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September 23, 2017
History of TWU Local 264
Updated On: Feb 28, 2014

On October 7, 1947 the founding President of the Transport Workers Union of America Michael J. Quill and Secretary-Treasurer Douglas L. MacMahon under their signatures issued a charter to a number of workers at the institution of Barnard College. These members, who were all Building Tradesmen, petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to form a union.

The total number of workers that caused this charter to be issued was fourteen (14) employees. These members are viewed as our founding fathers. They are as follows:

1. Maurice Adler

2. A. Boscombe

3. Walter Brown

4. George Buckert

5. George Canavagh

6. Joseph A. Fahey

7. James Gallagher

8. Allan Knight

9. Walter Knight

10. Stanley Lavacek

11. Joseph P. Moffitt

12. James A. Murray

13. Everett Spencer

14. Morton Spencer

These fourteen employees founded Local 264 of the Transport Workers Union of America. Within the two months that followed, other employees in the Housekeeping and Watchman areas later joined the union. These new members then became the Housekeeping Division and Safety and Security Division. A year later the Food Service Employees also joined.

During the local’s many years of operation the membership increased and the local expanded into the current four Divisions. These Divisions are:

* The Safety and Security Division (SSD),

* The Facilities Maintenance Division (FMD),

* The Facilities Housekeeping Division (FHD)

* The Food Services Division (FSD).

James Gallagher was then elected as the first president for Local 264 in 1947. He headed the local from 1947 to 1974 and was re-elected several times, most times unopposed and was President up to his retirement. He negotiated the following contracts:

* Approximately thirteen (13) Two year-contracts for the members employed by Barnard College.

* Contracts negotiated for the Food Service Division was done but the term of each was not clearly documented.

He was succeeded by Anthony J. Taleries his Vice President.

President Anthony J. Taleries served from 1974 to 1978. He served out the balance of President’s Gallagher term and was responsible for leading the negotiation for one (1) two-year contract. He was not reelected and was replaced by Horace Harriott.

President Horace Harriott was successfully re-elected three times, two of his three elections were unopposed and served as President from 1978 to 1989 until he left the employment of the college. He negotiated four contracts for the membership.

* Two (2) two-year contracts for the members employed by Barnard College

* Two (2) three-year contracts, for the members employed by Barnard College

* Contracts negotiated for the Food Service Division was done but the term of each was not properly documented.

During his tenure the local went out on strike for approximately two days, this lead to the issue being settled with the employer after the two days. Horace Harriott was viewed as the most successful President of the Local until the presidency of Orton Reynolds. He was succeeded by Peggy Keefe his Vice President who served out the balance of his last term.

President Peggy Keefe served from 1989 to 1995. She served out the remainder of President Harriott’s term. She negotiated the following contracts:

* A three-year contract for the members employed by Barnard College

* A five-year contract for the members employed by Barnard College.

* Two (3) three-year contracts for the members employed by ARAMARK Corporation. During her presidency, the local experience a decline and lost a lot of the gains fought for under the leadership of Horace Harriott. She was replaced by Orton Reynolds.

Orton Reynolds was elected in 1995 and was successfully re-elected unopposed four times and continued to lead the local until he was promoted to TWU International in 2007. The membership had urged him not to resign so has to finish the contract negotiations with both employers before departing, but it must be noted that he was an absent president during most of his last three year term. He completed the fifth term as president while assigned at TWU International and assigned in the State of Georgia.

During his presidency the local amended their by-laws to reflect a 2nd.Vice President heading each Division and also expanding the Local Executive Board (E-Board) to ensure each division would be represented on the E-Board. Also, the new By-laws reflected new procedures which held the elected officers accountable to the membership and giving the membership more opportunity to exercise their rights and the establishment of a “Complaint form” to document their complaints. It must be noted, in this area, his Executive Vice President Aaron W. Kinard (for two of his term) was extremely influential and a significant partner in making these changes in the bylaws. The period of Orton Reynolds Administration is regarded as the Local’s most successful and productive years for the members.

Orton Reynolds negotiated the following contracts:

* Two (3) three-year contracts, for the members employed by Barnard College

* One (4) four-year contract for the members employed by Barnard College.

* One (5) five-year contract for the members employed by Barnard College.

* Four (3) three-year contracts for the members employed by ARAMARK Corporation.

* One (4) four-year contract for the members employed by ARAMARK Corporation. A total of nine (9) contracts were negotiated under the Administration of Orton Reynolds. The local was left with huge surplus in investment and bonds and was in great economic shape and remained very stable.

The local also embarked on a massive COPE (Committee on Political Education) drive in 1999 and succeeded in becoming the leading local in COPE donation with in the TWU. This is based on membership per capita. The Local has since dropped off in its COPE contribution.

The Food Service Division has won various awards for their excellent service and method of operation. The other divisions continue to prove themselves to be valuable and productive to their employer. Many Members of the Safety and Security Division because of their actions above and beyond the call of duty has received awards from the New York City Police department. While Local 264 has excelled in many areas, its one drawback is that it has not been able to expand itself beyond the perimeters of the Barnard College campus. This remains a challenge for the future leadership. Orton Reynolds was succeeded by Eric Gomez in 2010.

During the period of 2010 to 2013, the local was experiencing some rough times, having their CBA being violated and loosing long held rights and protection for its members, this was especially prevalent in the Safety & Security Division (SSD).

The local under the leadership of President Gomez negotiated:

* One (4) four-year contract for the members employed by Barnard College, for the period (2011-2014).

The Executive Board in a bold move and having information that Orton Reynolds was due to return to the Local in Mid-May of 2012, decided to appoint him as Administrator of the Local. The E-Boards aim was to stop the bleeding of the continued violations and regain an era of respect and mutual co-operation, between the College and the union.

In March 2013, Orton Reynolds was again elected unopposed as President with a slate he recommended and now holds the Position of President as well as Administrator.

We encourage you to view our past leaders section for more of our history.


 
 
Transport Worker Union Local 264
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