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CUNA Mutual Group employees go on strike

MADISON (WKOW) -- Around 450 CUNA Mutual Group (CMFG) employees will go on strike Friday, according to a union spokesperson. 

The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 39 spokesperson said the workers will proceed with an unfair labor practice strike if they can't reach a "fair agreement" with CMFG.

OPEIU said CMFG requested negotiations shortly after the union authorization vote in April. They met for initial sessions on May 4 and on May 10. OPIEU told 27 News CMFG canceled sessions with mediators this week, which made Friday's strike imminent. 

Local 39 president Kathryn Bartlett-Mulvihill said the union wants to negotiate a contract and accused CMFG of "not bargaining in good faith" and using "stall tactics."

Sarah Larsen, an administrative support specialist and member of the Union’s bargaining committee, said the employees haven't had a contract for more than 400 days.

"We've tried by every means possible to negotiate and move the company towards our members' core priorities," she said. "We can honestly say we have exhausted every option and a strike is the only thing left to do.”

CMFG spokesperson Barclay Pollak provided an official statement to 27 News, saying its "fully committed" to reaching a collective bargaining agreement. 

"We have multiple mediation sessions with the union planned this week and CUNA Mutual Group is willing to schedule additional times. We are determined to reach a fair and market-competitive agreement that meets the needs of our employees, our customers and our company. We have an 80-year relationship with the union, which has been part of our history and will be part of our future," the statement reads. 

More at WKOW 27 News

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