Cliff Guffey will be the new president of the American Postal Workers Union after capturing 69 percent of the ballots cast in a three-way race, the union announced in a news release.
Guffey, APWU’s vice president since 2001, will succeed retiring President William Burrus. As he moves up to the top job, his immediate challenge will be nailing down a new contract with the U.S. Postal Service, which is seeking to loosen work rules. The existing contract expires Nov. 20; Burrus recently described progress on its successor as “slow.”
More broadly, Guffey’s three-year term is likely to be dominated by the Postal Service’s prolonged financial crisis. The union, which represents some 211,000 clerks, mechanics and other workers, is currently fighting the agency’s attempt to curtail most Saturday delivery.
“These are tough times for postal workers,” Guffey said in the release. “But we are committed to fighting to protect our jobs and to strengthen the Postal Service. With the support of our members–and the American people–I am confident we can succeed.”
The president’s race was one of 30 contested campaigns for national office on this year’s APWU ballot. Out of a total of 190,531 ballots mailed to eligible voters, 51,994 were returned, according to the union. The results were tabulated Friday by the American Arbitration Association.
Before becoming APWU vice president, Guffey had been the union’s Clerk Craft director and assistant director as well as president of its Oklahoma City local. Replacing him as vice president is Greg Bell, who won 75 percent of the vote. After being sworn in Nov. 6, Guffey, Bell and other new officers take office Nov. 12. The APWU is the largest of the Postal Service’s four unions.