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2012 NATIONAL CONVENTION MAKES HISTORY John F. Hegarty National President
* * * HEGARTY, GARDNER REELECTED BY ACCLAMATION VPs PEPPERS AND HOGROGIAN ALSO REELECTED * * * DELEGATES ADOPT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND IMPORTANT RESOLUTIONS
he NPMHU’s 2012 National Convention is now part of history, as more than 280 delegates representing all 37 Local Unions joined forces at the Convention, held in Portland, Oregon for six days beginning on Monday, August 6, 2012. That precise day happened to mark the 100th anniversary of the Union’s initial founding and recognition by the old Post Oﬃce Department as the National Association of Post Oﬃce and Railway Mail Laborers.
their report noted the challenges that lie ahead, but expressed optimism about meeting those challenges:
The delegates heard reports from National President John Hegarty and National Secretary-Treasurer Mark Gardner, debated and approved amendments to the National and Uniform Local Union Constitutions that will govern the NPMHU and its Local Unions during the next four years, adopted 14 resolutions on important economic, legislative, and political matters, and conducted nominations and elections to determine the Judges of Election and the National Oﬃcers for the next four years.
We are about to enter lengthy and complex arbitration hearings that will determine the terms of our 2011 National Agreement.
One focus of the Convention was the selection of candidates to serve as National Oﬃcers until 2016. The delegates ﬁrst elected a three-person Election Committee to supervise this year’s election of oﬃcers: Kevin Tabarus of Local 300 in New York, NY; Susanna Paniagua of Local 320 in Phoenix, AZ; and Mike Rembelinsky of Local 308 in Philadelphia, PA. Then, on Tuesday, August 7, nominations for National Oﬃce were held, and four of the seven members of the current National Executive Board were re-elected, without opposition, by the unanimous acclamation of the delegates. Thus, National President John F. Hegarty, National Secretary-Treasurer Mark A. Gardner, Central Regional Vice President Jeﬀerson C. Peppers III, and Northeastern Regional Vice President Paul Hogrogian were declared duly elected to an additional four-year term. In addition, Vice Presidents Samuel C. D’Ambrosio and Bruce Z. Miller are retiring from the National Executive Board. Thus, the three remaining positions of Eastern, Southern, and Western Regional Vice President had multiple nominees, and as a result elections will be held during September through mail ballots to be sent to all Mail Handlers in those Regions. Following their re-election, Hegarty 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. Focusing on the Convention’s oﬃcial theme—Honor the Past, Shape the Future—
National President John Hegarty addressing the convention delegates
The challenges now facing our nation, the Postal Service, and this Union cannot be overstated. We ﬁnd ourselves, on this 100th anniversary of the founding of our great Union, facing an unprecedented number of challenges, some of them actual threats, to the future success of our Union and the future of all Mail Handlers.
We must continue to battle on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch to preserve not only our statutory beneﬁts and our collective bargaining process, but also to guarantee the important and sustained role that the Postal Service must continue to play in the future of our American communications system. We must marshal our forces, along with the rest of the American labor movement and other like-minded organizations and individuals, to ensure that this November the maximum possible number of proworker, pro-union, pro-working family candidates are elected into oﬃce by the American people. We must continue to ﬁght management at Postal Headquarters, as they try to tear the Postal Service apart by indiscriminately closing and consolidating postal plants, cutting service standards, and reducing service to the American people by cutting the number of post oﬃces and delivering mail less than six days per week.
Mark A. Gardner Secretary-Treasurer
The last four days of the Convention focused on constitutional amendments and resolutions. All of the recommended amendments and most of the recommended resolutions were adopted, after open and sometimes spirited debate, with one resolution tabled for further review.
Local 300 members in caucus at the convention
Throughout the Convention, the delegates heard from a series of important speakers, some live and some on video. Attending the Convention and inspiring the delegates were AFL-CIO Executive Vice-President Arlene Holt-Baker, LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Richard Neal (D-MA), and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). A week-long lesson on labor history also was provided by Dr. Greg Giebel, a noted professor and labor leader with personal expertise about the history of the NPMHU.
And, of course, we must continue to protect Mail Handlers under the National Agreement and through the grievance-arbitration process, especially to reduce the potential dislocation of our members when plants are being closed or consolidated or otherwise being downsized. This National Union is ready; we are prepared; indeed, we are anxious to confront these challenges, and to Shape the Future of this great Union and all of the Mail Handlers we represent. Our common goals can be simply stated: on this, the 100th anniversary of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, our Union pledges not only to Honor the Past, but also to use the lessons learned from our past to Shape our Future. We will dedicate whatever time and eﬀort is needed; we will expend whatever resources are demanded; we will implement whatever strategies are justiﬁed; and together we will do whatever it takes to ensure our Union’s continued success, and the continued success of all Mail Handlers.
Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) following his remarks to the convention
Delegates lined up to cast roll call votes on Constitutional amendments
More detailed information about the 2012 National Convention will be included in the next issue of The Mail Handler magazine. The NPMHU website at www.npmhu.org already contains daily reports from the Convention, as well as links to the printed Report of the National Oﬃcers and all resolutions adopted by the delegates.
Following adoption of the Obama/Biden endorsement resolution