For their upcoming round of officer elections, Utility Workers of America Local G-555, the workforce for Dominion East Ohio Gas, seeks to enhance union democracy, local member J.J.Popio informs us.. Their Election Commitee Chair has announced that the local will not enforce the local’s meeting attendance requirement, pending a bylaws review that is to take place in the near future.
In a January 30th, 2017 letter to the members, the Election Committee Chair states that “It is our belief that there is a possibility that Article X Section 3 of the By-Laws may be contradictory to the DOL regulations regarding requirements that would exclude a significant amount of members in good standing. DOL regulations would supersede anything in our By-Laws, so rather than risk a challenge of the results of this election, we have chosen instead not to enforce that rule and we will have the By-Laws Committee look to address this issue in the near future”
The Chair goes on to say “changes to the way previous elections were conducted were well researched and were made to allow a larger number of our members the ability to participate in the election process. The Election Committee believes these improvements to our election process will allow for the highest voter turn-out in the history of our Local.”
Popio says the election committee chair has told him that he is committed to “the most fair and democratic elections we’ve ever run.” Popio ran for office and lost a couple of years ago, but was heartened by Clyde Summers’ argument about the importance of contested elections in the labor movement. (see UDR 207), so, undeterred, he is running again.