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PA Group: Bank of America Head Should Be Handed His Walking Papers

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009   

Harrisburg, PA - Bank of America shareholders will hear today from company top brass as to what their stock is doing, but a Pennsylvania group also wants them to hear its call for CEO Ken Lewis to be fired. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) says Bank of America took 45 billion dollars in taxpayer bailout money, then spent millions lobbying Congress to protect its credit card and lending practices.

Emily Rizzo, organizer with the group Progressives and Democrats of the Endless Mountains, calls that corporate greed at its worst.

"The mess we're in today was not created by the taxpayers, and yet we as taxpayers are bearing the brunt of this, of the fallout."

Rizzo says replacing Lewis is a must if taxpayers hope to see a return of any kind from the bailout.

"Getting rid of Ken Lewis and getting someone in there who can actually be accountable to the taxpayers of America would go some way to changing the situation."

Rizzo says it's not just Bank of America customers and stockholders, but employees who are getting the short end. SEIU is lobbying for passage of legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize.

"Certainly, if we were able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, that would go a long way to improving the loss of their own employees."

Opponents of the act say it could allow employees to be intimidated into joining a union, but supporters say the status quo allows intimidation by employers to discourage union formation.

Lewis was hailed last fall for his decision to buy a tottering Merrill Lynch, but Bank of America stock has plummeted since and the merger is now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lewis said in March he had no plans to step down, but an interview earlier this month with a newspaper in Great Britain indicates his mind might be changing.



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