Solidarity for the win - victory against Chase Bank

SeaSol members after demand delivery at Chase

Seattle Solidarity Network gets a Chase Bank customer $1000 he was owed by a swift direct action campaign.

Submitted by 888 on September 7, 2011

Seattle Solidarity Network member Neftali walked out of a Chase Bank in downtown Seattle on Thursday with a check for $1,000 in his hands. This is something that in and of itself is not unusual. He is a Chase customer. Plenty of customers walk out of Chase Bank with money. But this was not just any check. This was a check issued by the bank to correct an error that they had made months ago, and he got that money because Seattle Solidarity (SeaSol for short) helped him fight Chase Bank.

A long-time member of SeaSol, Neftali, was converting $3000 out of his major corporate bank account into Canadian dollars. He presented his valid temporary license along with his expired photo ID during the initial transaction, and it was sufficient and accepted by the teller. When the money was ready and he returned to pick it up, the assistant manger hassled him again and again regarding his form of ID and said that he needed a US passport, seemingly insinuating he did not have legal immigration status. After he complained to the manager, they let him use his card and pin as a form of ID-which is standard procedure at Chase. The teller opened the envelope and gave him $1785, when he was supposed to receive $2785.

He did not realize they shorted him at first and went on his vacation after leaving the bank, flustered about the entire interaction. When he got back to the states he realized that they had shorted him $1000 after looking at his transaction receipt. He confronted the assistant manager, explaining that he thought they probably only forgot the extra 10 $100 bills in the envelope which was mistakenly not given to him-- and wanted them to check the video. She wouldn't believe him and refused to let him watch the video of the teller counting the money. She did, however, admit that the teller broke policy by opening the envelope and not directly handing him it.

Once he realized he was not going to get anywhere by dealing directly with the bank, he brought the issue to the attention of SeaSol. After discussion and research the group decided to take on the fight. On May 31, we delivered a demand delivery with about 30 people to the manager of the Chase branch where the transaction occurred. This demand was very simple - show us the tape of the teller transaction or give our member his money. We gave them two weeks to do one or the other, and if not further action would be taken.

This is us after we delivered the demand letter to Chase

To no one's surprise Chase Bank did not meet our deadline. So we began a campaign of direct action tactics, starting with postering (at first we just put up posters about the fight and Chase, and then we moved on to using the bank manager's name) around the branch. We held several pickets, including two roving pickets marching to several branches in the downtown Seattle area and handing our fliers to people passing by.

Photo of one of our pickets

Through sheer persistence and the use of several direct action tactics our member was contacted by Chase with a message that they they would like to meet with him and settle this matter. On Thursday he went in with two SeaSol members and was given a cashier's check for $1,000.


More about SeaSol:

Seattle Solidarity ("SeaSol") is a volunteer network of working people who believe in standing up for our rights. Our goal is to support our fellow workers' strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organize to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful.
Join us! Let's fight to win.

I've only been working with them for about four months but I am so impressed by the dedication, perseverance, and complete willingness to stand up and fight despite the odds for people who might otherwise walk away from a righteous fight.

Solidarity for the win - because an injury to one is an injury to all.

Written by "Just Jennifer"



12 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by plasmatelly on September 7, 2011

Nice one!


12 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by S-J on September 25, 2011

Good stuff! Another in a string of 'little victories' latley (like SolFed's 'Office Angles' campaign and the IWW cleaners strikes in London) showing direct action and solidarity actually working. Warms yer heart, don't it?


12 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by no1 on September 26, 2011

well done!

Chilli Sauce

12 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by Chilli Sauce on September 26, 2011

Yeah! Big congrats!


12 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by Khawaga on September 26, 2011