Court Rules Against CUNA MutualOutsourcing
MADISON, Wis. - (12/07/04) -- A federal court last week ruled thatCUNA Mutual Group violated the collective bargaining agreement withits employees union last year when it reassigned or terminated 22union employees and hired an outside firm to clean its corporateheadquarters instead. The U.S. District Court for the WesternDistrict of Wisconsin also ruled that CUNA Mutual's challenge inthe case of an arbitrator's decision in favor of the local 39 ofthe Office and Professional Employees International Union wasfrivolous and so awarded the union all legal fees. "The court ruledthat the outsourcing contract was improper under the contract,"John Peterson, business manager for the local 39, told The CreditUnion Journal. The court ruled the work has to be returned to theunion and the 11 affected workers who took early retirement mayreturn to work, while the other 11 who were reassigned may gettheir jobs back, according to Peterson. Sydney Lindner, a spokesmanfor CUNA Mutual, said the company believed it acted properly in theoutsourcing, which saved about $1 million a year. CUNA Mutual, shesad, is disappointed in the court's ruling and is exploring anappeal. Separately, the union, which has been at impasse onnegotiations on a new contract, recommenced its 'corporatecampaign,' and picketed the CUNA Mutual's Madison offices, as wellas the home and the credit unions of four CUNA Mutual directors inColumbus, Ind., Denver, Honolulu and Ormond Beach, Fla., lastFriday.