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Bradenton bank employees join union

Written by on Thursday, May 2, 2024

Also, this weekend 82 Sarasota truckers will vote whether to be represented by the Teamsters.

By Johannes Werner

Original Air Date: May 1, 2024

Host: It’s May Day – that means people around the world are celebrating the achievements of working people and unions. In that vein: Bank employees at a Bradenton branch of Wells Fargo last weekend voted to be represented by a union, and yesterday, their vote was certified. There’s also other union action ahead this weekend in Sarasota. Our news team has the details.

Johannes Werner: Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board certified the vote of the five Wells Fargo employees at a branch office on Manatee Avenue West. That makes it official: The employees voted 4-1 to be represented by Wells Fargo Workers United, a union affiliated with the Communications Workers of America.

Five bank employees may seem like a tiny speck, but it’s actually quite a big deal. Bankers joining unions has little to no precedent, and the Bradenton employees are among the first in the nation to get organized.

The movement to organize Wells Fargo, the third-largest bank in the U.S., began late last year at a branch in New Mexico, and it spread quickly to Florida. The first in the state to join the union was an office in Daytona Beach in January, followed by another one in the Orlando area. A vote at a branch near The Villages this month ended in draw, meaning no union representation.

That shows that joining a union is not easy. Even harder is negotiating a meaningful contract.

Reached via email, a Wells Fargo spokesperson said that only a fraction of employees have unionized.

“A small number of employees within our community of more than 230,000 Wells Fargo employees around the country has voted in favor of union representation. We continue to believe our employees are best served by working directly with a company and its leadership.”

In other local union action, 82 truck drivers with food distributor United Natural Foods in Sarasota will hold their vote this weekend whether to join the Teamsters union. Their effort comes after the company told them their jobs would be outsourced to a logistics company.

Reporting for WSLR News, this has been Johannes Werner.


WSLR News aims to keep the local community informed with our 1/2 hour local news show, quarterly newspaper and social media feeds. The local news broadcast airs on Wednesdays and Fridays at 6pm.