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Fair pay is good business: Amalgamated Bank supports NY legislation to increase minimum wage with cost of living
April 28, 2022
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Amalgamated Bank supports legislation to raise New York’s minimum wage annually to keep up with the rising cost of living and increased worker productivity. Increasing the minimum wage is an essential economic tool to build a thriving and resilient economy because fair wages address the economic inequality faced by many working people. This is especially the case in the financial services industry which often pays low-wages despite the popular assumption that it is a universally high-paid industry. 

That’s one reason that Amalgamated has long been active in the ‘Fight for $15’ and Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, as we raised our minimum wage to $15 in 2015 and watched other banks follow suit. In 2019, we became the first bank to offer $20 an hour to all full-time employees. We commend those banks that joined us in lifting their minimum wages as well.

Our decision paid off as good business and we have seen better customer service and greater productivity as a result of our decision to recognize the contributions that our employees make every day.

At the same time, we have seen how the rising cost of living has pressured stagnating wages paid by other banks and companies in other sectors of the economy. As a result, the Bank has also announced this week its commitment to Living Wage Initiative US, a corporate commitment to implementation of living wages. If passed, the New York legislation will catch New York City up and restore the eroded buying power of the minimum wage which will help New Yorkers become more financially secure and help New York bounce back stronger and more resilient in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our union heritage means we walk the walk when it comes to worker rights and fair wages. As a leader in the living wage movement, our decision to pay $20 an hour and support legislation that makes this the norm reflects our values and commitment to being America’s socially responsible bank.

Things we care about

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Photo of pie slices
gender equality

This year on Equal Pay Day, women are facing the dual burden of gender-based pay discrimination and increasing inflation. On average, American women not only had to work until today to make as much money as men after earning 82 cents on the dollar last year1, but their earnings also did not go as far due to rising inflation. After the “she-cession”, a term coined to describe unequal impact of the pandemic-related business restrictions that fell heaviest on industries that employ women at higher rates than men, women now struggle against “she-flation.”

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Green leaves
climate change

Today, we are taking a huge step forward in this work by setting formal targets that strive to achieve net zero emissions in both our financing and operations. Our Net Zero Climate Targets Report outlines our plan for how we expect to build and align with a climate safe future.

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corporate and social responsibility

For nearly 100 years, Amalgamated Bank has fought for a more just and sustainable world. As a bank founded by a union of immigrants, Amalgamated has long considered itself the bank for the people, advocating for workers and immigrant rights while offering unique financial services and banking solutions catered to the needs of marginalized groups.