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.