Organized labor in Florida is asking its members to pull their funds out of major banks that are supporting what labor leaders call a union-busting bill in that state’s legislature.
The AFL-CIO campaign is targeting Bank of America, Wachovia, Regions and other big banks and asking its members to “find a local community bank or credit union that deserves our business.”
At issue is the Florida Chamber of Commerce support for a proposed “Paycheck Protection Act” before the state Senate, which would bar the collection of union dues from public employees and the use of those dues for political purposes.
“This bill is a blatant attempt at ‘union busting’ and silencing the voice of our Middle America members to engage in the political process,” charged state AFL-CIO leaders joined by representatives of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Fraternal Order of Police, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Service Employees International Union.
The AFL-CIO statement said unions representing central Florida teachers, firefighters, police and other government workers are pulling an estimated $10 million from the five banks.
The AFL-CIO said it is targeting those banks which are members of the Chamber for what they call an attack on public workers.
“We are asking our 20,000 members to withdraw their personal money from Bank of America, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, Sun Trust and Wachovia,” said a statement issued at a press briefing last week.
A sampling of CUs in Tampa and Orlando found no unusual activity so far “though it’s a little early,” said a spokeswoman for one CU who asked not to be identified.