We all know about the increasing wage gap here in corporate America. Most people simply deal with it and continue working for measly pay, but a 30-year-old Wells Fargo employee by the name of Tyrel Oates decided to take matters into his own hands.
Last week, Oates decided to write a letter directly to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, saying that if he stepped up to the plate and shared more of the company’s profits with everyone, he could help reduce income equality in the country. Oates said that if he gave each of his Wells Fargo co-workers a $10,000 raise, it would “show the rest of the United States, if not the world, that, yes, big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors.”
Most impressive? Oates cc’d about 263,500 of his fellow Wells Fargo employees in the email. How he got the emails of so many people and had the time to cc all of them is completely beyond me.
Oates has been with the company for almost seven years and makes a little more than $15 an hour. When he first started, he was making about $13 an hour.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Wells Fargo’s CEO made $19.3 million last year. Oates also pointed out to CNNMoney that giving all of Well Fargo’s employees raises would cost about $3 billion total, a small fraction of what the company makes annually. During the second quarter alone, Wells Fargo made $5.7 billion.
Check out the email in full below:
With the increasing focus on income inequality in the United States. Wells Fargo has an opportunity to be at the forefront of helping to reduce this by setting the bar, leading by example, and showing the other large corporations that it is very possible to maintain a profitable company that not only looks out for its consumers and shareholders, but its employees as well.
This year Wells Fargo in its second quarter alone had a net income of $5.7 billion, and total revenue of $21.1 billion. These are very impressive numbers, and is obvious evidence that Wells Fargo is one of, if not the most profitable company in the nation right now. So, why not take some of this and distribute it to the rest of the employees.
Sure, the company provides while not great, some pretty good benefits, as well as discretionary profit sharing for those who partake in our 401k program. While the benefits are nice, the profit sharing through the 401k only goes to make the company itself and its shareholders more profitable, and not really boost the income of the thousands of us here every day making this company the prestigious power house that it is.
Last year, you had pulled in over $19 million, more than most of the employees will see in our lifetimes. It is understood that your position carries a lot of weight and responsibility; however, with a base salary of $2.8 million and bonuses equating to $4 million, is alone one of the main arguments of income inequality. Where the vast majority, the undeniable profit drivers, with the exception of upper management positions barely make enough to live comfortably on their own, the distribution of income in this company is no better than that of the other big players in the corporate world.
My estimate is that Wells Fargo has roughly around 300,000 employees. My proposal is take $3 billion dollars, just a small fraction of what Wells Fargo pulls in annually, and raise every employees annual salary by $10,000 dollars. This equates to an hourly raise about $4.71 per hour. Think, as well, of the positive publicity in a time of extreme consumer skepticism towards banks. By doing this, Wells Fargo will not only help to make its people, its family, more happy, productive, and financially stable, it will also show the rest of the United States, if not the world that, yes big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors.
P.S. – To all of my fellow team members who receive a copy of this email. Though Wells Fargo does not allow the formation of unions, this does not mean we cannot stand united. Each and every one of us plays an integral part in the success of this company. 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 for the great part we all have played in the success of this company. There are many of us out there who come to work every day and give it our all, yet, we struggle to make ends meet while our peers in upper management and company executives reap the majority of the rewards. One of our lowest scored TMCS questions is that our opinions matter. Well they do! This email has been sent to hundreds of thousands Wells Fargo employees, (as many as I could cc from the outlook global address book). 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!