Union Chief: Employee Morale Sinks AtCUNA Mutual

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MADISON, Wis. - (02/06/06) – Newly layed-off cafeteriaemployees finished work at CUNA Mutual Friday, while others in thehousecleaning unit prepared to leave this week, as the latest roundof employee cutbacks at the credit union insurer begin to takehold. Next week more employees in housecleaning and facilitiesmanagement are expected to follow them out the door, part of theelimination of 90 jobs announced by CUNA Mutual last week.Officials with the company’s chief employees union, theOffice and Professional Employees Internal Union, local 93, saidthey are concerned about the deteriorating job security at thecredit union insurer. “The morale is low. Everybody’swondering if they’re going to be next,” John Peterson,office manager of the local 93, told The Credit Union JournalFriday. Over the past four months CUNA Mutual has announced threerounds of lay-offs and eliminated a total of 510 jobs, 415 of themin Madison, which includes the shedding of 130 jobs when thecompany sold its mortgage operations. About 150 of the Madisonpositions are union jobs, most of which are being replaced bythird-party outsourcers. Peterson acknowledged that attritionthrough outsourcing was a major focus of last year’s laborimpasse with the company but said under the newly signed contractthere isn’t anything the union can do to save those jobs. Themain concession the union was able to wring from management wasthat all employees are eligible for the same severance packagegranted management, amounting to two weeks pay for every year withthe company.

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