OPEIU Local 39 put its strike on pause and returned to work as TruStage appeared to be open to negotiations this week.
Employees of TruStage, formerly CUNA Mutual Group, represented by OPEIU Local 39 had been on strike since May 19 after negotiations continued to yield no results since February 2022. Union leaders said negotiations on a contract had appeared to move forward resulting in a pause on the strike.
The strike aimed to force TruStage to meet five demands: provide job security and end outsourcing, provide fair compensation that scales with rising inflation, do not cut retirement benefits and reinstate of chief steward Joe Evica. None of the demands have been met as negotiations continue.
OPEIU Local 39 claimed that TruStage had been implementing unfair labor practices and an outright refusal to negotiate a fair contract in good faith. TruStage responded that it has acted in good faith from the start.
“Regardless of union activities, TruStage remains determined to reach an agreement that is fair, market competitive and meets the needs of our employees, customers and company. From the start, we have bargained in good faith to come to an agreement. We are encouraged by the progress we’ve made over the last few weeks. As a result of our strong business resiliency plans, TruStage has been able to provide uninterrupted service to our customers as we continue to bargain,” TruStage said in a statement to Madison365 over the recent strike pause.
OPEIU Local 39 disagrees with TruStage’s statement. Negotiation meetings had been canceled due to TruStage “not liking the behavior of the union,” according to president of OPEIU Local 39 Kathryn Bartlett-Mulvihill.
This is not the first time TruStage canceled negotiation meetings.
The current state of negotiations is unclear. OPEIU Local 39 is ready to strike again if negotiation efforts are not continued in what the union considers good faith.
TruStage is a funder of 365 Media Foundation, the nonprofit organization that publishes Blueprint365.