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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: TEAMSTERS UNITED,                  )           Protest Decision 2015 ESD 10

                                                                        )           Issued: July 19, 2015

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-010-070815-FW                 



            Teamsters United 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 members and business agents solicited accreditation signatures on work time in violation of the Rules.


            Election Supervisor representative Michael Miller investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Article X of the Rules permits candidates and slates of candidates for International office to seek accredited status by which they may publish campaign material in Teamster magazine and obtain a union-wide membership list to be used to advance their candidacies for International office.  To obtain accredited status, each such candidate or slate must obtain signatures on petitions of at least 2.5% of the membership of the union-wide or regional membership pool applicable to the office sought.  Solicitation of accreditation signatures constitutes campaign activity because it “solicit[s] support for a member’s candidacy.” Article VII, Section 12(a).  Generally, campaign activity may not occur on time paid for by the employer, with exceptions for paid rest and lunch breaks and for campaigning incidental to work.[1]  Further, campaigning may not occur in employer work areas. Kozubowski, 2010 ESD 61 (December 22, 2010).


The protest alleged that two business agents, a shop steward, and a rank-and-file member solicited accreditation signatures for Hoffa-Hall 2016 at Republic Services, an employer under the jurisdiction of Local Union 396, in Long Beach, California on July 1, 2015. 


Investigation showed that the employer’s time clock is adjacent to a non-work area where members congregate to talk and make phone calls before leaving the facility at the end of their shifts.  The steward and rank-and-file member told our investigator that they solicited accreditation signatures in that area, the steward doing so on June 29 only, the rank-and-filer on June 29 and June 30.  The business agents deny participating in any petition gathering during this election cycle.  All deny that any petition gathering occurred on July 1, the date alleged in the protest.


The steward told our investigator that, when receiving petitions from Hoffa-Hall 2016 supporters, he was instructed that signatures could be obtained only from members who were off the clock and not in the employer’s work areas.  Accordingly, he stated that he solicited only those members at Republic whom he had observed clock out.  Further, if a member approached him to sign the petition, he asked whether they had clocked out; if they had not, he told them to punch the time clock and then come back to sign the petition.  The rank-and-file member gave similar evidence.


The protestor provided no eyewitness evidence in support of its protest.  Two witnesses identified by the protestor did not cooperate with our investigator.  One failed to return two phone voicemessages.[2]  The second witness answered our investigator’s phone call but hung up upon learning the purpose of the call.


No photos or other graphic evidence corroborated the allegation.


A protest without supporting evidence will be denied.  Rivers, 2011 ESD 222 (April 19, 2011).


Accordingly, we DENY this protest.[3]


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:


Kathleen A. Roberts

Election Appeals Master


620 Eighth Avenue, 34th floor

New York, NY 10018


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:        Kathleen A. Roberts

            2015 ESD 10  




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


Fred Zuckerman

P.O. Box 9493

Louisville, KY 40209


Teamsters Local Union 396

880 S. Oak Park Road, Suite 200

Covina, CA 91724


Michael Miller

P.O. Box 251673

Los Angeles, CA 90025-1673


Deborah Schaaf

1521 Grizzly Gulch

Helena, MT 59601


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 210

Ann Arbor, MI 48104



[1] “No candidate or member may campaign during his/her working hours.  Campaigning incidental to work is not, however, violateive of this section.  Further, campaigning during paid vacation, paid lunch hours or breaks, or similar paid time off is also not a violation of this section.”  Article VII, Section 12(a).

[2] The witness’s voicemail announcement was in Spanish, prompting our investigator to leave voicemessages in Spanish.

[3] In addition to defending the protest on the merits, Hoffa-Hall 2016 argues that it is untimely filed.  The protest was filed July 8, alleging conduct the protest stated occurred July 1 but investigation showed occurred June 29 and 30.  The protest further stated that the protestor became aware of the conduct on July 7, the day before the protest was filed.  Article XIII, Section 2(b) states that protests must be filed within two working days of the day the protest becomes aware or reasonably should have become aware of the action protested.  Given the lack of evidence supporting the protest, we did not investigate and do not decide whether the protestor should reasonably have become aware of the action protested before July 7.