Ernie Duran, Jr., the powerful head of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, is now the former head of UFCW. As The Denver Post reports:
Ernie Duran Jr., the longest-standing president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 union, lost his re-election bid this week as union members approved sweeping leadership changes amid allegations of nepotism and misspent funds.
Members elected rank-and-file challenger Kim Cordova, a former union representative currently working at Safeway, to take over as president Jan. 1. They also approved a new secretary treasurer and recording secretary and 19 of 25 board members who ran as part of Cordova’s team. The six other board positions were unchallenged.
“I’m excited to be the first woman UFCW president here in Colorado,” said Cordova, 42. “Members spoke loud and clear – they wanted change. It was obvious because our whole team won.”
The UFCW Local 7 is one of the state’s largest unions, with 23,000 members, including grocery- store, meatpacking and private-health-care workers.
Duran declined to comment through his secretary.
But his daughter and the union’s staff attorney, Crisanta Duran, said a challenge of the election will be lodged with the U.S. Department of Labor within 15 days.
We don’t know any details about what did or did not happen that might necessitate a new election, but for anyone involved in Democratic politics this would be the end of an era (good or bad) if the results are upheld. Politically-speaking, UFCW has been one of the most powerful labor unions in Colorado for years, and their electoral involvement isn’t likely to change under Cordova. Nevertheless, Duran’s defeat is certainly unexpected, though not completely unexplainable (as the rest of the Post story indicates).