By DON McINTOSH
As reported in the Jan. 5 issue of the Labor Press, Paul Elder won the most votes in a five-way race for business manager of 5,000-member United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 290. That’s according to a Dec. 18 tally, and Elder was expecting to be sworn into office at the local’s Jan. 19 meeting. But the Labor Press learned after publication that those election results weren’t yet official. Incumbent Joe Neely, who came in second, had filed an election challenge, and under the UA international constitution, election challenges must be resolved before a winner can be officially sworn into office.
John Kierce, a Boise-based representative of the UA international for the region, was assigned to investigate the challenge. Kierce told the Labor Press he hopes to bring the process to resolution within a month, at which point either the results would be upheld or a new election would be ordered. Neely was appointed business manager effective June 1, 2023, after retirement of Lou Christian. He remains business manager until the challenge is resolved.