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NYC Union Targets JPMorgan on YouTube

A union spokeswoman says the local posted the video to bring attention to the problem of identity theft. It shows a union researcher inspecting trash bags outside of the Chase branches.

May 1, 2007
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A union local in New York has posted on YouTube a videotape showing largely intact, confidential customer records that the unions says were discovered in trash bags outside of five JPMorgan Chase branches around the city.

The video was made by Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ. The local is waging a campaign to organize security workers at Chase buildings.

A union spokeswoman says it posted the video to bring attention to the problem of identity theft. The video shows SEIU researcher Jeremy Tai inspecting trash bags outside of the Chase branches.

“If the union was aware of confidential information out there, the best way would be to tell us directly, if that was their goal,” said JPMorgan Chase spokesman Tom Kelly. He declined to comment about the local’s effort to unionize the security workers.

The union said it discovered financial summary reports from two different loan applications with customer names, company names, phone numbers, birth dates and Social Security numbers outside the branch at East 69th Street and Lexington Avenue.

At the Flushing Avenue branch in Brooklyn, the union said it found a customer’s transaction history—including name, checking account number and detailed account activity—in the trash, which also yielded an internal Chase document with dozens of account names, types and numbers.

Outside a Chinatown branch in Manhattan, the union said it discovered a data sheet for a loan application, along with an application for an annuity with the applicant’s name, Social Security number, birth date and other data.

Similar forms were also found at branches in Ridgewood, Queens and Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the union said.

“We’re investigating,” says Kelly, explaining that each branch has a secure locked bin that holds documents until they are destroyed. The bin is inside the branch.

“We have procedures and we are going back to reaffirm our procedures with each branch,” he said.

Filed by Tom Fredrickson of Crain’s New York Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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