This website uses cookies.
Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: JOHN PALMER,                            )           Protest Decision 2015 ESD 56

                                                                        )           Issued: November 24, 2015

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-063-102715-FW     



            John Palmer, an International representative and candidate for International office on the Teamsters United slate, 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 Manny Valenzuela, another International representative, violated the Rules by wearing a Hoffa campaign hat during working hours while interacting with persons who were not union members.


            Election Supervisor representative Michael Miller investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


            Palmer and Valenzuela, among many others, were assigned by the IBT to organize recognitional pickets at a facility in Long Beach, California.  The pickets were members, retirees, and non-members, gathered together for the purpose of gaining IBT recognition for unorganized workers at the Long Beach port.  Early Monday morning, October 26, 2015, Palmer observed Valenzuela interacting with unorganized workers and retirees and meeting with Change to Win representatives and other members of the public, all while wearing a Hoffa campaign hat.  Palmer told our investigator he approached Valenzuela and asked “what are you doing wearing this cap?”  Palmer said Valenzuela replied brusquely with, “You never let up, do you?” 


            Valenzuela told our investigator he wore the Hoffa hat from the time he started his shift that morning at 6:15 a.m. until immediately after Palmer spoke to him about it at 6:30 a.m.  He replaced the Hoffa hat with a Local Union 848 hat (on whose behalf the recognitional picket was organized), estimating that he wore it for some 20 to 30 minutes that morning.  He said he has not worn the Hoffa hat on work time again.


            Valenzuela agreed not to wear campaign paraphernalia in the future while interacting with non-members.  This is consistent with advice issued by the IBT General Counsel in June 2015 to IBT officers, affiliates, and employees that cautioned, among other things, not to wear campaign hats, buttons, shirts and other campaign paraphernalia “when conducting business with employers or other persons or entities who are not Union members.”


            On this basis, 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:


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 56 



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


John Palmer


Manny Valenzuela


Michael Miller

P.O. Box 251673

Los Angeles, CA 90025


Deborah Schaaf

1521 Grizzly Gulch Drive

Helena, MT 59601


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 210

Ann Arbor, MI 48104