Davenport, IA – Banks that accepted bailout money are coming under even more criticism as they decide to liquidate some companies in need. Wells Fargo is taking heat from local Quad City Die Casting employees and union members for forcing the company to close come July.
Resolving to get a chance to talk, about a dozen employees who work for Quad City Die Casting show up at Wells Fargo late Monday afternoon. They ride up to corporate offices with a letter asking for a meeting to discuss alternatives to liquidating the manufacturing company.
“Hopefully they give us some time for someone else to buy us out,” says Lorey Butler, QC Die Casting employee of 9 years.
They return 20 minutes later. Their request for a meeting, denied.
“They were polite, but they said no and we were polite and said that’s not good enough,” says Tim Curtin, Union Representative.
Quad City Die Casting is set to close July 12th, leaving about 100 people out of work after Wells Fargo decided not extend more credit to the company. Union workers we spoke to didn’t know how much the company owed the bank but say, the $25 billion Wells Fargo got in bailout money should help save companies like there’s.
“We’re going to hold them accountable to for the bailout money they got from us and insist that they extend credit and keep jobs in our community,” says Leah Fried, union organizer.
Wells Fargo would not grant an interview and says it can’t comment on QC Die Casting in particular. But the company did release a statement saying it has extended more than $225 billion in credit to US consumers and businesses, nine times the amount of the investment it was given. It’s a time when banks face the hard decision of which companies to save and which to let go. Nothing in the stimulus bills requires a bank to save every company that needs it. But these employees believe QC Die Casting should be saved because of its history.
“They have a future of being profitable, they were profitable just a few short months ago and can be profitable again,” says Fried.
Employees say they’ll keep demanding a meeting to see if there are any alternatives to closing the factory. But their efforts might prove futile because Wells Fargo has told them it can’t talk with employees about the company’s finances and they need to talk with their employer instead.