that have caused so much civilian carnage and death", Weingarten said. The AFT will urge other Union Privilege members to follow suit.

The AFT's decision to drop the bank came after multiple attempts to engage in a conversation about gun violence with CEO Tim Sloan went unanswered. But, given the NRA's refusal to even help mitigate gun violence, Wells Fargo can't be both.

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