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Kannapolis native heads government employee group

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
Kannapolis native and former Hefner VA Medical Center nurse J. David Cox was elected Friday as national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
Cox’s election came during the union’s 39th national convention in Las Vegas.
The American Federation of Government Employees is the largest federal employee union, representing 650,000 workers in the federal government and in the District of Columbia.
Cox was longtime president of AFGE Local 1738 at the VA hospital in Salisbury, and that position launched him into other district, state and national positions with the union.
He becomes AFGE president after serving two consecutive terms as AFGE’s national secretary-treasurer.
He graduated from the nursing program at Salisbury’s Rowan Technical College, now Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, in 1983.
Cox said in a statement he would work on strengthening the union by embracing its diverse membership and building consensus among members.
“The strength of unity is the only way we are going to fight back against the anti-government and anti-union forces that want to dismantle the vital programs and services federal employees provide each and every day to millions of Americans,” Cox said Friday. “I am honored and humbled that AFGE’s members chose me to lead this fight.”
According to an AFGE press release, Cox helped the union add more than 52,000 new members and expand the size and scope of AFGE’s political action committee and its legislative action fund.
Cox recently received the 2012 Rabin Center Public Service Award, presented by the American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center. It honors those whose work reflects the legacy of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
He has served on the National Veterans Affairs Council and the Department of Veterans Affairs Nursing Commission.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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