Not that anyone has been sitting around waiting for my take on APWU elections, but now that we know the candidates, here are my thoughts. I haven’t seen many specific posts as to why a candidate should or shouldn’t be supported, so here is my attempt on a few of the races.
If only half the stories are true about how he spoke to and treated the Rank & File Committee he would not deserve another term. I will leave it to others to speak with members of the R&FC about that interaction. I had spoken to someone within days of the incident and I’m satisfied that more than half the story is true.
I am probably the only person in the country that doesn’t fault Mark for attempting to get a negotiated contract. He tried, the R&FC said no and the process worked. While many will deny him another term for agreeing to things that they object to, he is the elected president and it’s his job to negotiate with postal management, even if I may not agree with the outcome.
Mark wants to turn the APWU into the Bernie Sanders saves the whales union. Our members should be concerned with global issues and while there is nothing wrong with attacking some of the world issues, while doing so we can’t forget the contractual issues affecting our members every day. I believe our union has lost its way and has forgotten what is important to our members on a daily basis.
He was the incumbent DIR last election and 43% of his own local voted for Zimmerman. He returned months after losing the election to NC and sought an additional term on the NC AFL-CIO Executive Board and the leaders of NC replaced him on the E-Board. Months later he ran for president of NC APWU state organization and lost 2-1. One would have to wonder what North Carolina knows about Tony that the rest of the APWU doesn’t.
Those who know me have seen me wear long pants maybe1-3 times at a union function, which includes some very cold NPC sites. I wear shorts; my goal is to be comfortable. If I wore nice suits and was a real smooth talker would it make me a better union official? Don’t be fooled, members need representatives that show up on time and stay the long haul, not just dress nice.
I can guess Tony is still unhappy with Mark for replacing him on the ticket and why not take a shot at president. I’m just not sure that I can support someone who hasn’t received unconditional support from his local and state. We can do better.
No you run, no you. I really believe that is how the first meeting of this ticket went. John is a great guy, always stood out at NPC meetings, great leader in Michigan and does a good job as HP Director. Doing a good job as HP Director does not a national president make? I also have concerns that his ticket is lined with a few resident officers that aren’t in the office very much. I keep hearing, well that’s just a political hatchet job and everyone is in the office. No problem ask the Secretary-Treasurer to release your records showing that no leave was taken and you were in the office and I will apologize and you will put the issue to rest. It’s kind of like, release your tax records!
One thing I can’t figure out is why Debby Szeredy isn’t on the top of this ticket. Again back to, no you run. John and Debby ran together with most of Mark’s ticket twice now and all of sudden he isn’t the right person? Maybe Mark has treated John and Debby the way he has been accused of treating the R&FC? The difference is the R&FC members expressed their dissatisfaction with Mark, when John and Debby played along.
Just because John is unhappy with Mark after running with and serving with him for two terms is not reason for me to elect him president. We need someone with experience dealing with postal management at the highest level and unfortunately John doesn’t have that experience. And until now he either had no problems with Mark or didn’t have the courage to stand up.
Total disclosure, I am originally from Pennsylvania and Greg Bell appointed me to the 2006 R&FC. So the good news is that Greg and I have known each other for years. The bad news for Greg is that I have known him for years and can probably provide more insight than others into what makes Greg tick. He hates the employer, no love lost; he is not their friend and won’t be going by their house for dinner and drinks.
Simple math, Greg has three more years’ experience at the national level than the other three candidates combined. He served 15 years as the Director of Industrial Relations and 3 years as Vice President. If one was voting based on experience alone your decision would be easy. With the ticket splitting that will occur during this election, Greg is the obvious choice to lead a new cast of officers and bring everyone together after the election.
I have read that when Greg lost his election to Debby Szeredy he cleaned out the office and took papers home. I have been in the vice president’s office at national when it was occupied by Burrus, Guffey and Bell, what papers?
Where is Greg’s ticket? I personally like the fact that he has chosen to run as an individual candidate, free of the baggage, free of trying to convince people to support sub-par ticket mates and in a position to quickly heal the wounds and get people at the national level working for the members on day one. And there will be no void during contract negotiations because of Greg’s past experience in this area.
“The Executive Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in case of the President’s absence or inability to attend to the duties of office”. It has been said by more than a few that Debby doesn’t want to be President. Then I would say she is in the wrong job. I also go back to my comment on Marcotte, which is it? Did Debby run and support Mark for two terms and believed he was a good president? Or was Mark a terror to work for and she put up with it to preserve the status quo? Either answer doesn’t sit well with me.
Sister Szeredy has always been a decent person and cares for the member, but don’t most of us? If she is not ready after six years to head the ticket and run for president, why would I give her three more years if she really never wants to be president? I’m not looking for a seat holder; I’m looking for someone who will actively assist the field, generate new ideas and initiatives that benefit the members on the floor.
I know the knock on Burrus when he was Vice President is that he took over most of the clerk craft issues, but maybe somewhere in between what Burrus did and a seat holder is the answer. I just don’t believe Debby is that answer.
Did you know that Jonathan was from the largest local in the APWU? Of course you did because on every posting or video he shares, he reminds you. Did you know that when he signed his first LM report in 2010 he had 5,596 members and last year he had 4,415 members or a 21% decrease? Two locals that I have been members of over the same period of time Charlotte Area Local had 1074 members in 2012 and 1094 in 2018 and Lehigh Valley Area Local had 552 in 2012 and 523 in 2018.
Having cleared that up, many good arbitration decisions have come from NY Metro during the time Jonathan has served as president. It should be noted that Pete Coradi, NBA who is a top shelf advocate put on many of those cases, but the files seemed tight and included new arguments that hadn’t been argued in other places. And as the “largest local” Jonathan has shared his thoughts and strategies with the rest of the union and that is a good thing.
I am a West Wing nerd, have seen the whole series more than once and we own the DVD set. On one show two characters are stuck in the mid-west trying to get back to DC. They decide that one of them must lead off with Hi, I’m Toby Ziegler and I work for the White House when introducing themselves. They finally abandon that statement and just start listening to a guy who can’t make ends meet and can’t afford to send his little girl to college. Leading with I’m from the largest local in the country does nothing to better the lives of the members on the floor.
Sam’s own printed words “As far as being part of a “Ticket”, we are really a group of like-minded individual candidates who are looking to stand up and fight for those we represent.” Sam was quick to give Tony McKinnon credit for backing his local’s decision to go it alone and file a lawsuit, but the national wouldn’t be held liable. I would have given Sam permission to file his lawsuit and not hold me liable. What does that even mean? I love the fact that Sam has always taken the position that at all costs his members matter and he will do what is necessary to beat the employer. But come one, give McKinnon credit for saying yes to something that cost the national nothing and the outcome couldn’t be blamed on him?
There has been at least one possible candidate for higher office in this election that decided to sit this one out in lieu of joining a ticket that they couldn’t fully support. I am glad Sam didn’t sit this one out, but he will forever be known for being on this ticket or like-minded individual candidates. As for the person who sat this one out, they will forever have my respect.
When national agreed to a far less than perfect RI-399 settlement with the mail handlers, Sam spoke up and spoke up loud and clear. Sam doesn’t back down from a fight. There are officers in this union that stand out for how they carry themselves and how they approach a discussion. Sam has the demeanor and the knowledge needed to serve as vice-president. He can be forgiven for his choice of like-minded team mates, because we need a vice-president that will go after the employer every chance he gets.
DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Six years ago the same membership that approved the 2010-2015 CBA by 75% than drank the cool-aid and voted out Mike Morris, who without a doubt what was one the best minds that ever served the APWU. Three years ago you came to your senses and voted out Tony McKinnon and elected Vance Zimmerman. If you’re looking for a smooth talker, Vance may not be your guy. If you’re looking for someone who understands the contract, fights hard every day and has served an NBA and is ready and willing to continue doing the duties of DIR, than Vance is you guy.
I know its election time, but I have been reading that Vance has called numerous individuals to discuss what really happened with the negotiated contract. I have not been one of those people and don’t need a call. But the fact that he is taking that time to be that personable and discuss your concerns has to be a check in the plus column.
If you send Vance packing this election you will have a new DIR three terms in a row. Historical knowledge matters and we can’t afford to change the person responsible for national negotiations. The DIR shop is where it all really starts and ends as we ready for arbitration. If we make a change in other parts of the union, this is the part we need to keep constant. Think about what your local would look like if you kept replacing those with the historical knowledge necessary to be successful. You wouldn’t make that mistake locally; I suggest we don’t make it at the national level.
I really don’t know Scott Hoffman, but being elected president in Boston is a positive check for him, it has always been a strong and progressive local. Being elected the chairperson of the R&FC is also a check for him. But is it enough to replace a sitting DIR in the midst of contract arbitration? I have actually seen some write that somehow the nine that voted against the Contract did so with the plan to parlay it into a run for office. Give me a break! They voted against the Contract because they believed it wasn’t worthy of a vote by the membership. The process worked.
Now some may be running based on how they were spoken to after their vote that I believe. I will date myself, many years ago a group of presidents had had enough and were revolting (so it seemed) and through separate meetings and discussions a group that was called POP (pissed off presidents) was formed and yes Omar you were a POP once. We wanted change, we wanted answers and we would be heard. I liken Scott’s run for DIR to our group called POP.
Scott is most likely feeling like a POP. (Again I don’t know Scott). He wants change and he has the right to run. I wish Scott well in all future endeavors after this one; I think making a change at this point will hurt the union.
First Name: LeRoy
Last Name: Moyer
Union/Local: Charlotte Area Local
Office held if any: Past President PPWU, Charlotte Area Local, Co-Chair NPC