UNI calls on Lake Michigan Credit Union to reinstate union organizer


UNI calls on Lake Michigan Credit Union to reinstate union organizer

UNI Global Union is calling on Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) to immediately reinstate Ivan Diaz, who was fired after organizing a union at the U.S. bank.

Diaz, who worked at the South Division Branch, was terminated without warning and without progressive discipline on 1 February 2023, just weeks after leading an historic union win by the LMCU Workers Alliance. The union is affiliated to UNI through the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

UNI is calling on its affiliates in the finance sector to write to Sandy Jelinski, Chief Executive Officer of LMCU and urge the company to reinstate Diaz. A template letter is available to download below.

CWA has filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against LMCU for illegally firing Ivan Diaz for participating in a union “in order to discourage union activities and/or membership.”

“My termination proves just how critical a union is for LMCU workers. LMCU’s move to terminate me was a weak attempt at a scare tactic targeting my colleagues and comes right out of the union-busting playbook. This is not the first time LMCU has singled me out for union organizing, and I am confident that the NLRB will recognize that and hold the credit union accountable for its illegal action,” said Diaz, who worked at the LMCU South Division branch for nearly five years. Diaz is also a Kent County Commissioner.

LMCU’s termination of Diaz is not the first time the credit union has targeted him for his role in organizing the union. In December 2022, following workers’ public announcement that they were organizing at LMCU’s South Division branch, LMCU Senior Vice President of Talent Nora Swart sent a letter to workers that acknowledged Diaz’s leadership role in organizing the union and called into question his motives. 

 The letter reads in part: “I have been asking myself how and why a union organizing drive got started in the first place[…] I have a theory. It is public knowledge that Ivan is heading the union drive. That is his right. However, what is his true motivation? In my opinion, Ivan has political aspirations within the Democrat Party[…] In Ivan’s case, I think he is championing this union drive to enhance his resume to win union endorsements, thereby advancing his political aspirations within the Democrat Party[…] Is Ivan championing his cause or your cause? I think the former.”

Committee for Better Banks Organizing Director Nick Weiner said:

“This move by LMCU reflects the toxic, retaliatory culture that exists across the financial services industry and shows that it isn’t just big banks like Wells Fargo that are anti-worker. This is an industry-wide issue, and we need bottom-up reform across the sector to address it.”

Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, said:

“UNI and our finance affiliates worldwide stand in solidarity with Ivan Diaz. American finance workers must be able to join a union without retaliation or fear of reprisal. We call on Lake Michigan Credit Union to respect US law and fundamental labour rights and reinstate Ivan Diaz without delay.”

Write to Sandy Jelinski, Chief Executive Officer of LMCU using the template letter below.


UNI Americas

United States