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Lake Michigan Credit Union Workers Secure Union Victory

Committee for Better Banks

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 6, 2023

Contact: Sean Nesmith, [email protected], 678-467-4306

Lake Michigan Credit Union Workers Secure Union Victory


Lake Michigan Credit Union workers join Communications Workers of America following first successful NLRB election in financial services industry in decades

(GRAND RAPIDS, MI) – South Division branch workers at Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) today voted in favor of forming a union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in an official National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, the first successful NLRB election in the financial services industry in decades. With their new union and a voice on the job, LMCU workers are looking to improve working conditions, transparency and communication at their branch.

LMCU workers will join more than a hundred banking and credit union workers at CWA–a coalition member in the Committee for Better Banks (CBB)–including workers at Beneficial State Bank, who formed the first union in the banking industry in forty years in 2020, and Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union, who formed a union early last year. Beneficial State and Genesee Co-Op workers' unions received voluntary recognition from their employers.

“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.”  

Today’s historic union election builds on the recent organizing momentum in the financial services industry and across the labor movement. With their new union, LMCU workers are helping to pave the way for other banking and credit union workers to follow in their footsteps and escalate their union drives in 2023, including the more than 600 Wells Fargo workers organizing with CBB

LMCU workers publicly announced their union effort last month, when they filed for an NLRB election and sent a letter to LMCU President and CEO Sandy Jelinski outlining their concerns and previous efforts to improve the credit union. In their 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 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, Teller at LMCU. “It is exciting to see the ripple effect of bank workers across the country who are fighting for the same thing, and we are incredibly proud to be a part of this movement.”

The Lake Michigan Credit Union is the largest credit union in West Michigan, with over 1,600 employees and over 50 branch offices, including recent openings in Florida. They are also Michigan’s leading mortgage provider, with over 450,000 members and assets exceeding $11 billion. 

“We are proud of the LMCU workers at the South Division branch who came together to form a union with the intent of making their credit union a better place to work and to bank. Organizing a union is never an easy feat, but LMCU workers know that to best support their local community, they need a voice on the job,” said Committee for Better Banks Organizing Director Nick Weiner. “Today, workers in Lake Michigan made it clear that 2023 will be the year for unions across financial services.”


About the Committee for Better Banks:

The Committee for Better Banks, the only independent voice for frontline bank employees, comprises bank workers, community and consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations, coming together to improve conditions in the banking industry. Committee for Better Banks members include current and former employees of banks and credit unions across the country, including Wells Fargo, US Bank, Santander, Bank of The West, and Bank of America.

About the Communications Workers of America:

The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, and manufacturing.