ENTER MOE BILLER
As the APWU entered its second decade, the need for more aggressive leadership was apparent. The weakness of the national leaders during the 1978 negotiations was one factor, but looming in the future was a whole host of issues, including automation, privatization, health benefits, work rules, as well as the all important bread-and-butter issues, which would demand strong negotiators on the union side of the table. But as the election of 1980 approached, none of the declared candidates, including the incumbent, Emmet Andrews, appeared to have the strength and the "flair" that the times demanded.
Moe Biller was approaching his 65th birthday in 1980, and he had recently lost his wife of 38 years. As long as his wife, who had been seriously ill for several years, was alive, Biller would not run for national office because he would not consider moving her from New York to Washington, D.C. After Anne's death, Biller was undecided about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, but he was certain that he did not want to stop working. He had been President of the New York Metropolitan local since 1959, and the officers of the Metro wanted him to challenge Andrews for the presidency in 1980. Ultimately, Biller decided that he would run, but didn't declare his candidacy immediately. Local elections were scheduled before the national's, and if he declared too early before the local elections, the dissident faction might make a move to gain control of the local. Biller had defeated Tyrone Monte, an Outlaw candidate, in 1978, winning 86 percent of the vote, but with Biller out of