Bureau Of National Affairs

 

Volume 02 Number 82

 

ISSN 1523-5718

 

 

AFL-CIO

 

Building Trades' Robert Georgine Resigns;

 

Edward Sullivan to Take Over as President

 

 

By Brian Lockett

Monday, February 7, 2000

 

WASHINGTON (BNA) -- Robert A. Georgine's surprise Jan. 19 announcement of his resignation will elevate Edward C. Sullivan as the new president of the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department.

 

The resignation is effective April 15 for the 67-year-old Georgine, who has been building trades president since 1974. He will assume emeritus status with the building trades department but will remain an AFL-CIO vice president and a member of its governing executive council.

 

Georgine said in a statement during the building trades department meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., that he is resigning because he has accomplished goals he set in 1995 and because he wanted to give his successor time to prepare for the convention and set his own agenda.

 

The 55-year-old Sullivan, president of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, is a journeyman elevator mechanic and a member of Local 4 in Boston. He was elected assistant to the international union's president in 1996 and was elected to take over as head of the union in January 1998.

 

Joseph Maloney, executive director of building trades's Canadian office, was elected as secretary-treasurer, a position that has been vacant since February 1997. Maloney is a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers.

 

Officers will be elected at building trades's convention July 25-27 in Chicago when Sullivan and Maloney are expected to run for re-election to these offices.

 

Expresses Mixed Feelings

 

In a Jan. 21 BNA interview, Georgine said he had mixed feelings about stepping down after 30 years from a demanding and rewarding job. "I've done the right thing for the right reasons and I feel good about that," he said. Much of what he set out to do since the 1995 convention has been or will be accomplished, Georgine said.

 

The building trade unions, individually and collectively, "are in good shape and in a position where they can really move forward," Georgine said. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing an increase not just in membership but in density among building trade unions is a case in point, he said. The BLS numbers, Georgine said, "indicate we've done some good."

 

Georgine will continue as chief executive officer of Union Labor Life Insurance Co. "I have put into effect a plan at ULLICO that, if I can execute, will radically change attitudes in the investment community," Georgine said. Through creative investment of pension fund assets, Georgine said, jobs as well as retirement income can be created for union building tradesmen.

 

Amendment Bars Re-Election

 

Georgine was precluded from seeking re-election under an amendment in the building trades constitution but this was not seen as an insurmountable obstacle had he decided to seek another term. The amendment, made during the department's convention in 1995, requires that anyone elected to the offices of president and secretary-treasurer "shall serve in a full-time capacity and shall hold no other salaried office or position within the trade union movement or in public or private employment." The amendment was passed after Georgine was elected to his current five-year term.

 

But his supporters argued that convention delegates can certainly amend that prohibition.

 

The amendment was a reference to Georgine's position as chief executive office of ULLICO, a job he took in December 1990 at the urging of building trade union presidents. A principle function of ULLICO has been to invest and manage the approximately $6 billion of largely building trade union pension fund assets -- including investment of these funds in construction projects that generate jobs for union building tradesmen -- and provide health insurance benefits for some 3.5 million union members.

Copyright © 2000 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington D.C


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