Posts Tagged ‘elections’

SMART-TD State Legislative Boards directed to cancel meetings, conduct mail elections

SMART Transportation Division (TD) State Legislative Boards that have not yet conducted their quadrennial reorganization meetings are directed to cancel their meetings and conduct elections by mail ballot.

Taking these steps will assist in meeting the recommendations of the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stem the transmission of the COVID-19 virus by avoiding unnecessary travel and exposure to gatherings of people.

According to SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 93, lines 18-22:

“Beginning in 1972 the Chairperson of each State and District Legislative Board shall convene the full Legislative Board not later than May 31st following the completion of the quadrennial elections for Local Legislative Representatives for reorganizational purposes which shall include the election of officers and adoption of bylaws and procedures.”

As a result of the growing adverse impact of the COVID-19 virus, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), on March 17, 2020, issued guidance that provides this organization with latitude regarding the deadline for accomplishing the quadrennial reorganization, but still requires making “a good faith effort to conduct officer elections within LMRDA [Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act] timeframes.”

Accordingly, the quadrennial elections of your board should be conducted as soon as possible, and completed before the constitutionally mandated May 31, 2020, deadline.

The DOL has advised that nominations can be taken by email, but elections must be conducted by secret ballot. The elections should be conducted pursuant to the procedures found in SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 57, which calls for the use of “A” envelopes and the employment of three Tellers to retrieve the ballots from a P.O. box and tabulate the results. A notice soliciting nominations must be distributed to all Legislative Representatives no less than 10 days prior to the deadline for receipt of nominations. Ballots must be mailed at least 15 days prior to the date of tabulation.

Questions should be directed to the office of the Transportation Division President.

Candidates with ties to SMART TD seek local offices in Illinois, Indiana

Come Nov. 7, Macon County, Ill.’s county government could be getting a SMART influx with two candidates with Transportation Division ties seeking office in the Nov. 6 elections.

Lloyd Holman, a member of the SMART TD Alumni Association, is seeking a seat on the Macon County Board in his first run for office.

Lloyd Holman, a SMART TD Alumni Association member, is seeking a seat on the Macon County (Ill.) Board.

“My union experiences have provided me with a wealth of knowledge on contracts, legislation, safety and healthcare,” Holman said. “I have chosen to use that energy, experience and knowledge to help build a stronger community.”

He said he decided to run in November 2017 after receiving requests from Macon County board members and other community leaders.

“Although I have never considered myself a politician, apparently others feel I could make a positive contribution,” Holman said.

As the LCA 453 legislative representative for nearly three decades (1983-2011) and a former Illinois State Legislative Board chairperson for 16 years, Holman has said his experience with UTU/SMART TD helped to lay the groundwork for his run. Holman said the Macon County board chairman even helped to circulate his nominating petitions while Holman was incapacitated briefly during recovery from neck surgery.

“I have had the privilege and honor to work with and around some very dedicated and amazing union brothers,” Holman said. “Being part of the union has provided me with a very diverse education and support, even after my retirement.”

That support has extended to his campaign, where he’s received support from his union brothers and sisters.

“Finances are paramount in getting your name, face and position into the public eye,” Holman said. “My union brothers and sisters have been helpful in that area as well.”

He encourages union brothers and sisters to get informed on the issues that matter to them and get involved by voting and campaigning if possible.

“Remember that voting is a right and a privilege,” he said.

Also running in Macon County, Ill., is April Kostenski, wife of SMART TD member David Kostenski, who is treasurer of Local 768 (Decatur, Ill.).

April Kostenski, the wife of SMART TD Local 768 Treasurer David Kostenski, is running for Macon County, Ill., treasurer.

With three years’ experience as a treasurer for the Macon County Democratic Central Committee, April chose to seek the county government post.

“I knew with my education and background, I could offer our residents a positive change in the treasurer’s office that will promise a better tomorrow for future generations,” she said. “I know that I can do a better job serving my community — I decided I needed to be a small part of the solution.”

The mother of 14-year-old son Dawson and 12-year-old daughter Olivia said the time factor is a big challenge in running the campaign she wants to run.

“Sometimes I just need more hours in a day!” she said.

However, SMART TD has helped by providing support to her campaign.

“The Illinois Legislative Board and Bob Guy particularly, do a great job of keeping us informed,” Kostenski said. “Since I announced my candidacy, being a SMART TD family member has opened doors to the other labor organizations. The support from SMART TD and all organized labor is very humbling.”

Kostenski encourages SMART TD members and their families to get involved, volunteer and know their candidates as the election approaches. State legislative boards are great resources to provide information about candidates and donations to the UTU Political Action Committee helps candidates such as April make their runs for local office, she said.

“Running for public office has been a positive experience,” Kostenski said. “I have had many new experiences, met a lot of great people and learned a lot along the way. Sometimes you don’t know what you are capable of until you try.”

And lastly, members need to show up Nov. 6 or beforehand.

“Every vote counts and makes a difference where you live,” Kostenski said.

Right next door in Indiana, Jessica Bailey is seeking the office of Porter County clerk.

Jessica Bailey, wife of SMART TD Local 1383 Legislative Representative Ryan Bailey, is running for clerk in Porter County, Ind.

The wife of Local 1383 (Gary, Ind.) Legislative Representative Ryan Bailey, Jessica is on the Portage Township school board.

Ryan Bailey is a 14-year railroad veteran who works at Canadian National’s Kirk Yard in Gary and is secretary on the SMART TD Indiana State Legislative Board’s Executive Committee.

Jessica and Ryan live in Valparaiso, Ind., with their two children, Bryce, 17, and Emma, 14.

“Jessica’s race is going to be a battle of shoe leather,” said Indiana State Legislative Director Kenny Edwards. “No donation is too small.”

To donate to her campaign, send contributions to:
Committee to Elect Jessica Bailey
641-1 Old Forge Road
Valparaiso, IN 46385

To read more about candidates with a TD connection and other election news – including our national endorsements – check out the October issue of the SMART Transportation Division News, available online now and coming soon to your doorstep.

TD Hollywood, Fla. Regional Meeting, Day 3: Risch encouraged by Missouri labor victory, close race in Ohio

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The results of Tuesday’s elections, while not the absolute best-case scenario for labor, indicated that voters might be ready to end the one-party majority in the federal government in three months’ time, said SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch at the opening session of the last day of the 2018 Regional Meeting at the Hilton Diplomat Resort.

A special election campaign in Ohio saw both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence appear in support of Troy Balderson, who was running to finish out the remaining months of a term in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. The seat was left vacated by fellow-Republican Pat Tiberia.

Yet even with the top two Republicans in the nation trying to give Balderson some momentum, he defeated Danny O’Connor, a relatively unknown Democrat, by 1 percent, according to unofficial results Tuesday. The 12th District, which includes Ohio’s capital Columbus, was carried by Trump by more than 11 points in the 2016 presidential election, according to The Associated Press.

Balderson and O’Connor will square off again in November for a full term to represent the district in Congress, and the result could be different with such a narrow margin.

Missouri’s special election Tuesday brought better news for labor, in what has been “a solidly red” state, Risch said.

Proposition A, a labor-led referral effort to repeal right-to-work legislation, was successful with 67 percent of voters voting to repeal a right-to-work law in place. Thirty-three percent of voters voted to keep the law, according to unofficial results. Labor faced much opposition with the Koch brothers leading an underground deceptive ‘yes vote’ effort that would have kept the right-to-work law in place. Missouri would’ve been the 28th state with such legislation in place had the referral not been successful.

“Even with all the deceptiveness, even with all the ways in which they tried to tilt the playing field in their favor – all of that, we won in Missouri,” Risch said.

He said a majority of voters in Missouri understood and recognized that Proposition A’s backers were trying to undermine the ability of unions to get better wages, fringe benefits and improve safety through deceptive direct mailings and other tactics.

“When they understand this, they vote the right way,” Risch said. “They vote for themselves, they vote for their unions, they vote for the ability to do something in the workplace.”

Risch feels that this victory, as well as victories by teachers in West Virginia, Arizona and Colorado this year, could signal a turning point for workers in the fight against income inequality.

“I see a trend, I see a movement across this country,” he said. “I think the tide is turning. I hope the tide is turning because we can’t go the other direction much longer.”

SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch addresses attendees Wednesday at the opening session of the final day of the Hollywood, Fla., Regional Meeting.

SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch addresses attendees Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the opening session of the final day of the Hollywood, Fla., Regional Meeting.

Autumn brings round of elections for locals

SMART Transportation Division members are reminded elections are scheduled to be held this autumn, with nominations to be taken in October and elections conducted in November 2018.

Locals must solicit for the nomination of candidates in October to run for the four-year Local Committee of Adjustment (LCA) offices described by SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 81. Each LCA must elect a local chairperson, at least one vice local chairperson, and an LCA secretary (not to be confused with the local secretary or local secretary & treasurer). Those eligible to hold office in an LCA must hold seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA.

Also this autumn, elections are to be held to pick the delegate and alternate delegate, who will represent Transportation Division locals at the SMART Transportation Division Convention, which immediately precedes the SMART General Convention. Locals entitled to additional delegates to represent them at the General Convention will elect those additional delegates in June 2019.

On properties where there are fewer than three locals, 2018 is also the year when the general chairperson is to be elected by mail referendum election, as per SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 82.

At many bus locals, as well as at locals with short lines, the local chairperson may also be considered a general chairperson. In such instances, the chairperson must be elected by mail referendum election in the autumn of 2018.

In addition, any existing local vacancies should be addressed during these elections.

Local secretaries and secretary & treasurers should take steps now to ensure their records reflect accurate membership listings and mailing addresses.

As per the constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, nomination meetings must be held in October, with election tabulations conducted in November. Winning candidates generally will assume their offices on Jan. 1, 2019. Those filling a vacancy take office immediately.

SMART Constitution Article 21B, Section 58, contemplates an installation ceremony for officers named in Article 21B, Section 56. Those elected officers who must present themselves at a regular or special meeting for installation within 60 days following their election include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer (or secretary & treasurer) and trustees. Section 58 does not apply to LCA officers, delegates, alternate delegates, legislative representatives or alternate legislative representatives.

In most cases, candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election to a Transportation Division office. (A simple majority can be thought of as 50 percent of votes, plus at least one more vote.) In the case of the board of trustees (or any other ballot position where voters are instructed to pick more than one of the candidates listed), winning candidates must obtain a majority of the ballots cast.

The process begins
For the local’s secretary or secretary & treasurer, the election process begins with an effort to update the membership roster, ensuring accurate addresses are on file for each member. Our constitution requires each member to keep the local secretary and treasurer advised of his current home address. At the same time, U.S. Department of Labor regulations and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) requires the local to take steps to update addresses in advance of an election.

Members can update their address by contacting their local secretary, secretary & treasurer, or treasurer, or can do so themselves at www.smart-union.org/td by clicking on the “Address Change” link on the right side of the page.

Nominations
The local secretary must post a notice at least 10 days in advance of the October nomination meeting indicating when and where nominations for affected positions will take place. The notice should include which positions are open for nominations and should indicate how nominations can be made, especially by those who cannot attend the nomination meeting. Templates are available in the S&T Tools section of the TD website under the Elections subheading.

Instructional packets will be mailed to all locals in August which will include samples of the nomination notices which must be conspicuously posted where it can be reasonably calculated to inform all affected members. While nomination notices are not required by law to be mailed directly to all affected members, in light of recent court rulings, it is highly recommended that the postcards available for this purpose be obtained from our Supply Department and mailed to all members.

Nominations may be made by any member in good standing from the floor at the nomination meeting. Nominations do not require being seconded. Any member may self-nominate. If a member wishes to self-nominate or nominate someone else but can’t attend the meeting, nominations can be entered through a petition. A nomination petition must state the name of the nominee, the position for which the member is being nominated, and must carry at least five signatures of dues-paying members in good standing. No nominations can be accepted following the close of the nomination meeting. A nominee need not be in attendance at the nomination meeting for the nomination to be valid.

If only one member is nominated for a position, that member can be declared elected by acclamation.

Only dues-paying members of a given LCA (i.e., those paying into the LCA’s fund and listed in that committee on the monthly billing statement) are eligible to make nominations for the offices in that particular LCA. In locals having more than one LCA, the local secretary will provide a separate ballot for all eligible voters of each LCA working under the jurisdiction of the committee involved. Any member in good standing with seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA, including those in E-49 status, can run for an office in that LCA.

Those in so-called E-49 status are eligible to run for office, but they cannot make nominations and they cannot vote. If elected, acceptance of pay from the company or the union creates a dues obligation.

A member can hold only one office within a given LCA under the jurisdiction of a given general committee of adjustment.

In all cases, a notice of the election must be mailed to all members. If your local is conducting its election by mail, the mailed ballots can serve as the required notice of election, but such ballots must be mailed at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation. The Department of Labor does not count the day of mailing as part of that 15-day window, but it does count the day of tabulation.

Again, those conducting floor votes can obtain postcards notifying members of the time, date and place of the election from our Supply Department. These notices must be mailed at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation.

Eligibility
To be eligible to vote, all dues and assessments must be paid within the time frame specified by the constitution. Article 21B, Section 49, indicates dues are to be paid in advance before the first day of the month in which they are due. Eligibility to make nominations or to be nominated is similar. This means, for example, for a nomination meeting in October, the nominator and the nominee must have paid all dues obligations prior to Oct. 1. To vote in November, the voter must have paid all dues obligations prior to Nov. 1.

More information
Members are encouraged to consult Article 21B of the SMART Constitution for information regarding elections. Unless an item within Article 21B directs you to a further stipulation outside of Article 21B, only the provisions found within Article 21B are applicable to Transportation Division elections. The local election process is addressed directly by Article 21B, Section 57.

Election information and guidelines will be distributed to all Transportation Division local presidents and local secretaries, as well as to general chairpersons, state legislative directors and Transportation Division international officers.

Members can consult their local officers to examine this information, or they can visit the S&T Tools section of the TD website under the Elections subheading.

Questions?
There are many provisions not covered by this article, including those which address candidates’ rights and permitted means of campaigning. Those with questions are urged to call the Transportation Division office at 216-228-9400. It’s always easier to address issues in advance than after the fact.

Local officer nominations set for October 2017

SMART Transportation Division members are reminded that elections are scheduled to be held this autumn to fill the three-year local officer positions described by the SMART Constitution’s Article 21B, Section 56.

Positions include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, collector (where applicable) and the three-member board of trustees. In addition, any existing vacancies (except for those in the positions of delegate or alternate delegate) should be addressed during these elections.

As per the constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, nomination meetings are held in October, with election tabulations conducted in November. Winning candidates assume their offices on January 1, 2018. If they are filling a vacancy, however, they take office immediately.

Candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election to any elective Transportation Division office. (A simple majority can be thought of as 50 percent of votes, plus at least one more vote.)

The process begins

For the local’s secretary or secretary-treasurer, the election process begins with an effort to update the membership roster, ensuring accurate addresses are on file for each member. Our constitution’s Article 21B, Section 49, requires each member to keep the local secretary and treasurer advised of his current home address. At the same time, U.S. Department of Labor regulations and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) require the local to take steps to update addresses in advance of an election.

Members can update their address by contacting their local secretary, or can do so themselves through a tab on the homepage of the Transportation Division’s website at www.smart-union.org/td.

Even if your local conducts a floor election, where voting takes place at a physical location rather than by mail, it’s important that your address is up to date. Your local secretary (or secretary-treasurer, as the case may be) needs to mail a notice to all active members of the local to advise them, at least 15 days in advance of tabulation, that an election is to take place. The notice will indicate when and where voting will take place. (Postcards for this purpose are available for purchase from the Transportation Division’s Supply Department.)

If the local is conducting its election by mail, the ballot itself must be mailed out at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation, as the ballot serves as the notice of the election.

Nominations

The secretary must post a notice at least 10 days in advance of the October nomination meeting indicating when and where nominations for affected positions will take place. They need not mail this notice directly to members.

Nominations may be made by any member in good standing from the floor at the nomination meeting. Nominations do not require being seconded. Any member may self-nominate. If a member wishes to self-nominate or nominate someone else, but can’t attend the meeting, nominations can be entered through a petition. A nomination petition must state the name of the nominee, the position for which the member is being nominated, and must carry at least five signatures of members in good standing. No nominations can be accepted following the close of the nomination meeting.

If only one member is nominated for a position, that member can be declared elected by acclamation.

The scheduled elections held this autumn offer an opportunity to fill other vacancies which may exist. If the vacant position is a Local Committee of Adjustment (LCA) position, only members of that LCA are eligible to make nominations for the post and to vote in that election. In locals having more than one LCA for different crafts, the secretary will provide a separate ballot for all eligible voters of each craft working under the jurisdiction of the committee involved. Any member in good standing with seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA can run for an office in that LCA.

Eligibility

To be eligible to vote, all dues and assessments must be paid within the time frame specified by the constitution. Article 21B, Section 49, indicates dues are to be paid in advance, before the first day of the month in which they are due. Eligibility to make nominations or to be nominated is similar. This means, for example, if the nomination meeting is in October, the nominator and the nominee must have paid all dues obligations prior to October 1. To vote in November, the voter must have paid all dues obligations prior to November 1.

Those in so-called E-49 status are eligible to run for office, but they cannot make nominations and they cannot vote. If elected, acceptance of pay from the company or the union creates a dues obligation.

Elections

As previously noted, candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election.

When it comes to handling elections for the Board of Trustees, instructions on the ballot should be included above the candidates’ names telling the voter: “Vote for three candidates.” Each member of the three-member Board of Trustees must be elected by a majority of votes cast, a requirement which frequently results in the need for runoff elections. The rule of thumb in such runoffs is that for each open position, which must be filled, two candidates will compete.

For example, if nine candidates run for a position on the Board of Trustees, and 200 valid ballots have been cast and counted in the first round of the election, each successful candidate must receive at least 101 votes. If no candidate receives at least 101 votes, a runoff must be held.

The runoff would include two candidates for each open position. In the above example, this means the three candidates with the lowest vote totals are dropped from the ballot, and the names of six candidates appear on the runoff ballot. In the runoff, if only one candidate attains a majority of votes that means one of the three positions was filled, and there remains two Trustee positions to fill, with five remaining candidates. Of those five remaining candidates, the candidate with the lowest vote total would be dropped from the ballot, and another ballot would be issued with four candidate’s names (because there are two positions to be filled).”

More information

Members are encouraged to consult Article 21B of the SMART Constitution for information regarding elections. Unless an item within Article 21B directs you to a further stipulation outside of Article 21B, only the provisions found within Article 21B are applicable to Transportation Division elections. The local election process is addressed directly by Article 21B, Section 57.

Election information and guidelines have been distributed to all Transportation Division local presidents and local secretaries, as well as to general chairpersons, state legislative directors and Transportation Division international officers.

Members can consult their local officers to examine this information, or they can visit the Transportation Division’s website at www.smart-union.org/td, click on “S&T Tools,” and on the resulting page, click on “More forms…” at the bottom of the column marked “Forms and Documents.”

Special Circular No. 32 describes the constitutional provisions involved in the local elections this autumn, and the pamphlet entitled “How to Hold Elections for Local Officers” gives practical, hands-on election guidance and includes samples of nomination and election notices that can be posted.

Local officer positions

The following is a brief description of the duties of the various local officer positions.

The local president presides at all meetings of the local, enforces the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the local and exercises general supervision over the local’s affairs. The president ensures that local officers respond to inquiries from the international, and with the secretary and/or treasurer, files all reports required by federal, state or local laws. The president may speak on any subject before the local, but may not vote except, in case of a tie vote, casts the deciding ballot.

The local vice president succeeds to local president and fulfills the remainder of the three-year term if the local president resigns, retires, becomes incapacitated, dies, or for some reason cannot fulfill the requirements of the position. Also, if the local president cannot attend a local meeting, the vice president presides at regular local meetings.

In most locals, the offices of secretary and treasurer have been combined. The local secretary keeps an accurate record of all local proceedings, receives all communications, conducts correspondence and is in charge of the local seal and local records. The secretary performs the duties of the local treasurer in locals that do not provide for the separation of the offices of secretary and treasurer.

The treasurer receives all monies due to be collected by the local and provides receipts, except in cases where the local maintains the office of collector. The treasurer holds and keeps secure all local funds and is bonded. The treasurer also keeps an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of the local on forms provided for that purpose. The treasurer shall also remit all monies due the international to the general secretary-treasurer each month.

In a few instances, locals of 50 or more members maintain the office of collector. The local collector receives all money due the local and provides receipts. Prior to the first day of each month, the collector reports to the local treasurer all the money received during the current month and gives the amount collected to the local treasurer.

The local board of trustees supervises the financial affairs of the local. Upon approval by the local, the board has authority to rent, lease, or purchase property, office equipment or other necessary supplies. The board meets in January of each year for the purpose of auditing the annual report of the treasurer and verifying bank balances and cash on hand.

Questions?

There are many provisions not covered by this article, including those that address candidates’ rights and permitted means of campaigning. Those with election questions are urged to call the Transportation Division office at 216-228-9400. It’s always easier to address issues in advance than after the fact.

Candidate Pence: Anti-union, anti-worker, anti-American

Watching the Vice Presidential candidate’s debate tonight? Keep in mind that VP candidate Mike Pence built his legacy on supporting initiatives that sent jobs overseas, weakened unions, halted worker safety regulations, threatened retirements, and supported tax codes that burden the middle class, while providing windfalls and loopholes for his millionaire corporate cronies. Pence caters to corporate monsters, not middle class, hard-working Americans. Whose backs does he have?  Not ours. Read this article by Ed Wytkind, president of Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Legislative, alt. legislative rep. elections complete

Reorganization planning underway

election_checkboxAs the SMART Transportation Division’s state and district legislative boards begin planning for their quadrennial reorganization meetings in 2016, members and local officers are reminded that elections for the positions of legislative representative and alternate legislative representative should now be complete. Any local in which elections have been delayed due to run-offs or other extenuating circumstances must contact the Transportation Division’s main office in Cleveland, Ohio to advise of the cause for delay and expected date of completion. All election results must be reported to the Transportation Division’s office as soon as they are available. Election results may be sent by email to president_td@smart-union.org, by fax to (216) 228-5755, or by writing to SMART Transportation Division, 24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340, North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333. Questions may also be directed to any of the above, or by calling (216) 228-9400. Meanwhile, all SMART Transportation Division state and district legislative chairpersons are reminded of their responsibility to advise the TD office of the date, location and anticipated expense of their quadrennial reorganization meetings. Additional information regarding election requirements and procedures may also be found by clicking here.

Legislative, Alt. Legislative Rep. elections planned

election_checkboxMembers and SMART Transportation Division (TD) Local officers are reminded elections for the positions of Legislative Representative and Alternate Legislative Representative are being conducted this autumn by all TD Locals, with nominations to be taken at the October 2015 meetings. Generally, those eligible for these four-year positions include all members in good standing (including those in E-49 status) who are registered voters in the state in which they reside and whose dues have been paid in a timely manner (in the month preceding the month in which they are due). All members, as well as Local Secretaries, are advised to take steps to ensure membership addresses are up to date, as federal law requires all members to receive notification via U.S. mail of the elections at least 15 days in advance of the tabulation date. For those Locals conducting these elections by mail, the ballot will serve as the required notice. Addresses can be updated via the home page of the Transportation Division’s website at http://utu.org/. The SMART Constitution requires all members to keep their addresses up to date with the union. Copies of Special Circular No. 31, as well as the pamphlet, “How to Hold Elections for Legislative Representative and Alternate Legislative Representatives,” both of which offer guidance for these elections, have been distributed to all Local Presidents and Secretaries. Copies can be obtained from the Transportation Division’s website at http://utu.org/secretary-treasurer-forms/, where a Department of Labor guide on conducting elections is also available, or from the Transportation Division’s main office in Cleveland, Ohio. Nominations meetings should be held by each Transportation Division Local in October 2015, and elections should follow a month later. Depending on action taken by the membership at the nomination meeting, or provisions of the Local’s bylaws, elections can be conducted by mail or as floor elections (i.e., walk-in elections at a meeting). Nominations may be made from the floor at the nomination meeting. Nominations do not require a second. You may self-nominate. Those who cannot attend the nomination meeting can submit a nomination via petition. At least five members eligible to vote shall sign nomination petitions, which should be delivered to the Local Secretary prior to the nomination meeting or presented at the meeting. Local Secretaries should ensure all members know how to contact them for purposes related to these elections. For more information, contact the Transportation Division’s office in Cleveland, Ohio, by calling (216) 228-9400, by sending e-mail to president_td@smart-union.org, or by writing to SMART Transportation Division, 24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340, North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333. View ”Special Circular No. 31 – August 2015? here. View “How to Hold Elections for Legislative Representatives and Alternate Legislative Representatives” here. View Department of Labor publication on conducting local elections here. View “Order of Supplies form” here. Additional resources for conducting elections can be found here.

Vote as if your job, family depend on it

By UTU International President Mike Futhey – 

It has been said that the comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.

Working families today feel the pain of that comment. Most are struggling to keep their heads above water as the gap between the middle-class and the rich continues to widen.

In decades past, labor unions forged America’s middle-class, fighting for livable wages, employer-paid benefits including health-care insurance, seniority rights and prohibitions against discrimination in the workplace.

Today, we are seeing a vicious assault on labor unions by conservative lawmakers — helped into office through political contributions of large employers and other anti-union forces – whose objective is to eradicate collective bargaining rights and labor unions.

In Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and other states, anti-union legislation has been advanced – and, in some cases, passed. In Congress, the House of Representatives has advanced legislation to weaken the ability of unions to organize and bargain collectively.

As our nation grapples to recover from a long and deep economic recession, many of those finding new employment must accept minimum wage — or only slightly more — in jobs providing no health-care insurance or other employer-paid benefits that are the foundation of building a solid middle class.

We have heard about the top 1 percent in America, whose earners make more than $700,000 annually. Middle-class families earn considerably less, and the little wealth they have acquired – in home equity and modest retirement savings – has been whittled away during this recession. Almost one-in-four home owners now owe more on their homes than they are worth, while most of the remaining home owners have seen the value of their homes decline as much as 40 percent.

A study out of the University of California (Los Angeles) concluded: “Never in the history of the United States has there been such a concentration of wealth in the hands of a small elite.”

During the 1940s, as America’s middle-class grew and prospered, 40 percent of American private-sector workers belonged to labor unions. Today, that figure is below 12 percent. Anti-labor forces wish to make that percentage even smaller.

Yet, as Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson recently observed: “When it comes to elections, unions are still the most potent mobilizers.” As shown in the centerfold of the March UTU News, UTU members go to the polls and larger numbers than most any other grouping of voters. And that is true for all labor union members.

The November general elections – at the state and federal levels — could spell doom for organized labor and millions of middle-class Americans whose job security, wages, benefits and working conditions depend on collectively bargained contracts. It needn’t be so if families in the labor movement, and others in the middle class, vote to end the war on labor.

We can make a difference this November. We must make a difference this November. Our job security, wages, benefits and working conditions hang in the balance.

As Benjamin Franklin observed when signing the Declaration of Independence, we must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately. For America’s middle class, the words ring as true today as they did in 1776.

Futhey re-elected UTU International president

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Mike Futhey was elected to his second four-year term as president of the United Transportation Union Aug. 8 during the UTU’s 11th quadrennial convention here.

Futhey was re-elected by a vote of 453-34 against challenger Scott Cole, delegate from UTU Local 278.

Also re-elected Aug. 8 — by acclamation — were Assistant President Arty Martin, General Secretary & Treasurer Kim Thompson and National Legislative Director James Stem.

Election results for Aug. 9 include:

* Robert Kerley, Dave Wier, John Previsich and Delbert Strunk were all returned by acclamation as International vice presidents.

In other International vice president elections:

* Paul Tibbit defeated John Babler, 371-117.

* John Lesniewski defeated J.R. “Jim” Cumby, 420-68.

* Bonnie Morr defeated Calvin Studivant, 274-213.

Additionally, Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch was re-elected, defeating Jay Seegmiller, 378-105.

Also:

* Calvin Studivant was elected alternate vice president-east, Bus Department, by acclamation.

* Brian Donald was elected alternate vice president- west, Bus Department, with 337 votes, defeating Adhi Reddy (75 votes) and Robert Gonzalez (74 votes).

* Larry Barrilleaux,  R. W. “Red” Dare, John England, Troy Johnson, Doyle Turner and Daniel Young were elected alternate vice presidents, receiving a majority of votes (and more than 50 percent of ballots) among nine candidates for six alternate vice president positions. Defeated were Carl Farnie, Kevin King and Charles Piland.

Also:

* Dale Barnett was elected “Engine Service Member” on the Board of Appeals, defeating Daniel O’Connell, 369-116.

* Donald Seyer was elected, by acclamation, “Road Service (Train Service) Member” on the Board of Appeals.

* Dale Welch was elected, by acclamation, “Yard Service (Train Service) Member” on the Board of Appeals.

* Dirk Sampson was elected, by acclamation, “Commuter Authority Member” on the Board of Appeals.

* Alvy Hughes was elected “Bus Department Member” on the Board of Appeals, defeating Adhi Reddy, 379-106.

Also:

* Steve Dawson, Mike Anderson, Steven Mavity, George Millward and Robert Resendez were elected, by acclamation, to the Executive Board. Phil Craig defeated Harry Garvin, 346-140, in election for alternate to the Executive Board.

Terms of elected officers and alternates begin Jan. 1, 2012.

Per an arbitrator’s ruling in the pending litigation and arbitration of whether the merger agreement between the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) is an enforceable agreement, a parallel election is being held for officers of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers Union.

Each of those elected Aug. 8-10 to a UTU position was also elected to the same-named position in SMART.

As to the parallel SMART election, Arbitrator Michael Gottesman required that “if SMWIA so requests,” the UTU convention will hold separate elections for officers of UTU and of SMART. SMWIA General President Joe Nigro has so requested. Accordingly, after nominations for each UTU officer position are closed and the election completed, nominations and elections for the corresponding SMART officer positions are being opened.

Arbitrator Gottesman said the required vote on SMART-officer positions should in no way suggest he has reached a decision.

The holding of the convention and procedures for election are provided for in the UTU Constitution. It is available for viewing by clicking on the following link:

https://static.smart-union.org/worksite/PDFs/UTU_Constitution_012710.pdf