NYS Senator Tim Kennedy Of Buffalo Brings Aboard Former National Association Of Letter Carriers/Branch 3 President Robert McLennan As His New Staff Labor Liaison
McLennan Believed To Be The Only Labor Liaison Working For The Area’s Elected Leadership, Says Kennedy: “We Needed Someone Who Understands Labor And How Important It Is And To Move Quickly On Issues Impacting The Middle Class”
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: Pictured Above, Former and Recently-Retired National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)/Branch 3 President Robert McLennan (on the Left) shakes the hand of New York State Senator Tim Kennedy outside Kennedy’s District Office in South Buffalo. McLennan was recently brought aboard as Staff Labor Liaison for Senator Kennedy here in Western New York and is believed to be the only Labor Liaison working for any of the Area’s Elected Leaders. (WNYLaborToday.com Photo)
(SOUTH BUFFALO) – Robert McLennan’s career as a Member with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)/Branch 3 Union in Buffalo spanned 32 years as a U.S. Postal Service Employee, a Union Steward, Branch 3 Vice President and then Local NALC President, a position he served in for nearly 23 years. In addition, he served 18 years as an Executive Board Member with the Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and as an Executive Board Member with the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Foundation since its inception in 2001.
Now McLennan, who recently retired, has decided to take on a New Challenge as Staff Labor Liaison for New York State Senator Tim Kennedy (Democrat) of South Buffalo.
McLennan started in March and his hit the ground running, meeting with a variety of Local Public and Private Unions, as well as Building Trades – making them aware of his New Position with Senator Kennedy and building bridges between the Labor Community and a Respected Public Official who has a Long and Consistent Track Record of Supporting a Variety of Issues that Positively Impact both Organized Labor and Working People.
“I was very interested in this – right away,” McLennan told WNYLaborToday.com during a sit-down interview with Senator Kennedy in his District Office in South Buffalo. “It marks my belief in Tim. If I didn’t believe in Tim, I wouldn’t be here.”
“I am here to help our Friends and Allies in Organized Labor,” McLennan continued. “There will never be any Lack of Communication (between Senator Kennedy and the Area’s Labor Movement). That shouldn’t happen and I am learning how intricate (the Labor Movement here is) between City, State, County and Federal Workers, and the Building Trades. Now Tim will be able to get the ‘Full Story’ (from Labor through McLennan’s efforts).”
Referring to the Staff Labor Position, Kennedy – himself a Union Member with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 200 United - told Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper that “this is ‘not’ a Job – it’s a ‘Lifestyle’ to do better things for Working People across the board. We want to know the Issues and have all our bases covered. We don’t want to miss anything.”
In regards to the decision to bring McLennan – whose Union represented Federal Employees – aboard, Kennedy added: “I went right to Bob and (McLennan) was the only one I talked to (about being his Staff Labor Liaison). He’s lived ‘Labor’ and he’s been successful. His expertise is outstanding and he’s ‘done everything.’ He was a perfect fit.”
McLennan also made it a point to say that while NALC/Branch 3 represented U.S. Postal/Letter Carriers who are Federal Employees, the only exception the Union had made under his Long-Time Leadership to Endorse individual Erie County Candidates – where Kennedy once served as a County Legislator – was to support Kennedy because of his Strong Track Record in Standing Up for Worker’s Rights. “That’s why we backed him,” McLennan said.
It is WNYLaborToday.com’s belief that McLennan is the only Staff Labor Liaison that any Elected Representative in Western New York maintains at this time.
In the past there have been at least two others: Bill Greeley of the Buffalo Ticket-Takers/Ushers Union who worked with U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins here in Buffalo, and the International Association of Machinists’ (IAM) Tom Wisniewski, who was once employed by former Congressman Jack Quinn of Buffalo and then with Quinn’s son, who also served in State Government representing the Hamburg Area.
In the time to come, McLennan will mirror Kennedy’s efforts on the State Level, reaching out, talking to and working with the Western New York Labor Movement as Kennedy continues to step forward to help stop the attacks on Working People, ranging from Big Business’s Efforts to Dismantle the Scaffold Law, as well as Collective Bargaining – just two of so many issues important to Working People, Labor Unions and the Labor Movement.
“We’re fighting to Protect Binding Arbitration. We were successful in getting it removed from the last State Budget (which would have dramatically and negatively impacted Police and Fire Unions). The Farm Workers Bill and Voting Reform are also important too,” Kennedy said.
In addition, Kennedy and McLennan told WNYLaborToday.com that Kennedy and State Assemblyman Sean Ryan – another Supporter of Organized Labor and Workers’ Right – will team up to partner on a series of Periodic Labor Roundtables. A variety of Area Labor Leaders and Representatives will be invited, including the first that is being set up and scheduled for June 6th at the Hearthstone Manor in the Buffalo Suburb of Depew.