BANKING: $2,000 a Word

Edward Crandle Washer, 40, of Los Angeles is a stubborn David who declared war on the Goliath-sized Bank of America seven years ago. By last week he was close to winning: 1) his war, 2) $125,000.

The battle began back in 1937. Washer, a $165 trust-department clerk, campaigned to unionize the bank workers —7,200 of them in 494 branches.

A few months later he was transferred to Chico, Calif, (pop: 5,500) over his protests that it was "Siberia." The bank also wrangled with its intransigent clerk over a $15.12 expense account (the bank eventually paid). Soon Clerk Washer was fired. The...

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