Wells Fargo Employee Asks for a Raise

Wells-Fargo-SignIn a bold email to the CEO, a Wells Fargo branch employee asked for a raise for all employees. Copying about 200,000 people, the employee cited income inequality, the CEO's compensation, and the bank's success as reasons to provide $10,000 to each employee.

Here's the beginning of Tyrel Oates' email:

Mr. Stumpf,

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. (Read more.)

To me, his logic is flawed. An across-the-board increase does nothing to solve income inequality-and the request is oddly disconnected to Nadella's comments about women's pay at Microsoft just a few days ago.

In a Q&A with Business Insider, Oates says he's not worried about his job. He's going to college and wants to own an IT firm in the future.

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • If you were John Stumpf, the CEO of Wells Fargo, how would you respond to the email?
  • Assess Oates' logic in the full email. Where do you see flaws in his persuasive arguments?
  • What advice would you give Oates as he pursues plans to open an IT firm?