Arthur Cheliotes is President of Local 1180, Communications Workers of America AFL-CIO. He has served the members of Local 1180 as President since 1979 having been elected to this office 11 times. Cheliotes is a respected labor leader and has been a vocal advocate for Worker Education, Pay Equity and the Enforcement of Civil Service Laws.
Under Arthur Cheliotes’ leadership, the union has worked aggressively to advance the careers of its members employed by the City of New York. The union engaged in considerable litigation to enforce civil service laws that resulted in the promotion of the largest number of minority women to managerial positions through competitive examination in the City’s history. The Union has instituted and expanded extensive educational and training programs to develop the skills and critical thinking workers need to be effective on the job and in their communities. The Union also started a Retirees Division offering retirees programs to maintain good health and remain active in the union.
Local 1180 is the first public worker and one of the largest locals in the Communications Workers of America. The Local represents middle & high level administrative and supervisory employees in New York City Mayoral agencies, the Health and Hospital Corporation, and the State Court System. Building on its achievements to protect worker rights and raise their standard of living. Local 1180 is now organizing workers in the non-profit sector and represents workers at Planned Parenthood, Human Rights First, The Nation Magazine, ASPCA, Democracy Now and Human Rights Watch.
Under Arthur Cheliotes, the union was recognized as a leader on public policy issues. In 1994, the union developed a worker and community friendly economic development program to maintain City services and bring equity to the city tax structure. The union launched an aggressive campaign in 2003 to see that public services are maintained through a progressive system of taxation that takes the burden off working families struggling to stay in the middle class.
Arthur Cheliotes is the senior member of the NYC Municipal Labor Committee and serves as a Vice-Chairman. He also serves as Chairman of the MLC Civil Service Committee. Arthur is a member of the Executive Board of the New York City Central Labor Council. He is Chairman of the Labor Advisory Board of the Murphy Institute, the labor center of the City University of New York. He is the Chairman of the CWA’s Defense Fund Oversight Committee responsible for nearly $500 million in strike funds. He is also founding President of the Greek American Labor Council.
Mr. Cheliotes is devoted to leading a politically progressive union local that serves its members in their service to the people of New York City, he is committed to Local 1180’slogan,
“We make New York work for all New Yorkers.”
In 2001, Cheliotes ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Primary Election for City Council in the 19th Council District representing Northeast Queens, the election was delayed two weeks due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. He was appointed by the Queens Borough President to Community Board 7. He is on the board of the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts and serves as a Vice-President for the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. He is also Secretary of the Hellenic-American Neighborhood Action Committee, which provides affordable senior housing, health care, counseling and community services to families and seniors in Queens and Brooklyn.
Following Arthur’s example the Local committed itself to community service. In 1992 the Local adopted the Alfred E. Smith homeless shelter for families on the Lower East Side and held special events such as toy drives for the children. The Local helped the Jacob Riis Middle School get started by donating classroom furniture, supplies and volunteers to the school so the children could learn about Jacob Riis’ work with New York City’s poor and of the historic struggles of working families. In 1996, the New York State AFL-CIO honored Local 1180 with its Community service award. In 1998, the New York City Central Labor Council honored Arthur Cheliotes for his leadership in Community Services. He has received honors and awards from the National Welfare Law Center for his work with the jobless. The Hunger Action Network also honored him for his work with the homeless. In 2001, following the tragic events of September 11 the Local located near the site of the attack opened its doors to rescue workers and the Red Cross. The union hall was converted into the main disaster relief center of the Red Cross serving lower Manhattan. In 2004, Cheliotes received the Humanitarian Award from the Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded for his support of their work.
Arthur Cheliotes first began working for Local 1180 in 1973 when he was elected shop steward at the Prospect Income Maintenance Center. In 1975, during New York City’s fiscal crisis, the Local hired him as a full-time staff representative analyzing agency budgets and certifying productivity programs. He then served on the executive board until his election to president in 1979.
Arthur, a native New Yorker was born in Jamaica, Queens in 1948. His late father Nick arrived in the United States as a stowaway in 1926 and served during WW II as a sergeant in the 100th Division of the US Army. His father was a member of Local 325 of Cooks, Countermen and Bartenders Union, AFL-CIO and continued his membership when he opened his own small diner. His late mother Julia survived the Nazi occupation of Greece and emigrated to New York after World War II.
Cheliotes graduated from Jamaica High School in 1966 and received a B.A. from Queens College in 1970. He is the proud father of three adult children from his first marriage, Nicholas, Theana, and Peter. In 2005, Arthur married Dr. Linda M. Gross a retired Principal who recently earned a doctorate in educational leadership and works as a consultant developing future leaders in education and other organizations. They live in Bayside, Queens.
Revised April 2010