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National Postal Mail Handlers Union A Division of LIUNA (AFL-CIO)

Media Center / Mail Handler Update

2016 NATIONAL CONVENTION IN FULL SWING

HOGROGIAN, GARDNER RE-ELECTED BY ACCLAMATION

VPs SAPP AND WILKIN ALSO RE-ELECTED

VPs PEPPERS AND SANTOS RETIRING

MAIL BALLOT ELECTIONS FOR 3 REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS TO BE HELD THIS FALL

As this bulletin is being prepared, the NPMHU’s 2016 National Convention is in full swing, as 288 delegates representing all 37 Local Unions have joined forces in Chicago, Illinois to chart the future of the NPMHU.

On its first day, before National President Hogrogian officially called the Convention to order, the delegates heard welcome remarks from June Harris, President of Local 306 in Chicago and LIUNA Great Lakes Regional Manager Terry Healy.  Both sung the city’s praises as “the most beautiful in the world” and “a great union town,” and urged the delegates to get out and explore.

The keynote speaker of the morning was LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.  His speech contained much praise for the Mail Handler craft and the NPMHU:  “If it’s a fight you want, with the Mail Handlers it’s a goddamn war,” O’Sullivan bellowed to a standing ovation.  “Your LIUNA brothers are proud as hell of you.”

O’Sullivan also focused on National politics and LIUNA’s endorsement of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Not only is she “a staunch defender of the right to organize,” he said, but she is an extremely qualified candidate for President.  He also noted that Secretary Clinton is engaged in a race against a volatile opponent, one who is dangerous, unqualified, and wholly anti-Union.  “I say Trump is a chump,” said O’Sullivan.  “It’s time, with all due respect, to cut the bull; damn, it’s time to elect Hillary.”

After a quick break, U.S. Representative David Joyce addressed the crowd.  A Republican Congressman from Ohio, Joyce has been a fierce advocate for postal reform and against privatization.  He shared a little of his personal experience, and then delved into his praise of the Postal Service and its Mail Handler craft.  “You are the unsung heroes of the Postal Service,” he said to warm applause.  “I know you are the backbone of the system.  Five hundred and nine million pieces of mail [processed] per day.  That’s incredible.”

Reports were then presented by the Credentials, Election, and Rules Committees.  Members of all three committees were brought to the stage for a round of applause and a brief picture, and then the respective Committee Chairs spoke to the delegates.  Credentials Chairman Pervous (Andy B.) Badilishamwalimu of Local 310 moved to adopt the Credentials Report, which was approved unanimously. 

After playing a short video about election proceedings, Election Committee Chairwoman Yvette Johnson of Local 300 announced the Election Committee rules for electing the Judges of Election who will conduct this year’s election of National Officers.  She then received and approved nominations from the delegates for the three positions available as Judges of Election.  Nine delegates were nominated, and by Tuesday morning, the delegates in attendance at the Convention completed their secret ballot to elect Richard Coleman of Local 306, Chawanda Parson of Local 310, and Tommy Reid of Local 300 as this year’s Judges for the Election of the National Officers.

Finally, Rules Committee Chairman John Gibson delivered his committee’s report and moved to adopt the thirty-one rules recommended by the Rules Committee.  All rules were met with overwhelming positivity, and were therefore adopted.

On Tuesday morning, the Judges accepted nominations from the floor for all seven positions on the National Executive Board.  Four of the seven National Officers were elected by acclamation.  Those officers are:

•         National President Paul V. Hogrogian
•         Secretary Treasurer Mark A. Gardner
•         Northeastern Regional Vice President David E. Wilkin
•         Southern Regional Vice President Lawrence B. Sapp
 
The three other positions for Central, Eastern, and Western Regional Vice Presidents are contested, with primary elections to be held on Wednesday, August 24, to determine which two of several nominees for the Central and Western Regions will appear as candidates on this fall’s mail referendum ballots in those Regions.  Because the Eastern Region has only two nominees, both candidates will face off in the coming election by mail.

Following their re-election, Hogrogian and Gardner thanked the delegates for their vote of confidence, promised to continue to work with diligence for the future of Mail Handlers, and provided a lengthy State of the Union address.  As summarized by President Hogrogian, “the state of the Mail Handlers Union is excellent.  The Union and all of its officers, representatives, and members at the National, Regional, and Local levels have reason to be proud about their accomplishments.  And every Mail Handler has reason to be optimistic about the future.”

Focusing on the Convention’s official theme – the Power of You – their report noted the challenges that lie ahead, but expressed optimism about meeting those challenges:

We currently have the resources – be they financial, organizational, legal, or personal – to take on these issues, and we must preserve those resources to ensure that the National Union remains the best possible representative of all Mail Handlers during the next four years and beyond.

Not for nothing, but the most important resource of the Mail Handlers Union is the Power that YOU – and by YOU, we mean all delegates and all Mail Handlers – have generously bestowed upon the National Union.  The National Office could not represent Mail Handlers without the Power of YOU.  With your support, the Union remains fully committed to do everything necessary to represent Mail Handlers, and to represent Mail Handlers successfully. 

Members should watch the special Convention website for daily updates on the Convention proceedings.

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