October 25, 2014

Anaheim meeting opens with town hall forum

The SMART Transportation Division’s Anaheim, Calif., regional meeting began July 29 with a town hall forum at which SMART members were able to pose questions directly to the union’s leadership.

More than 500 members, guests and presenters are attending the regional meeting.

After opening ceremonies and remarks from SMART General President Joe Nigro and Transportation Division President Mike Futhey, the presidents were joined by SMART General Secretary-Treasurer Joe Sellers and Transportation Division Assistant President and General Secretary & Treasurer John Previsich to respond to questions concerning the merger of the United Transportation Union and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association and other issues.

The session was moderated by Transportation Division International Vice President John Lesniewski.

In his opening remarks, Nigro announced that the union has launched a new website that can be found at http://smart-union.org. As SMART continues to incorporate various elements of the SMART TD (former UTU) website into smart-union.org, Transportation Division members can still visit www.utu.org for membership news and information.

The two presidents confirmed that delegates to the union’s transportation division will be attending two conventions in 2014.

From June 30 to July 2, Transportation Division delegates will be attending a convention in San Diego, Calif., to elect officers of the Transportation Division and to approve recommendations for changes to the SMART Constitution.

The SMART Constitution is near completion, but several elements of the final document remain before Georgetown University law professor and arbitrator Michael H. Gottesman. His ruling, which is expected later this year, will determine the language of the final SMART Constitution.

Transportation Division delegates will also participate in SMART’s first convention following the merger of the United Transportation Union and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, working side-by-side with delegates from the SMWIA. That convention will be held August 11-15 in Las Vegas.

Both Nigro and Futhey stressed the importance of all delegates fully participating in both the Transportation Division and SMART conventions. “The conventions will provide delegates the opportunity to be a part of the final constitutional approval process,” Futhey said.

The smart-union.org website will soon feature a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to answer members’ concerns about the SMART Constitution, convention and other issues.
 
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SMART Transportation Division President Mike Futhey, left, and SMART General President Joe Nigro speak following the Anaheim regional meeting town hall forum.