Authorities Delay Drive To Separate CUNAMutual Union

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MADISON, Wis. - (09/15/04) -- The National Labor Relations Boardsaid it won't take up a petition from professional employees atCUNA Mutual Group to form a separate union within the Office andProfessional Employees International Union until the union'scurrent unfair labor practices charges against the company areresolved. "Pending completion of the investigation and adetermination as to the alleged unfair labor practices, processingof this matter is being held in abeyance," said Irving Gottschalk,acting regional director for the NLRB, in a letter to all partiesobtained by The Credit Union Journal. The union, which has beenembroiled in negotiations for six months, claims CUNA Mutualengaged in 'regressive bargaining' by withdrawing an agreement tomake pay raises retroactive after a contract is signed; intimidatedunion members; and unilaterally changed work conditions. They alsoclaim the company was behind the rare effort to split the unionbecause former chief executive Michael Kitchen offered to help paythe legal expenses for the bid. The professional employees group,frustrated over the failure to arrive at a new contract, haspetitioned the NLRB to form its own collective bargaining unitwithin the OPEIU.

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