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International Executive Vice President Perez and IVPs Borchardt, Watson, and Hamilton Retire at 60th International Convention

At our 60th International Convention in Las Vegas, NV, International Executive Vice President Javier Perez, Jr., and International Vice Presidents Janis Borchardt, Chuck Watson and Bruce Hamilton announced their retirements.

“With almost two centuries combined of dedicated and distinguished service to our Union, Javier, Janis, Chuck, and Bruce have negotiated numerous contracts, represented Locals small and big, and waged campaigns to improve the lives of countless members and their families,” said ATU International President John Costa. “We wish them and their families all the best in their well-deserved retirements. They will be missed but leave behind a legacy of remarkable accomplishments on behalf of our members, our Union, and all working people.”

Javier Perez, Jr.

An ATU member for 48 years, Javier Perez, Jr., began driving a bus for the Kansas City Area Transit Authority in 1974.  He became a member of Local 1287 and served as steward, Executive Board member, Vice President and was elected President in 1987.

Perez was involved in community service heading voter registration drives and assisting with summer Mural projects as a member of LCLAA, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. In 2002, Perez was appointed by Missouri Governor Bob Holden to serve on the Kansas City Missouri Police Board as a commissioner and later was elected President of the Board.

At the September 1995 ATU International Convention, Perez was elected as an International Vice President. He immediately began working with many of our Locals, large and small. On August 29, 2013, the ATU General Executive Board elected Perez to be the International Executive Vice President to replace retired International Executive Vice President Bob Baker. Perez was elected and re-elected at each subsequent International Convention until he retired at the 2022 International Convention.


Janis Borchardt

In 1979, Janis Borchardt was unemployed and looking for work in San Francisco, CA, when she chanced upon the opportunity to apply for a job as a Greyhound operator. She was hired and soon joined Local 1225-San Francisco, CA. Borchardt became a Local Shop Steward in 1983. In 1987 she was elected the Local’s first full-time female Vice President - just before the 1987 Greyhound strike. Her mettle was tested in 1990 during the grueling 39-month Greyhound strike in which she had a central role in coordinating the Local’s activities. She was re-elected in 1990 and 1993. 

From 1993 to 1996, the International tapped Borchardt’s talents as a Special Representative, during which time she helped organize Local 1635 in Dallas. In 1996, she was appointed a Service Director serving in Raleigh, NC. In 1999, she was appointed a Special Representative, organizing and serving Locals all around the U.S. and Canada. And in 2003, she was appointed as an International Representative. In February 2004, Borchardt was appointed as a International Vice President and was elected and re-elected at each convention leading up to her retirement.


Chuck Watson

After being honorably discharged in 1974 after six years in the United States Air Force, Chuck Watson was hired as a bus operator by the Transit Authority in Syracuse, NY, joining our Local 580-Syracuse, NY. 

After 17 years as a bus operator, Watson was elected Business Agent/Financial Secretary of our Local 580 in 1991 and was re-elected for seven consecutive terms. He served on the Executive Board of the ATU CAN-AM Conference and as Secretary-Treasurer of the ATU New York State Legislative Conference Board. Watson also was a non-voting member of the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors, appointed by the Governor of New York.

Watson was elected International Vice President at the 2010 International Convention and re-elected at every convention until his retirement. 


Bruce Hamilton

Hamilton joined the ATU in 1971 as a Greyhound driver in Des Moines, IA, and immediately became an activist for our Union. He played a key role in all of the big intercity transit battles, from deregulation of the industry to the 1983 Greyhound strike, to the struggle to preserve terminal workers’ jobs, to the horrific Greyhound strike of 1990 until 1993. 

In 2005 Hamilton was elected President of Local 1700, which represents Greyhound and other over-the-road (OTR) bus workers. As President, Hamilton worked all across America, negotiating contracts and organizing terminal workers.

In the Spring of 2013, Hamilton was appointed International Vice President, where he worked with many Locals and on key environmental and climate changes issues for our Union.  Hamilton was elected and re-elected International Vice President until he announced his retirement at the 2022 International Convention.