Wayne County, MI
AFL - CIO
71st Biennial National Convention
Cobo Center, Detroit July 16-20, 2018
Fredric V. Rolando
National Convention Report
The NALC’s 71st Biennial Convention took place from July 16 through July 20 at Cobo Center in Detroit. This was the first time that our Union's National Convention had been held in Detroit since 1966, a span of 52 years. Neighboring NALC Branch 1 was the host Branch for this year's convention, and they did a magnificent job of ensuring that the approximately 5400 delegates in attendance had the best convention experience possible. Branch 2184 sent 32 delegates to the Convention, which was the largest convention delegation in Branch history, and we also had a record number 12 first-time convention delegates.
NALC delegates from branches in all 50 States as well as from Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands attended the convention. Overwhelmingly, our Union’s delegates from everywhere praised the City of Detroit and the many easily accessible cultural and dining opportunities in the Downtown and Midtown areas. A fine week of Michigan summer weather enhanced the enjoyment of all.
All of Branch 2184's delegates attended the general sessions on Monday through Friday of the convention week. Additionally, our delegates attended and participated in the numerous highly popular workshops conducted by the NALC National Union before and after each day's convention session. The delegates received updated tools and valuable information from these workshops regarding every aspect of Postal Service employment and the daily work issues of letter carriers.
The convention workshops covered a wide variety of contract enforcement issues and updates as well as many other important aspects of letter carrier and USPS employment. This included subjects such as retirement, injury compensation, safety, wage theft and clock ring fraud committed by management, workplace misconduct committed by management, health care and Thrift Savings Plan information, as well as many other important and relevant issues for letter carriers. There were eight possible workshop opportunities during the convention week, and some of Branch 2184's delegates utilized every one of them.
In his keynote address to the convention delegates on Monday, July 16, NALC National President Fred Rolando provided a detailed overview of our Union's successes and as well as our challenges during the previous two years. Fred spoke in no uncertain terms about the very real and immediate threats to the Postal Service and to all letter carriers and their families posed by attacks from the Trump administration as well as by our other political enemies that control the United States Congress. This has created an especially dangerous political environment for all letter carriers.
Every possible aspect of letter carrier employment security and financial security is undergoing a concerted attack by the current administration and its allies in Congress. These attacks include but are by no means limited to a full-fledged assault on federal and postal employee retirement benefits as well as a direct attack on a viable public Postal Service itself. A privatized Postal Service could have a devastating impact on the future of every letter carrier and their families.
NALC President Rolando laid out a strategy of aggressively countering the Trump attacks on letter carriers and on the Postal Service, by working with the other postal unions and other stakeholders and as well as our political allies. The Postal Service remains the most admired and respected government agency in the United States and the American public loves their letter carriers. Ultimately, the most important key to our success will be our own activism and the support of our allies. This means timely responding to legislative threats though contact with our elected representatives as well as by contributing to the Letter Carrier Political Fund.
Throughout the week the assembled convention delegates vigorously debated a number of resolutions and proposals regarding letter carrier work rules as well as resolutions pertaining to other aspects of postal employment. A number of leaders from the other postal unions as well as other trade unions addressed the convention delegates during the course of the week, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who exhorted the delegates to "fight like hell."
There were several other inspiring convention speakers, including Ady Barkan from the Center for Popular Democracy and Dr. Mona HannaAttisha, the heroic pediatrician whose work first exposed the poisoning of Flint, Michigan's water supply. Politicians from both major political parties also addressed the delegates, mainly on the convention's final day.
On Wednesday, July 18, nominations were made for the NALC's National Officers as well National Business Agents for each of the NALC's 15 regions. Branch 2184 is in NALC Region 6, also known as the "K.I.M." (Kentucky-Indiana-Michigan) Region; and NALC Regional Administrative Assistant Troy Clark was nominated to succeed retiring National Business Agent Pat Carroll for Region 6. As there were no other nominees for Region 6 National Business Agent, Troy was elected by consent (acclamation) to serve a four year term. Branch 2184 has always worked closely with our National Business Agent's office throughout the past several decades, and we look forward to continuing that great working partnership under Troy's leadership.
On Friday, July 20, following the conclusion of the day's business a motion to adjourn was made by Branch 1 President Sandy Laemmel and seconded by National Business Agent Pat Carroll. The motion passed and the NALC's 71 st Biennial Convention came to close. The NALC's 72nd Biennial convention is scheduled for August 17-21, 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
-- Mark Judd, President
-- Walt McGregory, Executive Vice President
-- Joe Golonka, Vice President
Pictures and videos of the convention
1 - 56 Guests and Speakers
1 - 45 KIM Region 6
14 - 14 1Helping the Veterans14