RALEIGH, N.C. – In a noteworthy move to support the military, the North Carolina Credit Union League has joined a national campaign to pledge employer backing “above and beyond the law” for National Guard and Reservists in Iraq and Afghanistan. At its annual meeting June 8 and in follow-up letters across the state, the League has asked CUs to sign support pledges against discriminating in hiring and promotion practices for guard and reserve members. The commitment statements also promise CUs will keep guard/reserve jobs open once soldiers return from active duty. So far 41 North Carolina CUs have signed the pledge statements with League officials hoping to get participation by all 130 by the end of this month. “It is our pleasure to support the men and women of the National Guard and Reserves,” said John Radebaugh, president/CEO. “While we do not have any employees in the active guard and reserves at this time, we know that some time in the future, we will and we want them to walk in the door knowing that we honor their service to our country.” The “Five-Star” CU pledge statements are directed specifically to the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the U.S. Defense Department. A spokesman for the Arlington, Va. committee, which has representatives in all 50 states, called the CU support “refreshing and important” since it shows the willingness of CUs to manage pay, training and personnel issues in support of the military. The committee said it has been contacting scores of representatives in retail, service and manufacturing industries to join the campaign with large banks also joining the effort. Citigroup in New York announced before the July 4 holiday that it was signing the commitment Signing the document in a ceremony at the Union League Club of New York was Peter M. Dawkins, Citigroup Private Bank Vice Chairman and a retired brigadier general. Spearheading the North Carolina campaign has been State Employees’ CU of Raleigh which first made contact with the National Committee last fall and received its “Five-Star” recognition in February. State Employees’ said it has 14 employees as guard/reservists of which 11 “were mobilized since Sept. 11″ and all of them it has pledged to “keep their jobs open indefinitely.” Speaking at the League’s annual meeting on the reserve/guard commitment was Johnny Dwiggins, program support coordinator for the North Carolina committee, which counts 22,000 guard and reserve members who live or work in the state. Dwiggins said the North Carolina Committee has contacted some 100 small firms in the state and began working on CUs following the sign-up by State Employees. For its part, Citigroup said in a June 30 statement that it “stands proudly with their Guard and Reserve employees, who like the Minute Men before them, continue to answer their nation’s call to defend our way of life. Their personal sacrifices are essential to the strength of our nation.” [email protected]

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