Wells Fargo worker asks CEO for raise in email, CC'ing hundreds of thousands
Ben Rooney | 10/13/2014, 11:30 a.m.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) A Wells Fargo worker decided to ask his CEO for a raise and wanted everyone at the company to know about it.
So he emailed the CEO and CC'd hundreds of thousands of his co-workers.
Now, the whole world knows about it.
The employee, Tyrel Oates, asked Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf to take a stance on income inequality by offering all 300,000 employees a $10,000 raise.
Oates estimates that an across-the-board pay raise would cost the bank $3 billion, "just a small fraction of what Wells Fargo pulls in annually." In the email, a copy of which was obtained by CNNMoney, he pointed out that in the second quarter alone the bank had earned $5.7 billion.
Oates did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But he told The Charlotte Observer that he's not worried about his job.
By boosting workers' pay, Oates said Wells Fargo will "help to make its people, its family, more happy, productive, and financially stable."
Oates urged Stumpf to consider the "positive publicity" the bank would enjoy by giving workers a raise "in a time of extreme consumer skepticism towards banks."
The bank also has an opportunity to set an example for other big corporations by making its workers' a priority. Wells Fargo could "show the rest of the United States, if not the world, that, yes, big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors."
Oates also notes that Stumpf, who routinely ranks as one of the highest paid bank CEOs in America, personally took in over $19 million last year, "more than most of the employees will see in a life time."
The email came with the subject line "income inequality" was marked "high" importance. The list of recipients was 15 pages long and included individual Wells Fargo employees and distribution groups. The Observer estimates that 200,000 employees were copied.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said the bank offers its employees "market competitive compensation" that includes base pay, benefits and other "career-development opportunities." The bank added that the pay it offers "significantly exceed" federal minimums.
Oates acknowledges that Wells Fargo offers pretty good benefits like 401(K).
He also acknowledges that he works at a bank that is extremely profitable. However, Oates points out the profits are not evenly shared among employees and that with the exception of upper management, the majority of workers barely make enough to live comfortably on their own income.
He ends his email with a clarion call to his co-workers: "It is time that we ask, no, it is time that we demand to be rightfully compensated for the hard work that we accomplish ... And while the voice of one person in a world as large as ours may seem only like a whisper, the combined voices of each and all of us can move mountains!"
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