MVS Director Pritchard to Retire; Foster to Become Craft Director

April 28, 2013

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Bob Pritchard Bob Pritchard has announced he will retire May 10, ending a run of more than 17 years as director of the Motor Vehicle Craft.

“These have been challenging times for postal workers, especially in the Motor Vehicle Craft,” he said. “We have waged a long struggle against contracting out and made little progress — until recently.” The APWU won a major victory in March, when an arbitrator ruled that USPS plans to contract out all MVS operations in California violated the contract.

“I’m gratified by our recent arbitration win,” Pritchard said.“It will help the union continue the fight to protect jobs.

The decision to retire was not an easy one, he said, noting that he is the longest-serving craft director in the APWU’s history. “There is still a great deal of work to be done. But I’ve lived in the Washington DC area for more than 8 years without my family. My youngest daughter is about to enter her senior year in high school, and this is my last chance to spend time with her before she becomes an adult.”

Pritchard began his postal career in 1978 as a clerk in Trenton NJ and became a Motor Vehicle Mechanic in 1980. He was elected local craft director about a decade later, and also served on the state Executive Board representing Southern New Jersey.

President Cliff Guffey said, “It’s been great working with Bob all these years. Together we’ve made landmark achievements in the fight to protect jobs. Bob will be missed, but Michael Foster has been solid as a rock as assistant director. I’m confident the new team of officers will continue to lead the Motor Vehicle Craft with great determination.”

Foster to Become Director

Mike Foster

In accordance with the APWU Constitution, Assistant Director Michael O. Foster will succeed Pritchard. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Bob for 12 years,” he said. “We’ve had some great successes in very difficult times.

“My commitment going forward is to try to keep the Motor Vehicle Craft strong and viable in the Postal Service and the APWU.”

Foster started his postal career in 1981 as a Tractor-Trailer Operator in Detroit. He served as local MVS Craft director for 14 years, beginning in 1987, and became the national assistant director in 2001, following the retirement of Joe Williams.

Javier Piñeres

Piñeres to Become Assistant Director

Western Region National Business Agent Javier Piñeres will replace Foster as assistant director. “I selected Javier for assistant director because he’s energetic and dedicated to the craft,” Foster said. “I was also impressed with the role he played in the fight against subcontracting in California.”

Piñeres is a member of the San Jose Area Local. He was hired as a Letter Carrier in 1984 and moved into the MVS Craft about a year later. In 2002, he became vice president of his local, and in 2004 he also began serving as MVS director for California. He became Western Region NBA in 2011.

Knipe to Become National Business Agent, Western Region

Ed Knipe

Ed Knipe, MVS director for the San Diego Area Local, will fill the position of National Business Agent for the Western Region. He began his postal career in Minneapolis in1996 and transferred to San Diego in 1998. Knipe began his stint as local craft director in 2001.

The appointments of Piñeres and Knipe were ratified unanimously by members of the MVS Division Council in a teleconference on April 22.

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