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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              July 16, 1996





John Sullivan, Associate General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Room 110

Philadelphia, PA


Hoffa 96 Campaign

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Rooms 103B & 103C

Philadelphia, PA


Re:  Election Office Case No. CONV-14-IBT




The International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules) alleging that supporters of James P. Hoffa, a candidate for general president, have donned vests similar to those worn by the sergeants-at-arms, the IBT representatives charged with maintaining order on the floor of the Convention.  The IBT contends that the Hoffa supporters have intentionally donned clothing to make themselves look like sergeants-at arms.  According to the IBT, the similarity causes confusion and threatens to disrupt the orderly conduct of the Convention.  Thus, the IBT requests that members be barred from wearing red, pro-Hoffa vests on the floor of the Convention.


The Hoffa campaign responds that the similarity between the campaign vests and the sergeants-at-arms vests is coincidental.  A representative of the campaign denies that the similarity in the color and design of the vests has caused any noticeable confusion on the Convention floor.



John Sullivan

July 16, 1996

Page 1



Regional Coordinator Judith Kuhn investigated the protest.


Article I of the Rules defines the role and authority of the Election Officer.  It states, in relevant part:


Pursuant to the Consent Order, the Election Officer has the authority to supervise all phases of the International Union delegate and officer election, including, where necessary, the authority to conduct, overturn or rerun any phase of that

election . . .


The Election Officer, consistent with her duties and obligations, reserves the authority to take all necessary actions in supervising the election process to insure fair, honest, open and informed elections.


The IBT has presented no evidence that the red vests worn by Hoffa supporters has or will interfere with the execution of the election process at the Convention.  While the IBT argues that the similarity in attire has already been confusing and disrupting, the IBT has not alleged that the wearing of the red, pro-Hoffa vests has interfered with the nomination or seconding of the nomination of any candidate, or of the nomination balloting process.  Without compelling evidence that Convention functions under the jurisdiction of the Election Officer have been hampered or are endangered, the Election Officer will not restrict the right of members to participate in the election process by wearing material in support of the candidate of their choice.  See Moerler, CONV-2-LU63-CLA (June 22, 1991) (The jurisdiction of the Election Officer does not extend to internal IBT matters not shown to affect the nomination and election process.).


Accordingly, the protest is DENIED.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one day of receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:


              Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

              Latham & Watkins

              885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

              New York, NY 10022

              Fax (212) 751-4864


John Sullivan

July 16, 1996

Page 1



Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204, Philadelphia, PA, Facsimile (202) 418-2426.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer


cc:              Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Judy Kuhn, Regional Coordinator