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No Union at This Credit Union

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CN) - A longtime employee says the Mutual Savings Credit Union fired her four days after she was the only employee to vote in favor of joining a union. Irino Smitherman says she was fired after the company repeatedly told her, falsely, that only workers in another office could join a union.

Smitherman says she was fired after 15 years with the credit union, in retaliation for trying to unionize.

She says the CEO of the credit union came to her office on April 23, 2008, and spoke to workers "about refraining from joining the union."

In the vote the next day, she cast the only "yes" vote, she says. She was fired 4 days later. Once again, she says, the company lied about it.

"MSCU claimed that it terminated Ms. Smitherman because she had booked a loan in error," the complaint states.

"Another worker informed Ms. Smitherman and the credit union that she was the individual who took the loan application, and that it was not Ms. Smitherman's fault.

"The loan had been booked on April 18, 2008, yet MSCU waited until after the union vote to inform Ms. Smitherman that it was done in error.

"In violation of Alabama law, MSCU terminated Ms. Smitherman because of her attempt to organize a union."

She demands punitive damages for state labor law violations, and pain and suffering.

She is represented in Jefferson County Court by Frelon Abbott III of Birmingham.


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