COMP NEWS – Wells Fargo is handing out $1,000 bonuses to many of its lower-paid employees in recognition of their efforts, and perhaps in response to recent unionization talks.

Wells Fargo is awarding a bonus of $1,000 to many of its lower-paid employees — a one-time cash grant that comes amid a unionization push at the megabank.

The $1.9 trillion-asset company notified U.S. workers this week that they are eligible for the special cash award if they earned a salary of less than $75,000 last year, and their total cash compensation was less than $85,000. In addition, employees must meet certain criteria related to job performance and conduct.

Some international employees are also eligible, though workers based in India and the Philippines will qualify only if their salary is $25,000 or less.

“Our employees have worked hard over the last year to serve our customers in branches, over the phone, and in operations centers — or supported the employees who do — making a real difference for our company and customers,” Wells Fargo

spokesperson Laurie Kight said in a written statement. “We are pleased to offer this incentive payment to certain U.S. and international employees to recognize their efforts.”

Joe Hertz, a Wells Fargo employee involved in one of several unionization efforts, thinks that the bonuses are an attempt to ease the ongoing campaigns.

Joe Hertz, who works for Wells Fargo in Des Moines, Iowa, was one of the employees who received an email about the one-time bonuses. He said that he and his colleagues were surprised by the bank’s message. After reading the eligibility criteria, he expects to receive a $1,000 bonus.

In Hertz’s roughly 22 years at the San Francisco-based bank, the only other time that Wells made a similar award to employees was during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that was under different circumstances, he said.

Hertz is involved in the efforts to unionize Wells Fargo’s workforce, and he attributes the bank’s decision to offer the one-time bonuses to the organizing campaign.

“I read it as a direct response to our union efforts,” Hertz, who is an associate analyst at the bank, said in an interview. “I think not only can we take credit. I think we deserve to take credit.”

To read more about Wells Fargo’s bonuses, click here.

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