Separatist Move Seen Hindering CMG/UnionNegotiations

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MADISON, Wis. - (08/12/04) -- The unusual effort by CUNA MutualGroup professional employees to form their own collectivebargaining unit is being seen as creating a major new impediment tosettling the six-month-long labor impasse. John Peterson, officemanager for the Local 39 of the Office and Professional EmployeesInternational Union, said the rare separation effort, though legal,is sure to complicate efforts to negotiate a final settlement withCUNA Mutual and even drag out the process longer. He said hebelieves the company will want to determine whether the break-awaygroup qualifies for a separate unit before agreeing to a finalcontract with the current union. "They're going to want thepetition and the vote (on a new unit) to occur before they finishnegotiating with us. I don't really see a settlement occurringbefore then," Peterson told The Credit Union Journal.

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