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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              August 2, 1996





Jack Ford

August 2, 1996

Page 1



Jack Ford

1021 Everglades Drive

Pacifica, CA 94044


Julian Torres

817 Geneva Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94112

Andy Cirkelis, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 921

450 Harrison Street, Room 304

San Francisco, CA 94105

Jack Ford

August 2, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. CONV-33-LU921-EOH




A pre-election protest was filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules) by Jack Ford, a delegate for Local Union 921.  Mr. Ford alleges that Andy Cirkelis, secretary-treasurer of Local Union 921, has failed to provide him with adequate compensation for expenses he incurred obtaining housing at the International Convention, as required in the Election Officers Advisory Regarding Convention Expenses (Advisory) issued on May 2, 1996.


Mr. Cirkelis responds that the local union reserved and pre-paid for a room at Clarion Suites in Philadelphia, which Mr. Ford chose not to use.  Mr. Cirkelis stated that he is currently awaiting a refund from Clarion Suites and will forward the refunded money to

Mr. Ford, but contends that, under the Advisory, he is not obligated to pay Mr. Ford anything in excess of this amount.


Election Office Staff Attorney Jonathan K. ONeill investigated the protest.


Section III(A) of the Advisory states:


Jack Ford

August 2, 1996

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Part of the expenses for which the local union is responsible are hotel room costs.  Delegates and alternate delegates are not required to stay at the hotel for which arrangements were made by the local union.  Any delegate or alternate delegate not wishing to take advantage of the hotel arrangements made by the local union, must notify the local union by May 24, 1996, in writing, so that the local union may cancel such reservations.  After notifying the local union, delegate(s) or alternate delegate(s) may contact the International Unions Housing Office at (202) 624-6900, in order to secure new hotel reservations as long as the International union still has available rooms at requested hotels.


In the event that the local union is notified after May 24, 1996 and is unable to cancel its hotel reservations without financial obligation, the local union will only be responsible for paying the costs of the hotel at which the local union delegation has made its reservations.  If the delegate or alternate delegate still wishes to stay at an alternative hotel, he/she will then be responsible for the cost of their own accommodations.


Subject to the restrictions stated above, if the delegates and alternate delegates make their own arrangements, or stay at another hotel, the delegates and alternate delegates are to be reimbursed by the local union for their actual hotel costs, at the rate for single person occupancy.  In no case, however, are the delegates and alternates entitled to reimbursement in an amount greater than the cost that would have been borne by the local union if the delegates or alternates had stayed at the hotel for which arrangements were made by the local union.


The investigation revealed that Mr. Ford checked into Clarion Suites on July 14, 1996.  He found the accommodations unacceptable, so he checked out almost immediately.  He then secured a room at the Marriott hotel near the airport and, the next day, checked into Embassy Suites where he remained for the rest of the Convention.  He paid for the rooms at the Marriott and Embassy Suites with a personal credit card.  Lodging at each hotel was secured through the IBT Housing Office and was more expensive than the room originally reserved at Clarion Suites. 


Mr. Ford notified Mr. Cirkelis after each move, requesting reimbursement in full for the new housing expenses with the expectation that the local union would then keep the refund from Clarion Suites.  The local union has, to this date, disbursed no additional funds to

Mr. Ford.


Jack Ford

August 2, 1996

Page 1



Under the Advisory, the local union is not obligated to pay Mr. Ford any money in excess of the cost it would have paid had he remained at the hotel originally reserved for him by the local union.  In addition, the local union is not obligated to pay any penalty incurred by the change in lodging arrangements.  Mr. Ford, however, argues that the local union is obligated to reimburse him for the increased lodging expense because the accommodations at Clarion Suites were uninhabitable.  Mr. Ford states that asphyxiating paint fumes filled the entire hotel, including the two rooms, on separate floors, offered to him by hotel staff.  Thus, he contends that since he had no choice but to incur the extra expense, because of conditions at Clarion Suites and the scarcity of alternative accommodations, the local union should pay the full cost of his lodgings.


The investigation, however, did not reveal the presence of the conditions of which

Mr. Ford complains.  Clarion Suites denies that the hotel was filled with fumes and attests that no other guests checked out of the hotel for the reasons stated by Mr. Ford or even complained of such fumes.  Similarly, the IBT Housing Office has no record of complaints of this nature from any guests booked at Clarion Suites other than Mr. Ford.


Given this evidence, the Election Officer concludes that Mr. Fords accommodations change was voluntary and not necessitated by uninhabitable conditions at Clarion Suites.  Thus, Mr. Ford is entitled to receive any refund of the amount that would have been borne by the local union had Mr. Ford remained at Clarion Suites, minus any penalty incurred by the canceling of the reservations at Clarion Suites.  However, since Mr. Ford voluntarily changed accommodations, the local union is not obligated to advance this amount to Mr. Ford prior to receiving the refund from the Clarion Suites.


For the foregoing reasons, the protest is DENIED.  Local Union 921 shall reimburse Mr. Ford the full amount of the refund it receives from the Clarion Suites within two (2) working days of the receipt of the refund.


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


Jack Ford

August 2, 1996

Page 1



Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 N. Capitol Street, Suite 855, Washington, D.C. 20001, Facsimile (202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer



cc:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master