Rep. Axne Calls on Wells Fargo to Notify Iowa Workers Displaced by Overseas Jobs

March 14, 2019
Press Release
Axne hears from more Iowa-based workers who were directed to train replacements overseas following Tuesday’s House Financial Services Wells Fargo Hearing

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03), a member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, called on Wells Fargo to notify Iowa workers whose jobs were shipped overseas, specifically to India and the Philippines.

In November 2018, Wells Fargo announced more than 400 layoffs in Des Moines. At a Financial Services Committee hearing this week, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan told Congresswoman Axne that Iowa jobs were not being shipped overseas. Since the hearing, Congresswoman Axne has heard more stories of Iowa-based Wells Fargo employees who have been directed to train replacement workers, some evening having been sent to India for this purpose.  

In light of this information, Congresswoman Axne today sent a letter to Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan requesting the company commits to a review of the 400 Iowa layoffs and subsequently notifies each and every employee whose job was lost due to outsourcing.

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

 

March 14, 2019

Mr. Tim Sloan

CEO of Wells Fargo

420 Montgomery Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104

Dear Mr. Sloan,

Thank you for testifying before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing on March 12, 2019. Wells Fargo is a major employer in the Third District of Iowa, and as such, I want to make sure your company remains invested in our community. Following your March 12th testimony, I am still concerned there are Iowan workers who have lost their jobs due to Wells Fargo expanding its operations overseas, specifically in India and the Philippines.

Over the last 10 years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has conducted nine investigations that concluded that more than 1200 Wells Fargo employees lost their jobs due to the company’s expanding overseas operations. Additionally, in a U.S. Senate Banking Committee Hearing in October, 2017, you testified that Wells Fargo replaced Americans jobs with workers in the Philippines.

In November 2018, Wells Fargo announced 400 layoffs in Des Moines. You stated in your testimony on March 12 that these jobs were not moved overseas. However, one of your former Des Moines Wells Fargo employees reported that she was told directly that her job was being moved to India.

As you know, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) was enacted more than 50 years ago to provide assistance to workers in firms hurt by foreign trade. Programs include long-term training while receiving income support. In order to receive these benefits, a petition must be filed with the Department of Labor. Once a petition is filed, the DoL investigates claims to determine if workers are eligible for TAA benefits.

A signed petition from January 2019 states, “A Wells Fargo employee located in Des Moines, IA contacted the Iowa TAA Unit indicated her job was being moved to India and they had been informed of this verbally in more than one meeting. Employees in this area of Mortgage Claims have traveled to India to train their replacements.”

This signed affidavit states that a Wells Fargo worker was told multiple times her job was moving overseas. In fact, some of her coworkers even had to go to India to train replacements. I’ve also heard reports of virtual classrooms in Des Moines being used for the purpose of training overseas replacements.

Additionally, since the hearing, I have heard more stories of Wells Fargo employees in my District who have been directed to train replacement workers in India.

I appreciate your company’s commitment to improving transparency and request transparency regarding the loss of 400 jobs in my District. I am requesting the following answers to these additional questions to better understand the situation and better serve these workers:

  1. Was your testimony accurate when you stated that the 400 lost Iowa jobs were not being replaced by overseas jobs?
  2. Will you commit to reviewing the 400 layoffs in Iowa and notifying each employee who was laid off due to outsourcing, in addition to alerting the United States Department of Labor of this?
  3. Will you also commit to the same course of action for any other employees who have been laid off due to their job moving overseas, or any future layoffs for that reason?
  4. Why has this not been the standing policy at Wells Fargo?
  5. Do you have other resources that your company offers for laid off workers?
  6. If so, how do you make those available?

I strongly oppose laying off hardworking Iowans by moving jobs overseas. However, if Iowans were displaced due to outsourcing, it is imperative they are informed so they can receive the TAA resources and proper assistance to get back on their feet.

Sincerely,

 

Cindy Axne

Member of Congress