Editor’s note: This article was posted on the SIU website on June 24 and also was promoted via the union’s text-alert service and on social media. Some of the information previously was published in the Seafarers LOG.
As you probably know, 2020 is an election year for the SIU. Due to the pandemic, the union has relaxed a requirement to run for office.
Specifically, and, as you may have seen in prior communications, the union’s executive board has approved lenience for prospective candidates who are unable to pay their dues on time for the second and/or third quarters of this year because of the pandemic. On the latter point, our constitution specifies that candidates must have been in continuous good standing for at least three years (12 calendar quarters) immediately prior to the nomination period (which is July 15-August 15). Per executive board action, any candidate who was in good standing for at least 10 consecutive quarters as of the end of the first quarter of 2020 will not be precluded from nomination because of late dues payments in the second or third quarters this year.
While not required to do so, we encourage members to use certified or registered mail to submit your nominations/credentials. If you use regular/traditional mail, please follow up with my office to verify that we have received your submission, as mail deliveries have been delayed at times during this pandemic.
Additionally, there are sea-time requirements for nominees (100 days in the deep sea division during the period between January 1, 2020 and the date nominations begin [July 15, 2020] or 65 days in the inland or Great Lakes divisions). If someone wants to run for office but cannot meet those requirements due to circumstances related to COVID-19, you are encouraged to nominate yourself anyway. The credentials committee will review each case and may relax the requirements. Note that you must have been registered to ship during the relevant time period and be able to show that you were not able to accumulate sufficient sea time because crew changes were limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, during our election years, my July membership report normally features the details of our nominations, procedures, etc. Since our July 2020 meetings are cancelled due to the pandemic, I am including that information here.
Nominations For Officers, Assistant Vice Presidents, and Port Agents
In accordance with the provisions of Article XIII, Section 1, of our Constitution, letters of nominations must reach Headquarters between July 15 and August 15, 2020. Following are the constitutional provisions regarding nominations:
Article XIII, Section 1 – Nominations
Except as provided in Section 2(b) of this Article, any full book member may submit his name for nomination for any office, or the job of Assistant Vice-President or Port Agent by delivering or causing to be delivered in person, to the office of the Secretary-Treasurer at Headquarters, or sending a letter addressed to the Credentials Committee, in care of the Secretary- Treasurer at the address of Headquarters. This letter shall be dated and shall contain the following:
(a) The name of the candidate.
(b) His home address and mailing address.
(c) His book number.
(d) The title of the office or other job for which he is a candidate, including the name of the Port in the event the position being sought is that of Port Agent.
(e) Proof of citizenship.
(f) Proof of seatime and/or employment as required for candidates.
(g) In the event the member is on a vessel, he shall notify the Credentials Committee what vessel he is on. This shall be done also if he ships subsequent to forwarding his credentials.
(h) Annexing a certificate in the following form, signed and dated by the proposed nominee:
“I hereby certify that during the past thirteen (13) years I have not been convicted of, or served any part of a prison term resulting from a conviction for robbery, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, grand larceny, burglary, arson, violation of narcotics laws, murder, rape, assault with intent to kill, assault which inflicts grievous bodily injury, or violation of Title II or III of the Landrum Griffin Act, or conspiracy to commit such crimes. In addition, I certify that I support the Constitution of the United States of America, its institutions and form of government.”
Signature of Member
Printed forms of the certificate shall be made available to nominees. Where a nominee cannot truthfully execute such a certificate, but is, in fact, legally eligible for an office or job by reason of the restoration of civil rights originally revoked by such conviction or a favorable determination by the Board of Parole of the United States Department of Justice, he shall, in lieu of the foregoing certificate, furnish a complete signed statement of the facts of his case together with true copies of the documents supporting his statement.
Any full book member may nominate any other full book member in which event such full book member so nominated shall comply with the provisions of the Article as they are set forth herein relating to the submission of credentials. By reason of the above self nomination provision the responsibility, if any, for notifying a nominee of his nomination to office shall be that of the nominator.
All documents must reach Headquarters no earlier than July 15 and no later than August 15 of the election year.
The Secretary-Treasurer is charged with safekeeping of these letters and shall turn them over to the Credentials Committee upon the latter’s request.
Lastly, information about the balloting process, including absentee ballots, will be forthcoming.