Concerns related to labor unions can occur in any industry. While unionization efforts often focus on those in blue-collar positions, many other workers may also require the support of a union. Sadly, some workers who do successfully unionize face job loss and other punitive actions from their employers.
Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is one of the oldest and most expansive credit unions in Michigan. LMCU boasts more than 60 branch offices throughout the state, including some on the east side of the state. However, the organization began in Grand Rapids and maintains the strongest presence in West Michigan.
Despite decades of successful operations and a strong presence, LMCU recently made the news for a negative reason. Specifically, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a court hearing request over the firing of a worker that may have been a wrongful act.
The termination followed a successful union drive
An LMCU employee lost their job on February 1st, 2023. The employee claims that the termination was retaliatory because he had previously organized a successful union drive. The terminated employee asserts that the firing occurred to deter other LMCU employees from attempting to unionize. They had five years of experience with the company before moving to unionize.
The worker filed a complaint with the NLRB. The terminated employee believes they deserve not just acknowledgment of the retaliatory firing but also reinstatement. The NLRB agreed with the plaintiff. The organization recommended the reinstatement of the terminated worker and compensation for lost wages and benefits during the months that they went without work. Additionally, the NLRB hopes to compel LMCU to remove negative employment records related to the termination.
Currently, the matter awaits a hearing in Kent County courts. LMCU continues to maintain that the termination did not have anything to do with unionization efforts but rather a violation of company policy. Only time will tell if the courts side with the employee.
Those who try to unionize often face pushback from companies, and – sometimes – the only way to protect themselves and other workers is to fight back in court. Holding companies accountable for inappropriate terminations may benefit workers harmed by retaliatory firings, and seeking legal guidance is generally the best way to get started.