Legislative Director Myke Reid Retires, Gary Kloepfer Takes Legislative Reins
Maintenance Rep-at-Large, Clerk NBA Position Remain Vacant
05/13/2013 - Myke Reid retired effective May 13, ending an illustrious career as the APWU’s Legislative and Political Director.
“It’s been a great job,” Reid said. “I came from a blue-collar family and got the opportunity to be involved in some of the great legislative battles working people of my generation fought,” he said. Reid counted enactment of the Family & Medical Leave Act in 1993 and reform of the Hatch Act (which severely limited the political rights of federal and postal employees) as highlights.
“Postal reform remains an unfinished agenda item,” he said. “I will continue to do whatever I can to help the APWU achieve postal reform that makes sense.”
Reid began his postal career in 1976 as a clerk in Norfolk VA and got involved in the union right away. He held a variety of positions in the Norfolk Local, including newsletter editor, steward and local business agent, and served as state legislative director and state president before moving to Washington DC.
He went to the nation’s capital in 1984 to work on a legislative campaign to protect Social Security and never looked back. In 1985 he was appointed as a “Special Assistant” to then-President Moe Biller, but continued to work exclusively on legislative matters. In 1992, the union created the position of assistant legislative director, and Reid won the position handily. He continued as assistant director until 2004 when he was elected director, following the retirement of Roy Braunstein.
“Myke is widely respected in the halls of Congress and throughout the APWU,” said President Cliff Guffey. “He has made great contributions to our struggle and he will be missed.”
Kloepfer Becomes Legislative Director
Guffey recommended Maintenance Craft Assistant Director “A” Gary Kloepfer to replace Reid, and the recommendation was unanimously approved by the National Executive Board. “Gary has been a very effective advocate for the Maintenance Craft,” Guffey said. “I am pleased that he has accepted this important assignment.”
Reid said he would work with Kloepfer to ensure that there is a smooth transition in the union’s legislative activities.
Kloepfer began working for the Postal Service in 1974 as an LSM Operator in Cincinnati. After a year he transferred to the Cincinnati Bulk Mail Center and became a member of the Maintenance Craft. He served as president of the Tri-County Ohio Area Local from 1980 to 1991, when he became a National Business Agent. In 2001, he became Maintenance Craft National Representative-at-Large, and in 2003 became Assistant Director of the Maintenance Craft.
Maintenance Craft Vacancies
Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer recommended Idowu Balogun, Maintenance Craft National Representative-at-Large, to replace Kloepfer as Assistant Director “A,” and recommended that the duties of the National Rep-at-Large be absorbed by the director and assistant directors .
In accordance with the APWU Constitution, the recommendations were approved by the Maintenance Craft Council, which is composed of Maintenance Craft national officers.
As a result, the National Rep-at-Large position will remain vacant and the position will not appear on the ballot when voting for national union officers takes place later this year. The council’s actions were authorized by delegates to the 2012 National Convention, who approved an amendment to the APWU Constitution that allows national officers who are responsible for filling vacant positions to combine the duties of the unoccupied positions with those of other officers. The resolution was intended to reduce the number of national union officers by attrition, while maintaining quality representation for APWU members. Delegates to the 2014 National Convention will decide whether vacant positions should be restored or eliminated.
“The reduction of officers reflects a certain reality, but the redistribution of the workload will be a daunting task,” Raymer said. “The duties of BMC Coordinator will stay with our new Assistant Director A, Idowu Balogun. He, Greg See and I are up to the task and our National Business Agents and local officers and stewards will continue to receive the outstanding support they are used to from the headquarters Division officers.”
Clerk NBA Ben Lyons Also Retires
en Lyons, Clerk Craft National Business Agent “A” for the Wichita Region, also has retired — for the second time — ending a career that spanned more than four decades.
A majority of Clerk Craft national officers approved a recommendation by Director Rob Strunk to leave the position vacant. As a result of the vote by the Clerk Craft Council, elections will not be held for Lyons’ NBA position during the election of national officers.
Lyons began his postal career as a Clerk in 1972 in Merrifield VA, but transferred to the Oklahoma City Local the following year. He held a variety of union positions at the local and state level in Oklahoma, including shop steward, director of stations and branches, local vice president and state president.
He became a Clerk Craft National Business Agent in 1992 and retired in 2004. He was pressed into service again in 2012, when the Wichita Region NBA resigned.
A total of six national officer positions have been declared vacant this year.