“All of the workers we heard from today shared powerful stories about how hard they work, and how corporations and our economic policies prevent their hard work from paying off,” said Brown. “
In addition to today's listening session, Chairman Brown will hold a Committee hearing on
Excerpts from each workers' statements, as prepared for delivery today, are included below. Production-quality video is linked.
“We rarely go a few weeks without an injury. Some of which have been minor pulled muscles strain and sprains to more severe, hernias, broken bones. And on the most extreme a young man in his 20s nearly losing his leg being run over by a forklift. Largely because of the insane pace we work at. We have suggested that slowing the pace even just a little bit would improve safety and could save money, to which we were told 'Injuries don't cost the company much money.' Admitting that worker safety is less important than their profit margin,” said Shawn.
“We all grow up being taught, if you work hard you can make a good living. We have done everything right. We have done it all by the book. The security of a fair contract is all we want in exchange,” said Shawn.
“'Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.'
“During my time at Wells Fargo, I was under constant pressure to meet deadlines,” said Desiree. She went on, “We had to complete all of our assigned work each day or we would get a talking to by our manager. They pressured us to work as many hours as were necessary to complete our daily assigned tasks, like making sure every account was opened. They didn't care how many hours we worked because the bank misclassified us by turning us into salaried employees so they didn't have to pay us overtime.”
She continued, “After a couple more years, I started to miss hitting my metric goals because I had developed carpal tunnel injuries in my arms. I took some workers compensation leave. But while I was on workers comp leave, Wells Fargo filled my position and told me that I did not have a job to come back to. After all my years of service helping customers, and helping the bank reach record profits, they just tossed me aside. I was not in a position to fight this powerful bank alone. I was so angry.”
“These corporations have swindled their workers and tricked
“We deserve better. And every bank and investor pouring money into these companies should know what's really going on,” he concluded.
“We're living in poverty and working hard every day. 'Working poor' should not be two words that go together. We're working as hard as we can but we're getting pauper pay, we're getting pauper wages,” Pamela said. “And we're seeing billionaires, we're seeing corporations make billions every quarter in profit but then when we ask for a minimum wage raise, we're told 'no that will raise the cost of stuff, oh that'll cost jobs.'”
Melody detailed what happened once her employer of 13 years, Art Van, was bought by TH Lee, a private equity firm. “We were fired with no notice at all. And we all lost our health insurance. This was probably the most terrifying part for me, personally. I have underlying conditions that require medicines, and I could no longer afford to buy them. I had just bought a new car and then couldn't make payments,” she said.
Melody goes on, “The destruction of this once thriving company blew a giant hole through my entire family, my community, and the state of