United Voice : US/Eastern 19 October 2012
More than fifty United Voice cleaners and supporters met yesterday at the Commonwealth Bank on Queen Street, Brisbane, to make small individual deposits into the Australians for a Living Wage for CommBank Cleaners account.
The group formed an orderly queue, which stretched out the door, onto the footpath. Each person calmly waited their turn to deposit five cents into the account, accompanied by a deposit slip calling on the Commonwealth Bank to pay cleaners a fair wage.
United Voice is targeting the Commonwealth Bank because, through its retail arm Colonial First State Global Asset Management, the bank owns shopping centres in which cleaners are overworked and underpaid. It is one of the most profitable financial institutions in the world, and recently posted a profit of over $7 billion, yet its cleaners earn only $17 an hour.
Interested bank customers stopped to ask what the story was, and wished the CleanStart campaign the best.
Despite the peaceful nature of the event, and the politeness of the bank staff, the response from CommBank was to call in the police, who instructed the group to leave the premises or be arrested for trespass.
It seems that CommBank isn't so keen on banking with you after all.