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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: HOFFA-HALL 2016,                        )           Protest Decision 2015 ESD 12

                                                                        )           Issued: July 22, 2015

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-013-071315-SO                  



            Hoffa-Hall 2016 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 non-members solicited accreditation signatures in violation of the Rules.


            Election Supervisor representative Dolores Hall 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.  Under Article X, Section 2(a), accreditation petitions “may only be circulated by a member in good standing.”


The protest, filed July 13, alleged that John Palmer and “some non-member non-retirees” solicited and collected accreditation signatures for Teamsters United “at the UPS facility in Sweetwater, TX” on or about July 6, 2015. 


Investigation showed that Palmer, a candidate for IBT vice president – South region, and Tim Pagel, a Local Union 988 rank-and-file member, solicited accreditation signatures at a UPS facility at 8330 Sweetwater Lane, Houston, TX (not Sweetwater, TX as the protest alleged, which is approximately 400 miles WNW of the UPS facility at issue here) at about 8 a.m. on Monday, July 6.  Palmer and Pagel are both members in good standing; they were unaccompanied by any other person – member, non-member, retiree, non-retiree, or otherwise – during this solicitation.


 On July 14, the protestor filed a “supplement” to the protest, alleging that Palmer and Pagel had obtained signatures at the Sweetwater Lane hub of persons in the UPS bargaining unit who were not members of any Teamsters local union (individuals the supplement identified variously as “scams” and “scabs”).  The protestor attached to the supplement an email from Robert Mele, president of Local Union 988 and the protestor’s informant, who clarified the protest’s allegation to the effect that non-members were signing the petitions, not assisting with their circulation.  Given that the informant contradicted the protest’s original allegation that non-members were circulating petitions, we treat the supplement as a substitution for the original protest.


We DENY this protest for failure to allege a violation of the Rules.  Accreditation can be obtained only by collecting valid signatures of members.  When petitions are submitted to OES in support of a request for accreditation, OES will “[t]ake whatever … action is necessary to verify the accuracy or validity of petition signatures and information,” and will “[c]ount the valid signatures to insure that the requisite number has been obtained and submitted…”  Article X, Section 4(a)(2) & (3).  Signatures of non-members do not count toward accreditation, but the Rules are not violated when a non-member signs an accreditation petition. 


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 12  




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


Tim Pagel


John Palmer


Teamsters Local Union 988

4303 N. Sam Houston E

Houston, TX 77032


Dolores Hall

1000 Belmont Pl

Metairie, LA


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 210

Ann Arbor, MI 48104