Chesterton Tribune

 

 

USW International confirms Millsap's victory in election for District 7 Director

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Mike Millsap’s victory over incumbent Jim Robinson, in the election for the directorship of United Steelworkers District 7, has been confirmed following an investigation by the USW’s International Tellers Committee.

Millsap beat Robinson narrowly in the Nov. 26 election, by 5,903 votes to 5,703.

Two protests were promptly filed, both concerning the way in which Local 6787 conducted the election: one by Robinson himself, the other by five members of Local 6787.

According to the reported submitted by the International Tellers, the two protests “raised similar concerns”:

* Local 6787’s financial secretary was not part of the Tellers Committee.

* Local 6787 did not require members to sign or initial the voter registration book.

* Reported voter turnout seemed “unusually high as compared to witness observations.”

In their investigation, the International Tellers Committee determined that Local 6787’s financial secretary--and one of the local’s automatic tellers--”chose to work in the mill on the day of the election and that during the day he had exchanged text messages with the chief teller, asking if there were any issues that required his attention.”

The International Tellers Committee also determined that, though the financial secretary had intended to participate in the ballot counting on the night of Nov. 26, he “was called away on a personal matter and had to leave.”

On the issue of the voter registration book, the International Tellers Committee noted that the USW International does not require members to sign the poll book, although doing so apparently had at one time been Local 6787’s “practice.”

And the International Tellers Committee reviewed “extensive video of the general area in which the voting tents were located,” provided by ArcelorMittal; photographs of the polling stations inside the tents; the poll books; and all ballots and tally sheets.

The International Tellers Committee’s conclusion: “We found no evidence to suggest that the local conducted its voting in an improper manner. The reported vote count is consistent with the records examined. There was no evidence submitted that demonstrated votes were cast by anyone other than a member who personally appeared at the polling station. The financial secretary was involved in the election process to the extent he wanted to be. The Tellers commend the local for its thorough management of the election process and its excellent record keeping.”

“We find no reason to rerun the election at this local,” the International Tellers Committee added. “Both protests are rejected.”

Robinson had served as District 7 Director since November 2001 and had been re-elected twice by acclamation to the four-year term.

Millsap had previously served as District 7’s Sub-District 5 Director.

In September 2013, Local 6787 President Paul Gipson endorsed Millsap’s candidacy. So did a majority of Local 6787’s members who voted in the primary election on Sept. 5, when 165 ballots were cast for Millsap against 33 for Robinson.

At the time Gipson said that Millsap, who came out of the bankrupt LTV, learned about loss the hard way. Robinson, on the other hand, came out of Inland Steel, which was one of the rare mills which didn’t declare bankruptcy a decade ago, Gipson noted.

 

Posted 3/27/2014