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CMG Employees Picketing Again

MADISON, Wis.-Hundreds of CUNA Mutual Group employees were expected to recommence picketing the company's offices here last week, ending a cooling-off period between the credit union insurer and the local 39 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union.

The union has been without a contract since March 31 and the two sides remained deadlocked on numerous issues, including the length of the work week, outsourcing, and pay.

Meantime, a group of professional employees, calling themselves CUNA Mutual Group Employees Want to Work, filed a petition last week with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to create a separate bargaining unit within the OPEIU for about 600 white-collar employees of the company. The union represents about 1,400 of the company's 2,600 Madison-based employees.

Navy FCU Intros TV Commercial

VIENNA, Va.-Navy FCU has introduced a pilot television commercial campaign featuring three different spots in two of its major markets, Hampton Roads, Va., and San Diego. The ads, the credit union giant's first foray into television, include a 30-second branding spot, a 15-second spot focusing on mortgages, and a 15-second spot on auto loans.

The ads, which target 18-to-35 year olds, will run for three weeks on cable, network and a sport package, including ESPN and selected games, in the two markets, according to Loren Moeller, spokesperson for Navy Fed.

"Most of our young members tend to be targeted in these markets, "Moeller told The Credit Union Journal. The ads were shot by White & Partners, a Herndon, Va., advertising agency formerly known as White & Baldacci.

Md. CUs Nothing To Crab About

BALTIMORE-Credit unions will try to catch new members over the next few weeks through a television campaign featuring two conversational Maryland blue crabs. The 30-second television spots will be aired on major network stations throughout the city. The Maryland CU League, which designed the campaign through its public relations committee, will be monitoring the response to the ad by using a new website.

LCCU To Host Four Fiestas

DURHAM, N.C.-Hispanics throughout the state will be invited to join Latino Community CU free of charge during four fiestas at different locations celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The first of what the credit union is billing as its "grand caravan for family savings," was held in Raleigh on Sept. 11. Latinos who attend the festival will be able to sign up for free credit union membership and can also register for a tax identification number.

NCCU Making Micro-Biz Loans

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-Northwest Community CU said it began making small micro-business to entrepreneurs selling goods at Mercado Latino, the outdoor market for food, crafts and gifts, held in Eugene on Sunday, from June through September. The fund has $5,000 and is administered by the Neighborhood Economic Development Corp., the local non-profit that sponsors the Latino market. Merchants can borrow up to $500 interest-free to buy equipment, supplies or marketing materials. The credit union made its first loan of $500 to a Salem-based maker of Peruvian-style chocolates to buy a tempering machine, used to melt bulk chocolate so it can be poured into molds.

CU Exec Helps Thwart Check Scam

MOBILE, Ala.-Four Georgia men were charged last week with hiring two local women to deposit altered checks worth about $300,000 on two local financial institutions, including University FCU. The scheme was interrupted when a UFCU official notified authorities about suspicious activity in an account that had been previously overdrawn. The credit union manager put a 10-day hold on the $174,200.50 check on Aug. 16 and notified the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The suspects, who are currently in custody, met the two women at a local nightclub and offered to pay them $20,000 and $15,000 to deposit altered checks into their personal accounts. They were able to draw two checks for a total of $98,000 from Amsouth Bank and had deposited another altered check for $124,893 in the same account. Arrested were Truvoris Fair, 23, of Duluth; Melvin Pearse, 29, of Stone Mountain; Adrian Okakpu, of Roswell and Stanley Ragin, 21, of Lathonia.

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