iOS app Android app

Keith Mestrich
Keith Mestrich is President and Chief Executive Officer of Amalgamated Bank, the largest majority-owned union bank in the United States. A 25-year veteran of the labor movement, Keith has served as Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Chief of Staff for SEIU's Workers United Conference. Amalgamated Bank's core customers include unions and their funds, progressive not-for-profit institutions and political organizations, as well as the members of those groups.

Entries by Keith Mestrich

Currency of Banking Isn't Dollars - It's Trust

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 11:07 AM


As published on CNNMoney on May 22, 2015.

When five of the world's biggest banks were busted this week for manipulating the cost of dollars and euros, they did more than violate antitrust laws. They violated the public trust.

The hefty...

Read Post

We Must Tackle the Financial Barriers to U.S. Citizenship

(3) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 9:11 PM

Co-authored by Keith Mestrich, President & CEO of Amalgamated Bank and Charles Wowkanech, Chairman of We Are One New Jersey.


The debate in Washington around immigration tends to focus on how the United States should address the millions of immigrants who are here...

Read Post

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 2015

(106) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 5:14 PM


This week marks 104 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, a tragedy that changed our country forever. On that horrible day, dangerous workplace conditions started a fire at a garment factory in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Within 20 minutes, 146 people were dead -almost...

Read Post

New Municipal ID Opens New Doors to Financial Mainstream for Thousands

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 11:29 AM


You work hard for two weeks and payday finally comes. But instead of a quick stop at an ATM to deposit your check, you go to a payday loan store and wait in line. You finally get to the head of...

Read Post

3 Banking Regulations We Can't Let Republicans Take Away

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 2:48 PM


Beginning in January, Republicans will have their largest majority in the U.S. House of Representatives since World War II along with a new majority in the Senate. They have already signaled that one of their first priorities will be to repeal or cripple...

Read Post

Why Powerful Forces Want to Curb the Youth Vote -- and Why We Can't Let Them

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 10:50 PM


If the right to vote is the heart of American democracy, the participation of youth is its lifeblood. The passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, was one of the crowning achievements of the student and...

Read Post

Let's Help Give Every Citizen the Chance to Vote

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:47 PM


It might at first seem that a bank would have little in common with a youth-focused get-out-the-vote organization. But this month, our organizations -- Amalgamated Bank and Rock the Vote -- are joining together to encourage New Yorkers to register to vote and...

Read Post

Preserve Our Democracy: Protect Voters' Rights

(1) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 4:41 PM

As a nation, we've come a long way since voting was reserved for landholding white men. But if we don't act now, new threats to voting rights could reverse that progress -- and threaten the vitality of our democracy.

Though slow and unsteady, the gradual expansion of voting rights...

Read Post

Why I Love My Bank Regulator

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 4:35 PM


Many financial sector executives are not fans of bank regulators -- to put it mildly. But I have a different perspective: I love my bank regulator. Here's why -- and why you should, too.

This week marks four years since the passage of...

Read Post

Be Patriotic: Fight for Progressive Change

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 8:19 PM


Here's what I'm going to be saying this Fourth of July: "I love America. But if we're to reach our full potential, we should be looking outside our own country to learn a few things." That might seem like an unpatriotic sentiment on...

Read Post

Why We Need Paid Sick Leave Now

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 2:02 PM

Have you ever had to choose between going to work sick and paying for groceries? Lisa, a food service worker from Kissimmee, Florida, has. When she developed a bad gum infection, she came down with a fever, terrible pain, and inflammation so bad that her right eye was...

Read Post

The Threat of CEO-to-Worker Pay Disparity and How to Change It

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 3:40 PM

While many workers at some of our nation's largest companies earn less than eight dollars an hour, it's a safe bet that their CEOs are earning eight-figure salaries. That's not hyperbole; just last week we learned that a typical CEO now earns $10.5 million per year, a new...

Read Post

On Minimum Wage, Follow Seattle's Lead

(5) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 5:41 PM


Earlier this month, while Republicans in Congress were torpedoing efforts to raise the federal minimum wage, leaders in Seattle took a big step in the opposite direction - announcing a plan that would require employers to pay workers in the city at least...

Read Post

Since Bangladesh Factory Collapse, What Has Changed?

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 6:56 PM


One year ago on Thursday, Rana Plaza, a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, killing over 1,100 and injuring over 2,500 -- the worst garment factory accident in history. Workers trapped inside the building had been making clothes for popular western companies like Walmart,...

Read Post

Making Banking Work for Everyone

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 10:42 AM

Last week's news that Congress and state officials are working to crack down on the payday loan industry was welcome--and overdue. For too long, America has been facing a crisis hiding in plain sight: Nearly 1/3 of the U.S. population is unbanked or underbanked. These are...

Read Post

Why the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Is Important Today

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 1:10 PM

It may not seem that the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, which happened over a century ago in New York City, would be relevant today -- but it is. It was a tragedy that opened the nation's eyes to poor working conditions in garment factories and other workplaces, and set in...

Read Post