Durbin, Obama Urge Bank of America to Reconsider Job Loss
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today sent a letter to the CEO and President of Bank of America Corporation, Kenneth D. Lewis expressing their disappointment with the company's decision to layoff 2,500 LaSalle Bank employees over the next two years. The Illinois Senators asked Bank of America to reconsider the number of layoffs and their timing. The lawmakers also urged Bank of America to help displaced employees find new jobs and to provide severance packages.
On September 14, Senators Durbin and Obama sent a separate letter requesting a meeting with Mr. Lewis and the most senior executive who will be based in Chicago to discuss the potential impact that may result from Bank of America's acquisition of LaSalle Bank. Later that day, the Federal Reserve Board announced its approval of the application of Bank of America Corporation, to acquire LaSalle Bank Corporation.
Text of the letter appears below:
September 24, 2007
Kenneth D. Lewis
Chairman of the Board
Chief Executive Officer and President
Bank of America Corporation
Bank of America Corporate Center
100 N Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28255-0001
Dear Mr. Lewis:
We are deeply troubled by Bank of America's decision to lay off nearly 2,500 LaSalle Bank employees over the next two years. This is a regrettable consequence of the merger that has not yet had time to show benefits for Illinois consumers or business owners. We are concerned about the negative impact this decision will have on the Chicago region, and urge you to reconsider the scope and timing of these layoffs.
There are many talented people working for LaSalle Bank who will be highly sought after in the marketplace, but job losses on this scale are difficult for any community to absorb. We hope that you feel an obligation to work with the existing LaSalle leadership to provide the affected workers with robust job placement and training support as well as adequate severance pay and benefits continuation in order to soften the blow for their families.
LaSalle Bank has been rightly celebrated for their community reinvestment and philanthropic efforts. Given the job losses anticipated by your company and the impact to community, we believe that Bank of America will need to work fast and hard to regain the level of trust and goodwill from the community that LaSalle Bank enjoyed for so many years.
We look forward to working with you to that end.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
United States Senator