Employees Strike Auto WorkersFCU

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WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - (02/02/05) -- A dozen union employees at AutoWorkers FCU began picketing the credit union's two locationsTuesday after negotiations aimed at a new contract broke down.Members of the Teamsters Local 249 decided to strike after thecredit union refused to renew its one-month extension whilenegotiations continue, according to Robert Puniak, chief negotiatorfor the union. The main issue for the union is the maintenance ofjobs if the credit union goes ahead with proposed mergers it hasbeen exploring over the past year, said Puniak. "They're talkingabout six-month job security; we want it for the (three-year)duration of the contract," he told The Credit Union JournalTuesday. Bev Garland, a member service representative at the creditunion's Washington Township branch, said they were concerned if amerger is completed they could lose their jobs to non-unionworkers. "Some of the girls have a lot of years here and we don'thave any job security," she said from the picket line. Puniakcharged the protracted negotiations represent an effort by thecredit union to break the union. "They tried a union-bustingattorney from Pittsburgh," he said. "The guy's famous for being aunion bust." Credit union officials did not return phone calls fromThe Credit Union Journal.

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