Eugene “Peanuts” Polanski, a former labor leader and congressional aide, passed away on October 6. He was 86.
Polanski worked as clerk for the U.S. Post Office from 1956 to 1972. He served as president of the American Postal Workers Union Camden Local from 1968 to 1971, as president of a larger union when four locals merged in 1971, and vice president of the New Jersey Postal Union Southern Division from 1966 to 1971, and as secretary-treasurer of the state union from 1971 to 1972. He was the national business agent from 1972 to 1990, representing postal workers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Polanski led the Camden postal workers through the eight-day U.S. postal strike of 1970.
He was a candidate for the Berlin Borough Council in 1988 but lost to incumbent Republican Marie Knott by 389 votes.
Rep. Jim Florio hired him as an employee labor consultant from 1975 to 1988.
He served as a Camden County Parks Commissioner from 1980 to 1988, and as a Democratic County Committeeman in Berlin from 1986 to 1988.
In 1989, the Camden County Board of Freeholders removed Polanski from his post as a county park commissioner following allegations of conducting political business on county time and lavish spending.
Polanski served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954, completing a tour of duty in Korea.