From the Business Today section of The Buffalo News:
- Big banks targeted in protest as labor calls for action on jobs - George Pyle/The Buffalo News
With the clink of poker chips sounding in the background, two dozen labor activists gathered in the shadow of downtown Buffalo’s Bank of America branch to demand that the country’s big banks act — or be forced to act — to restore some of the 9 million jobs that were lost in the financial crisis that those banks caused. ...
Part of the protest was the self-described theatrics of three labor supporters, dressed in business suits and labeled “Bank of America,” “Buffalo Niagara Partnership” and “Health Care Industry” playing poker. “Gambling with our lives,” the sign said. ...
In similar “Make Wall Street Pay” events across the county, local chapters of the AFL-CIO are calling for the federal government to continue extensions of unemployment insurance, food assistance and health benefits, to hire more people to repair the nation’s “crumbling infrastructure,” provide more assistance to cash-starved state and local governments and use bank bailout money more directly to get credit flowing to small business for job creation.
After I filed the story and moved on to my next assignment, this reply came from Bank of America's media people:
Bank of America has a long tradition of investing and supporting our communities and we agree that the jobs situation is critically important. Bank of America actively supports job growth as evident with our more than 3000 open positions in the U.S. (approximately 350 of those open positions are in NY State) and more than 280,000 employees globally. ...
In 2009 the bank extended more than $758 billion in credit in both consumer and commercial sectors, more than any other bank. Also, the bank extended more than $16 billion in credit to small-and medium-business customers. For 2010 we have pledged to increase lending to these businesses by $5 billion.
- We’re working to strengthen the many communities we serve through community development banking. In 2009 we set a $1.5 trillion over ten years goal replacing previous goal of $750 billion. This initiative is focused on helping low- and moderate– income and minority families and neighborhoods in the areas of affordable housing, small-business and farm ownership, consumer loans and economic development....
I would also encourage you to visit http://www.bankofamerica.com/qir/quarterly_impacted_report.pdf to read the bank’s quarterly lending report.
We understand the passion that the AFL-CIO has for this issue, however we don’t necessarily agree with some of their statements or approaches.
Then, there's this:
- Dresser-Rand lays off 39 workers
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News