Community rallies to support CUNA Mutual union members who may strike Friday
According to a press release, today at noon, community members hand-delivered over 2,700 signed letters addressed to the CUNA Mutual Group Board; these letters call on management to settle a fair contract with workers represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 39.
The Community Solidarity Committee will be at the CUNA Mutual Group Headquarters building at 5910 Mineral Point Road to deliver the letters. The group hopes that community support for the union will help convince management to negotiate and avoid a strike but is prepared to support the workers should a strike occur.
This comes after a CUNA Mutual workers’ announcement on Monday that they will strike on Friday, May 19 if a contract agreement with management is not reached by then. The workers and OPEIU Local 39 have been trying to negotiate a contract for over a year. On April 19, union members voted to authorize an unfair labor practice strike in response to management’s refusal to negotiate with the union and management’s firing of the union’s chief steward, Joe Evica.
CUNA Mutual has sought reduction of health insurance and pension options since the beginning of negotiations with OPEIU Local 39 in February 2022, according to the Capital Times. About 450 of the Madison office’s roughly 1,750 employees are union members.
The company has requested the help of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the nation’s largest conflict resolution agency; mediated negotiations are scheduled for Monday–Wednesday this week. Both parties have agreed to mediation, but the union has criticized the company’s infrequent availability to meet leading up to the strike deadline.