Letter Cohen



How mergers hurt workers

A minor, but important, point that was not mentioned in your excellent Feb. 24 article, “The last ride of Great Western,” was a discussion on the feelings of former First Interstate Bank employees who were absorbed by Great Western following First Interstate’s takeover by Wells Fargo.

There has got to be a large amount of exasperation amongst these FIB vets. Furthermore, the human element and the impact on that element as a result of these mergers has been swept under the back pages of the employee hand book.

For example, just imagine someone who may have started their banking career at Crocker Bank, who may have moved over to Security Pacific Bank when Crocker closed. And then moved to First Interstate Bank when Security Pacific disappeared and is now with Great Western.

This mythical, but still loyal, employee must be wondering why banking was ever thought to be a stable career. Stable in the sense that one began at the bottom of the ladder with the plan to work up to the top rung over the long haul within the same organization. And at the same time attaining seniority and benefits in exchange for loyalty and hard work.

Today the organization keeps changing and seniority and company loyalty have become relic ideals. Remaining in banking today requires a “bottom of the ladder” mentality. What’s next for these loyal troopers?

Lastly , the suggestion by some that an out-of-state bank would be a more desirable acquirer of Great Western because it would leave GW more or less intact as compared to the projected mass layoffs and branch closings that would occur if Home Savings acquired GW is extremely valid and is crucial to the local economy in many ways.

Our economy cannot afford to lose any more jobs nor afford any further vacant bank buildings. For these two reasons, a Home Savings acquisition is really not in anyone’s best interest even though a larger, locally based entity would be the result.

We’ve existed here for a few years without a major professional football team and we can certainly exist without a major local money-center bank as a trade-off for employees keeping their jobs.

Today, no one really cares about the displaced bank employee, the inconvenienced and overcharged customer nor the many geographic areas that are left with vacant brick and mortar structures. Stay tuned for the next installment in the days of our banks. A continuing and never ending saga.



No posts to display