LMCU workers win union election
Grand Rapids Business Journal:
Workers at a local credit union branch have won their union election.
Employees at the Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) South Division Branch on Friday, Jan. 6, voted in favor of forming a union in light of their official National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election.
The formation comes after workers announced their union effort in December and filed an election petition with the NLRB. The goal was to improve working conditions, transparency and communication at the South Division branch, according to the employees.
“What we wanted was to ensure a strong relationship between our members, our colleagues and LMCU branch leadership. Now, with a seat at the table, we are able to achieve exactly that. With a union, we can work directly with upper management to address the longstanding issues that we’ve had in our branch, so that we can better serve our customers and our community,” said Ivan Diaz, member service representative at LMCU. “This is not just a win for us. It’s a win for workers at other LMCU branches, banks and financial services institutions who are looking to form a union in 2023.”
Along with the December petition, the South Division branch workers sent a letter to LMCU President and CEO Sandy Jelinski asking for voluntary recognition by Dec. 16 for them to withdraw their petition.
In the letter, workers highlighted being “underappreciated and undercompensated” for their contributions at one of LMCU’s busiest branches, with many bilingual workers being pulled away to assist other departments without additional compensation.
“We’ve worked hard to join together to form this union so that we can create a work environment at LMCU that reflects and respects the hard work we do for our customers. With a voice on the job, we are able to speak up on the issues that would have otherwise been neglected,” said Anaisa Sanchez, a teller at LMCU.
The workers now will join more than 100 banking and credit union workers with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a coalition member in the Committee for Better Banks (CBB).
The CWA also represents Genesee Federal Co-op Credit Union workers, who unionized last year, and the Beneficial Bank State Bank workers, who formed the banking industry’s first union in decades in 2020. Both unions received voluntary recognition from their employers, according to the CWA.
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