Presentation on theme: "Silly State President tries to allow access to National Candidates without permission. On June 19 th I sent the invitation to the right to all candidates."— Presentation transcript:
Silly State President tries to allow access to National Candidates without permission. On June 19 th I sent the invitation to the right to all candidates running for National Office that WAPWU members could vote for. I felt that this would allow these candidates access to our members. I also felt that it would spark even more interest in the Fall Seminar itself.
Response was very positive! Clearly, I understood that Bill would not make it. He doesn’t like to travel any further than he absolutely has to. I have no problem with that. I do in- fact respect his legacy although I may not agree with how he sometimes operates. Note the second paragraph. I’ll come back to it later.
SO MUCH FOR FIRM COMMITMENTS IN DC…… I received this in my inbox today September 2 nd. Make no mistake I understand why he would rather go to Florida. I just don’t quite get the whole “pressing Issues in DC charade”. Once again it is my pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of our members and the officers of the APWU of Florida, to the Fall Seminar in Pensacola (Gulf Breeze). Please update your agendas according to the new schedule which is sent as an attachment to this note. As always happens in our seminars, changes are made of necessity sometimes right up until the meeting begins. The seminar almost takes on a life of its own. We certainly owe a big thank you to Director of Education, Pete Trunzo, Secretary- Treasurer, Jeff Pearlman, and President, Martha Shunn-King and I am happy to report that the changes made for this seminar will no doubt all be an improvement for you and your members and when you review the final schedule of events, I’m sure you will agree. The most notable change of schedule is President Burrus’ appearance on Friday so make your arrangements to be there. If we can accommodate your needs in any way or do anything at all to make your stay a more comfortable and enjoyable one, do not hesitate to contact me. Yours in Union Solidarity, John Olive
Things are looking up. So Steve says he will be there. And that he is going to drag Idowu along for the ride. I am getting a little optimistic. We may actually have a few national officers after all. Generally we don’t usually get a bevy of Officers from D.C at our events. I am sure it has nothing to do with votes. It’s probably because it rains all the time (wink, wink). Needless to say things were in-fact looking up.
As we started receiving response from the candidates (including incumbents). We wanted to offer them an opportunity to teach to our members. On August 19 th I sent a finalized training schedule to the instructors. On August 20 th I received the following from Omar Gonzalez (Western Region Coordinator) From: Omar Gonzalez To: Charles Smith Charles: Thanks for the on the schedule. I see you have scheduled instructors and participants who are not WAPWU state or national officers. Since I was contacted to attend and participate/instruct as a National Officer I want to make sure there are no legal issues on how you are conducting the events of which appeals can be made. Therefore I reserve further comment on the schedule until legal advice is rendered. I will get back to you. As I previously informed you I have committed to other locals who had requested me during that weekend. But, I agreed when Brother Harris asked to conduct a session. I do not know how it evolved into what you have presented. Again I will get back to you on the schedule. Omar M. Gonzalez
From: Charles Smith To: Omar Gonzalez Monday August 20, PM I am not sure I understand what you are suggesting. I had invited all candidates to attend. Ryan felt he should offer an opportunity to those that wished to attend to teach a class. This certainly is not unusual or new. Charles (It should be noted that Ryan is the Vice President and in charge of arranging who is teaching what. I was not intending to lay any blame at his feet. We had both discussed the fact that it made sense to offer each candidate that contacted us an opportunity to teach.)
From: Omar Gonzalez To: Charles Smith Monday August 20 th, PM I am not sure what is up either. But as I said upon legal review I will get back to you because if appeals surface I do not want to be a party to any challenges. I am sure Brother Harris has good intentions I am not so sure about the rest. Omar (So what is Omar not so sure about? He received the same letter inviting everyone to attend. None of this should have been a surprise at all to him. )
From: Charles P. Smith To: Omar Gonzalez Monday August 20, PM So, just so I understand! Are your concerns in regards to us allowing candidates to teach? Or, in regards to your ability to participate because other candidates are present? Outside of telling other candidates their services are not needed we can certainly adjust any format in regards to your participation in any candidate type forum or Q & A. I was not trying to stir any controversy. I was far more interested in getting people to attend. Or is there something else I am missing? Charles
From: Omar Gonzalez To: Charles Smith Monday August 20 th, PM I was not attending the State Conference as a candidate. I was attending as a National Officer. You decided to make it a political event. I am simply stating I will get legal advice and act accordingly. (Remember the Invite I sent out on June 19 th, 2007? Could he have not participated in any candidate type event and still taught the class he was supposed to teach?)
From: Charles Smith To: Omar Gonzalez Monday August 20 th, PM OK, Gotcha. I disagree with the notion that it is a political event. We are allowing roughly one hour for attending candidates to address the people who are there. Please let me know your decision as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience. Charles
From: Omar Gonzalez To: Charles Smith Monday August 20 th, PM OK, gotcha
From: Charles Smith To: Omar Gonzalez Tuesday August 21 st, AM You have not responded to an I sent the other day so I figured I should send it again. My State Secretary is being denied leave to attend the Fall Seminar. Could you please make a phone call and try and help her get the time off? Kay Bryant is an MAL in the Rainier, WA office. She needs Thursday-Sunday September 6 th -9 th off to attend the Fall Seminar. I do hope you will attend as well. Thank You very much, Charles
From: Omar Gonzalez To: Charles Smith Thursday August 23 rd, PM I understand this officer was released. If not please have her call me. I also regret to inform on directive I am unable to attend your upcoming event. Good Luck! Omar Gonzalez, Western Region Coordinator (The first thing that struck my eye was his request that I have one of my officers call him. He has never required this of me. He has always responded to my requests on behalf of my officers. I also thought the “On Directive” was quite interesting. We will get to that shortly.)
From: Shirley Jasper To: Charles Smith Tuesday August 21 st, AM Hello to All I am scheduled for an Arbitration on Sept. 6 th in Portland but will try to schedule a connecting flight to attend your Fall Seminar on the 7 th and 8 th thanks for the invite I am looking forward to seeing you all. Yours in Union Solidarity Shirley Jasper-NBA Maintenance Division
From: Steve Raymer To: Charles Smith Tuesday August 21 st, AM Charles, Thanks for letting me take a pass on the seminar. I really do not like having to change things, and I don’t like characterizing it as “more pressing issues”, but in this case it may be. There are some significant developments that need my attention here. Here’s wishing you a very successful seminar and I look forward to the opportunity to make it up to you next time. Steve Raymer (Just for the record, I do think Steve has some pressing issues that are very important. I also think (from my discussions with Maint. Folks) that he was given orders by Brother Burrus not to attend.)
From: Chuck Sundgaard To: Charles Smith Friday August 24 th, AM Charles, I am sorry but I will be unable to attend the seminar. I apologize for any inconvenience my absence causes. Chuck (The marching orders are being handed down to all Officers in contested races.)
From: Shirley Jasper To: Charles Smith Friday August 24 th, AM Dear Brother Smith, I have been made aware of a possible conflict in my schedule to return on Saturday. Therefore I will not be able to attend the Fall Seminar at this time. Please know that I appreciate the invite and hope to see you all in the near future. Thanks Again Shirley Jasper
Remember the first letter from Brother Burrus? Remember the part where he stated “I would, however, be pleased to engage in debate or submit to questions and answers about the progress we have made over the period of my presidency.” Where were his concerns about appeals and such when he wrote that letter? He sure was not concerned enough not to include his Political Teams website on the Union letterhead he mailed it on. The facts are that Washington State has many times over the years invited candidates to teach. I vaguely remember the ISW function in 2001 where Bill showed up in Seattle under the guise of addressing the members of both the APWU and the CUPW. I am sure it was just a coincidence that almost the entire Membership Team was in Seattle that weekend as well.
I spent a good portion of the afternoon on Friday the 24 th speaking with a Department of Labor rep. He indicated that Washington State had done nothing that was inappropriate or that could successfully be appealed. He also surmised that his best guess would be that someone did not really want to come to Washington State and instead of just saying so, probably asked our National President to give him/her an “out”. He stated that if the National Officer was specifically attending to teach or attend the Seminar that it would not be an appealable action. He also stated that if a National Officer was truly concerned about this then he/she could just opt out of any candidate type forum and only participate in the training aspect of the Seminar. So, what gives? I am sure there are some logical reasons as to why National Officers are now concerned about appeals and such. I just am not aware of them. It is well known that they travel extensively and use these opportunities to further their name recognition.
I have no axe to grind here. I have supported my national Officers even though they may not have deserved such at times. While my fellow Northwest Presidents pretty much despise our Regional Coordinator. I have tried to be a calming influence, because I never think it is in the best interest of my members to have them suffer due to what could be considered as my personal agenda. Trust me, there are times when Locals and State Organizations become persona non grata because someone like me speaks out. I had intended on keeping my mouth shut during this election cycle for the reasons mentioned above. However these events have (IMHO) shown the nasty underbelly of our National Politicians. The concern is being elected again and again and again. The concern should be, training our foot soldiers as best we can. I appreciate the couple of National Officers who have called and explained what they know about these events. I have not lost faith in all of you. WAPWU will nonetheless have a successful Seminar and I extend my sympathies to those that are so narrow minded as not to understand their function.
Charles P. Smith WAPWU State President P.O. Box 2872 Bremerton, WA