Appeal denied, Robins union election to be re-run March 18

wcrenshaw@macon.comFebruary 25, 2014 

Robert Tidwell

WARNER ROBINS -- The national president of the American Federation of Government Employees has denied an appeal of a decision to overturn the election of a new slate of union officers at Robins Air Force Base.

That means a rerun of the election is expected to take place March 18.

In a letter obtained by The Telegraph, dated Friday, AFGE national President David Cox denied the appeal of the regional vice president’s decision to overturn the election.

The letter was addressed to Robert Tidwell, president of AFGE Local 987, the largest union at Robins. In October, Tidwell ousted nine-year incumbent Tom Scott by a vote of 441-310, and a slate of challengers running with Tidwell won by a similar margin.

The losing side then filed a protest, alleging 39 violations. Nearly all of those were dismissed, but one was deemed grounds for a new election. The regional union office confirmed seven completed ballots were found in the trash and said there was no way to know how many more there might have been.

Tidwell then appealed that decision to the national office. On Tuesday, he declined to say whether to appeal had been upheld.

Cox also stated in his letter that the union would need to correct how it determined the election of three trustees. None of the trustees elected received a majority vote as required, Cox stated.

He also said in order to uphold Tidwell’s appeal, he would have had to conclude two basic things. The first was that the issue would affect the union nationally, and the second was that the decision of the regional vice president was “arbitrary and capricious.” Cox concluded neither of the those standards was met.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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