Devlaeminck drops out of race for president of AFL-CIO

At presstime Tuesday, Aug. 31, Joe Devlaeminck, a candidate for president of the Oregon AFL-CIO, announced that he was dropping out of the race.

The following is a statement he released to the Northwest Labor Press:

"Because I am greatly concerned about the future of organize labor in our state, it is with great reluctance that I announce I am no longer a candidate for president of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

"I firmly believe that the Oregon AFL-CIO has been stuck in neutral for several years. Along with Rick Sawyer, I envisioned a bold new course for our state federation - a course of action and a course of leadership for all workers in Oregon."

"Unfortunately,the practical matter is that not enough voting delegates to the upcoming Oregon AFL-CIO convention share that vision with me. It is disappointing that while many members of the Oregon AFL-CIO talk about change, not enough are ready to follow that talk up with the action needed to buck the status quo and effect meaningful change.

"It is my hope that, in the least, my candidacy has caused union members in Oregon to examine the current direction of our state federation. That direction must change if we are to survive; however, it will not happen under my leadership.

"I would like to thank all of those who committed to my candidacy and stuck with me. Your support will always be remembered and appreciated."

At this point, the election for president has become a one-man race for Tim Nesbitt.

Nesbitt, executive director of the Oregon State Council of Service Employees, is running on a slate with Brad Witt, the incumbent secretary-treasurer.

Devlaemink, president of Oregon Council 75 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and president of Multnomah County Employees Local 88, was running on a slate with Rick Sawyer, director of collective bargaining for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555.

Sawyer was in contract negotiations in Eugene and was unavailable for comment. It is unclear what effect Devlaemink's announcement will have on his candidacy.

The 44th annual convention of the Oregon AFL-CIO will be held Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 13-15, at the North Bend Community Center, 2222 Broadway.

The election of officers and Executive Board members will be held Wednesday, Sept. 15, with nominations open at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14.

It will be the last convention presided over by President Irv Fletcher, who is retiring after 18 years of leading the state labor federation.

There is also an open seat for first vice president, following the retirement of incumbent Sam Rutledge, directing business representative of Machinists W-12 in Klamath Falls.

Bert Larson, a business representative of Machinists Woodworkers District Lodge W1 and a former Executive Board member from central Oregon is the only announced candidate.

Diane Rosenbaum, a member of Communications Workers of America Local 7901, had initially announced her candidacy for first vice president last month but has since decided not to run. Instead, she will seek re-election to the at-large seat that she now holds.

Ballots also will be cast for second vice president and 22 Executive Board seats.

Two members of Office and Professional Employees Local 11 have announced their bids for re-election to the Executive Board representing Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

Gary Kirkland, executive officer/secretary-treasurer of the Portland-headquartered Local 11, is seeking re-election in District 1, Position 2, and Judy O'Connor, executive secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, will run for re-election in District 1, Position 1.

Bob Williams, a union representative of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, is seeking re-election in District 1, Position 3.

Lloyd Carver, president and directing business representative of Machinists Woodworkers 246, is running for an open Executive Board seat in District 3, representing Lincoln and Tillamook counties. Carver served on the E-Board in 1974 and has been with the union for 31 years.

No other candidates have notified the Northwest Labor Press of their intent to run for Executive Board positions or as officers.

Two seats are currently open on the Executive Board. Sam Dominy, directing business representative of Machinists W Lodge 246, has taken an assignment in Denver and has resigned in District 6, Position 2, and Marlin Aerni of PACE-UPIU Local 1189 has retired and will not seek re-election to his at-large seat. Several other board members may not be eligible to run for re-election because of a national AFL-CIO rules interpretation that they must live or work in the districts that they represent.

September 3, 1999 issue

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