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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


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IN RE: FRED ZUCKERMAN,                  )           Protest Decision 2015 ESD 4

                                                                        )           Issued: June 28, 2015

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-007-062515-MW   



            Fred Zuckerman, member of Local Union 89 and candidate for International office, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 2015-2016 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest alleged that Local Union 651 failed to establish a literature table or bulletin board as required by the Rules.


            Election Supervisor representative Joe Childers investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


            The Rules at Article VII, Section 7(h) require each local union to establish a literature table and/or bulletin board in a public area of each local union facility “for the nondiscriminatory distribution/display of campaign literature” for the 2016 International Union delegate and officer election.  Our Advisory on the Use of Literature Tables or Bulletin Boards for the Distribution of Campaign Literature Inside Union Halls provides guidance on the particulars of this requirement.


            Mid-afternoon on June 23, 2015, protestor Zuckerman went to Local Union 651 in Lexington, Kentucky to deliver campaign literature for placement on the local union’s literature table or bulletin board.  To that point, no candidate had requested that Local Union 651 display campaign literature in this election cycle. 


            Only Sara Clark, the office manager of the local union, was present during Zuckerman’s visit.  She told Zuckerman she was unaware of whether a literature table or bulletin board had been established, saying that principal officer Mike Philbeck was responsible for that.  She offered to call Philbeck; Zuckerman said that would be unnecessary, that instead he would be “filing charges.”  Zuckerman left, taking his campaign literature with him.


            Less than an hour later, Clark emailed Angela Harris, the office manager at Local Union 89, asking her to pass on to Zuckerman that “[w]hen he stopped by the Hall earlier, I was unaware that our table for campaign literature had been set up in our back meeting hall.  We have been busy with our audit and I did not know it had been set up.  Please let him know he is welcome to bring his campaign material out and we will make it available.”


            Before 8 a.m. on June 25, Zuckerman returned to Local Union 651.  He met Clark as she was opening the building for the day.  Clark showed him the table in the back meeting room she had identified in her email.  The table was bare and did not contain a notice that it was reserved for campaign literature.  Zuckerman left his campaign literature with Clark but stated that the meeting room table did not comply with the Rules because it was not in a public area of the hall.


            This protest was filed the same day.  Our investigator visited Local Union 651 on June 26 and met with Philbeck and Clark.  He observed that the local union has now established two tables exclusively for campaign literature.  The first, immediately inside the front door of the hall, is a glass display case, the top of which is reserved exclusively for campaign literature.  Our investigator observed that the notice that identifies the area as a campaign literature table was prominently displayed in an acrylic frame.  A stack of campaign literature Zuckerman delivered the previous day was immediately in front of the notice. 


            In addition to this lobby literature table, our investigator found that the table Clark showed Zuckerman in the back meeting room of the hall on June 25 was also established as a campaign literature table.  This table is immediately adjacent to double doors that members use for ingress and egress at the time of membership meetings.  Our notice was similarly displayed there in an acrylic frame, and Zuckerman’s campaign literature was displayed on that table as well.


            We find that Local Union 651 achieved compliance with the literature table requirement stated in Article VII, Section 7(h) of the Rules and our accompanying Advisory.  We find substantial compliance was demonstrated on June 23 by the time Clark emailed the office manager of Zuckerman’s local union of the establishment of the literature table in the back meeting room of the hall, a fact Clark was unaware of at the time of Zuckerman’s visit that day.  We further find that full compliance was achieved by June 26, when our notice was added to both literature tables the local union had established.  Zuckerman has suffered no prejudice on the circumstances presented here, where Local Union 651’s delegate election will not occur for at least eight months and the mailing of ballots in the International officers election will not occur until October 2016.


            We note, finally, that circumstances such as these should only on the rarest occasion result in the filing of a protest.  Typically, candidates seeking to exercise their rights to campaign under the Rules are well-versed in the rights the Rules give them in that regard, perhaps on occasion more so than local unions and their clerical staff employees who may have responsibility for facilitating those rights.  In circumstances where a candidate finds a local union has not yet established a campaign literature table or bulletin board, the candidate should encourage voluntary compliance by pointing out the rule or the advisory involved or suggesting that the local union contact OES for instruction.  Here, the local union’s prompt response and cooperation even before the protest was filed demonstrated an interest and willingness to follow the Rules, a response we are confident would have produced full compliance even without the filing of a protest.


            On these facts, we deem this protest RESOLVED.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within two (2) working days of receipt of this decision.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Supervisor in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing, shall specify the basis for the appeal, and shall be served upon:


Election Appeals Master

c/o Richard W. Mark, Election Supervisor

1050 17th Street, N.W., Suite 375

Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 774-5526 fax


Copies of the request for hearing must be served upon the parties, as well as upon the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 1050 17th Street, N.W., Suite 375, Washington, D.C. 20036, all within the time prescribed above.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for hearing.


                                                                        Richard W. Mark

                                                                        Election Supervisor

cc:        [EAM]

            2015 ESD 4  



Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20001


David J. Hoffa

1701 K Street NW, Ste 350

Washington DC 20036


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

P.O. Box 10128

Detroit, MI 48210-0128


Barbara Harvey

1394 E. Jefferson Avenue

Detroit, MI 48207


Teamsters United

315 Flatbush Avenue, #501

Brooklyn, NY 11217


Louie Nikolaidis

350 West 31st Street, Suite 40

New York, NY 10001


Julian Gonzalez

350 West 31st Street, Suite 40

New York, NY 10001


David O’Brien Suetholz

515 Park Avenue

Louisville, KY 45202


Rob Colone

P.O. Box 272

Sellersburg, IN 47172-0272


Mike Philbeck, President

Teamsters Local Union 651

100 Blue Sky Parkway

Lexington, KY 40509


Robert Baptiste

1150 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 315

Washington, DC 20036


Joe Childers

201 W. Short Street, #300

Lexington, KY 40507


Bill Broberg

1108 Fincastle Rd

Lexington, KY 40502


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 210

Ann Arbor, MI 48104