Most of its top officers have been reelected to 2-year terms. The giant postal union's membership split this summer over terms of a new contract with the Postal Service. Many workers demanded APWU and other unions go out on strike. There were predictions that incumbents who backed the contracts - with its lifetime job guarantees - would be put out to pasture. But only a handful of the 59 national officers lost.

President Emmet Andrews beat out John Napurano, who always runs for the top job, by 47,189 to 36,684. Little-known William N. Odom of Arkansas pulled 13,369 votes, mostly from dissidents opposing Andrews. David Johnson of Philadelphia remains as general executive vice president, besting Donald Silvestri, a New Yorker and former national officer, by 52,319 to 43,509. Secretary-treasurer Chester Parrish kept his job, getting 56,489 to challenger Tony Vanderbloemen, 37,169.

Patrick J. Nilan, considered unbeatable, had no opposition as legislative director of the AFL-CIO union. His deputy, Edward Bowley of Washington got 56,553 to rival Roy Braunstein's 36,859.

Research and education director Ted Valliere, one of the youngest top officers in the AFL-CIO, beat Howard Sill by nearly 30,000 votes.

Moe Biller, leader of the anticontract faction, narrowly edged Carol Saivo for directorship of the important Northeast Region of the union. Biller is also president of the big New York local. Kenneth Liener, who was fired by the postal service for striking, won a vice presidency in the APWU's mail handler craft, beating John Smith by 964-860.

Craft presidents John Morgen, Leon Hawkins and Michael Benner were reelected. Richard Wevodau knocked off his former boss, Monroe Crable to head the large maintenance craft section of APWU. Forrest Newman, an incumbent, beat John Richards of Pittsburgh.