31st Constitutional Convention Coverage
For four action-packed days in July, utility workers convened at the 31st Constitutional Convention to chart a course for the union for the next four years and elect new national officers.
The election of James Slevin as president and Patrick Dillon as executive vice president topped the proceedings as Mike Langford and Steven VanSlooten retired from their positions as president and executive vice president respectively to hand leadership off to the next generation of UWUA leaders.
Secretary-Treasurer Michael Coleman and Vice President John Duffy were re-elected to round out the national leadership team.
The theme of this year’s historic 31st Constitutional Convention, Our Mission: Protecting Our Legacy, Building Our Future was embraced by delegates and alternate delegates, the guest speakers who addressed the participants, and the hundreds of other guests who attended the convention.
Top officers take office
Upon being elected president, Slevin addressed the convention saying, “I am honored, humbled, and proud to be elected as your president. I will continue the legacy of this great union. Our industries are changing faster than ever before. We must be on the forefront of that change. I will make sure that we are moving forward, not just for our members but also for the labor movement which, through blood, sweat, and tears, built the middle class of this great nation.”
In his acceptance speech, Executive Vice President Dillon said, “It is an amazing honor to be elected executive vice president of this great union. Having the opportunity to see Mike Langford and Steve VanSlooten leave their positions on their own terms this week and to celebrate everything they have done for this union is a wonderful thing. I know that together with Secretary-Treasurer Coleman, Vice President Duffy, and our new National President James Slevin we will guide this union on the path that Mike and Steve have laid out before us.”
National Committees add energy and purpose
A summit of the UWUA’s National Committees — Human Rights, Health and Safety, Young Workers Initiative, and the Women’s Caucus — added energy and purpose to the proceedings and brought everyone together in an unprecedented show of support for the committees’ work.
In recognition of utility workers as first responders, the second National Hero Award was given to honor those who went beyond the call of duty since the last convention.
The convention is the highest policy-making body of the union, with the power and authority to elect national officers, modify the constitution, and set policy.