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Wells Fargo workers in Bethel withdraw union petition as other branches move to unionize

The Wells Fargo branch in Bethel, Alaska. Nov. 21, 2023.
MaryCait Dolan / KYUK
The Wells Fargo branch in Bethel, Alaska. Nov. 21, 2023.

Bank workers at the Wells Fargo branch in Bethel withdrew their petition to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, Dec. 20. The withdrawal came as a surprise after workers at another Wells Fargo branch in Albuquerque, New Mexico voted to form a union on Dec. 20, becoming the first-ever Wells Fargo workers to unionize.

Walter Sexton is a personal banker at the Bethel branch who issued a statement on the union election withdrawal.

Sexton wrote “although those of us at the Bethel branch have decided to withdraw our petition and hold on moving forward with a union election at this time, our values have not changed. We believe Wells Fargo workers need a voice on the job. We believe in being advocates for ourselves and our customers. We believe change at Wells Fargo is past due.”

A Wells Fargo spokesperson said, “we are pleased with this development and look forward to continuing to engage with our employees directly.”

Francisco Martínezcuello was the KYUK News Reporting Fellow from November 2022 through January 2024. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.