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ANDERSON, Ind. – The Office and Professional Employees International Local Number 1, locked in a bitter labor fight with the $52 million Madison County Federal Credit Union, said that it has more than the 500 member signatures needed to force a special meeting of the credit union’s membership. “We met with the teachers union over dinner last night and they just gave us a pile of members petitions,” said Jim Hensley, the union’s chief negotiator in the dispute. The teachers union and other unions have been circulating petitions among their members who are also credit union members, looking to force a special meeting where the credit union leadership can be confronted about the labor dispute, Hensley said. Madison County FCU began as a teachers’ credit union and has a large percentage of union members from that union as well as others. Madison County CEO, Cheryl Lohman, said that the credit union’s bylaws did allow for a special meeting if more than 500 members could be collected. But she added that when she met with the credit union board last night the topic had not come up. The petitions have to be delivered to the board, she said. Hensley reported that the union had gone to the National Labor Relations Board to force the credit union to deliver a copy of the bylaws to the union, which it had only recently. “Every little thing has been a fight with these folks,” he said. The union has been studying the bylaws in preparation for starting a campaign for the upcoming board elections, he said. The union also maintained that credit union members who are also union members had been withdrawing funds from the credit union, but Hensley could not say how much money had been withdrawn. Lohman denied that any substantive amount had been withdrawn. “Of course, deposits and withdrawals are cyclical,” Lohman said. “In December and January a lot of members make withdrawals to pay for holiday bills. We haven’t seen any withdrawals out of pattern,” she said.

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