Western Union fees: Straining at a Gnat
Activist groups nationwide have been organizing small protests against the company for the past month, charging that Western Union’s fees are too high, and that the company does not give back enough to the people and countries it serves.
City Council members estimate that Western Union handles 55 percent of money transfers to and from Providence, and last night, the 15-member City Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting the campaign.
Setting aside for the moment that whole capitalist concept of allowing prices to be established by willing buyers and willing sellers, as of 2004, legal and illegal immigrants have been sending $39 billion annually out of the United States and back to their home countries. This is the “camel” which the Providence City Council appears willing to swallow.
Let’s be clear. There is no question that visiting workers earn the dollars which they remit home nor that they have the right to do so. However, it seems a bit incongruous for the Providence City Council to condemn on the basis that the company “does not give back enough to the people and countries it serves” the amount of the fees which enable the transfer of $39 billion annually out of the United States.