Tidwell ousts Scott for Robins union presidency

wcrenshaw@macon.comOctober 15, 2013 

  • Here are the election results for American Federation of Government Employees Local 987 at Robins Air Force Base:

    President
    Robert Tidwell - 441
    Tom Scott (incumbent) - 310

    Vice president
    Charles Howard - 430
    Charlie Tripis (incumbent) - 307

    Secretary
    Eric Langston - 411
    Yulandra Arnold - 332

    Treasurer
    John Lockett - 417
    Jeanette McElhaney (incumbent) - 324

    Sergeant at arms
    Tommy Gibson - 400
    Jerry Galloway - 327

    Vice president of maintenance*
    Steve Stant - 266
    Ronnie Hill - 233

    Vice president of non-appropriated funds*
    Elsie Marquez - 10
    Nelson Brown - 6

    Vice president of Defense Logistics Agency*
    Chelsea Ybarbo (incumbent) - 28
    Chad Mullis - 17

    Vice president at-large*
    Eddie White (incumbent) - 91
    Michael Ferguson - 49

    *Voting limited to members working in these areas

    Trustees (top three elected)
    Labrenda Jones - 322
    David Tucker - 311
    Bryant Aaron - 291
    Mary Sanders (incumbent) - 264
    Maurice Zammit (incumbent) - 252
    David Jones - 237
    Alfred Daniely (incumbent) - 166
    Walter Zellner - 113
    Ray Wessels - 110

WARNER ROBINS -- A slate of candidates trying to oust the long-entrenched leadership of the largest union at Robins Air Force Base scored a clean sweep in Tuesday’s election.

Challenger Robert Tidwell defeated nine-year incumbent Tom Scott for the presidency of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 987. Every candidate running on Tidwell’s ticket also won.

They will take office at the next union meeting to be held Nov. 5.

The final total had Tidwell with 441 votes and Scott with 310 votes. The election saw a record turnout with 963 ballots cast. Not everyone votes in every race.

The union hall was sealed off as an independent contractor counted the ballots. But candidates and their supporters could peer in through the glass doors and see the totals going up on a big screen.

At about 8:30 p.m. a representative of Tidwell, who had been inside monitoring the counting, came out and said the final tally was in, and the opposition candidates had a clean sweep.

The group erupted into a raucous celebration.

“I’m excited,” Tidwell said after the results were announced. “We’ve just got a lot of work to do.”

Scott could not immediately be reached for comment.

The union has about 3,900 members. The only other union at Robins represents the firefighters on base.

When he announced his candidacy, Tidwell said he agreed with comments retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon made about the state of labor relations at Robins. McMahon said if relations didn’t improve, it would be bad for the base when the next Base Realignment and Closure Commission comes calling.

Tidwell blamed both the union and management for the problem, but he said the union could be doing more to fix it. He promises to spend more time at the base listening to the concerns of union members to try to address problems before grievances are filed.

He also said he plans to reach out more to the community to keep people better informed about what’s happening on base.

He credited the high turnout, in comparison to past elections, to a desire for change.

“We put a good ticket together,” he said.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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