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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: ELIGIBILITY OF                          )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 83

     LD FLETCHER, MIKE POWERS,     )           Issued: January 25, 2016

     POWELL CALDWELL, SKIP             )           OES Case No. E-082-010816-SO

     BARNETT, and WANDA                      )

     JOHNSON.                                               )          


            Local Union 509.                               )                      



            John Collins, member and delegate candidate in Local Union 509, 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 LD Fletcher, Mike Powers, Powell Caldwell, Skip Barnett, and Wanda Johnson are ineligible for nomination as delegates to the IBT convention for alleged failure to maintain 24 consecutive months of good standing.  Specifically, the protest claimed that these members, each of whom is a full-time employee of Local Union 509, have not paid the full monthly dues required by the IBT constitution but instead have paid dues at an improperly calculated lower rate. 


            Election Supervisor representative Dolores Hall investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Article VI, Section 1(a) of the Rules provides that “to be eligible to run for any Convention delegate, alternate delegate or International Officer position, one must:  (1) be a member in continuous good standing of the Local Union, with one’s dues paid to the Local Union for a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months prior to the month of nomination for said position with no interruptions in active membership due to suspensions, expulsions, withdrawals, transfers or failure to pay fines or assessments; (2) be employed at the craft within the jurisdiction of the Local Union for a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months prior to the month of nomination; and (3) be eligible to hold office if elected.”


The principal issue this protest raised is whether the members who are the subject of this protest have paid the full dues required of them.  All but Johnson are local union officers employed on a full-time basis as business agents (Johnson is a member employed by the local union in a clerical position, and we treat her separately in this decision). 


Under Article X, Section 3(d) of the IBT constitution, “the monthly dues of salaried officers, Business Agents, and organizers employed by the Local Union on a full-time basis, shall be equal to the highest rate of dues paid by any member of the Local Union.”  This provision applies to Fletcher, Powers, Caldwell, and Barnett.  The local union set dues for its full-time officers and business agent equal to the rate paid by mechanics employed by UPS, who earn $34.99 hourly.[1]  UPS mechanics are the highest paid members in full-time employment in the local union.


The protestor contends that full-time local union officers and business agents should pay dues equal to the rate paid by local union members employed in the movie industry.  When working, these members earn a higher hourly rate than UPS mechanics or any other member employed on a full-time basis under the local union’s jurisdiction.  Movie industry members pay dues at 2% of gross wages when working; when unemployed between movie jobs, they pay a $25 monthly assessment to remain on the local union’s movie referral list.  The protestor contends that officers and business agents employed full-time by the local union should pay dues calculated at 2% of their gross wages.


Local Union 509 secretary-treasurer Powell Caldwell told our investigator that the local union had been audited repeatedly by the IBT’s auditors, and the auditors concluded that the dues rate used for full-time local union officers and business agents was proper under the IBT constitution.  Tony Mathis, an IBT auditor, confirmed this point to our investigator, stating that the dues rate used in Local Union 509 was proper under the General Executive Board’s 2012 interpretation of Article X, Section 3(d)(iv).  The IBT auditors’ manual provides the following on this subject:


A third exception was recommended and approved by the General Executive Board that establishes that the highest dues rate in effect for a member employed within the primary craft or industry represented by an Affiliate under a collective bargaining agreement administered by the Affiliate would establish the highest dues rate paid by a member that would then be the membership dues rate for the full-time salaried officers, Business Agents and organizers. This means that for most general chartered Affiliates, the dues rate for a member employed by United Parcel Service or working within the freight, carhaul or tank haul industries would constitute the highest dues rate in the Affiliate. However, for members employed within the public sector, the Affiliate would have to establish what constitutes the primary craft/industry and request from the Office of the General Secretary-Treasurer approval regarding the highest dues rate to be paid by the full-time salaried officers, Business Agents and organizers.


Mathis affirmed that the UPS mechanic wage is the appropriate wage to use for the purpose of calculating the dues of full-time officers and business agents in Local Union 509.


            Review of TITAN records for Fletcher, Powers, Caldwell, and Barnett show that they were on dues check-off for the entire eligibility period, had dues deducted from their salaries monthly, and the dues rate assessed was equal to the UPS mechanic classification rate.  Accordingly, we find they have maintained continuous good standing by paying full monthly dues and are ELIGIBLE for nomination.


            Johnson was employed by and on dues check-off with Advanced GlassFiber Yarns for the first fourteen months of the eligibility period.  Her dues were deducted and remitted monthly and she maintained continuous good standing during that span.  She commenced full-time work with Local Union 509 in March 2015, signing a check-off authorization on March 2, 2015.  Her dues rate was 2.5 times her hourly rate, or $53.00.  Although she signed the authorization at the beginning of March, no dues were deducted during that month.  The person responsible for payroll said she did not receive instructions to deduct dues from Johnson’s pay until April, even though Johnson signed the check-off authorization in the beginning of March.  As a result, Johnson was one month in arrears in each month during the portion of the eligibility period after she began working for the local union.


            A member on dues check-off retains her good standing even if her dues were remitted late or not at all by the employer, provided she had signed a check-off authorization and had sufficient earnings or paid leave in the month from which dues could have been deducted.  IBT Constitution, Article X, Section 5(c); Eligibility of John Gerow, et al., 2006 ESD 121 (March 2, 2006); Eligibility of Thiel, 2010 ESD 16 (July 26, 2010), appeal withdrawn, 10 EAM 4 (August 6, 2010).  Applying this principle, we look to whether the member had net earnings on any day during the month sufficient to fund her total monthly dues obligation.  This examination has led us to find a member eligible where his only earnings for a given month was from holiday pay on a single day.  Eligibility of Hicks, 2005 ESD 30 (December 5, 2005).


            Johnson worked full-time in each month of the eligibility period after she began employment with the local union.  Relying on the check-off rule, Johnson did not lose continuous good standing in March 2015, when no dues were deducted from her pay in that month.  Her dues payment record shows timely deduction and remittance of full monthly dues for the remainder of the eligibility period.  The local union’s remedy for the unpaid month of dues in March 2015 is either to give Johnson a bill for the shortfall or to make up the shortfall in a current month’s deduction.


            For these reasons, we find Johnson has maintained continuous good standing for the 24-month eligibility period and is therefore ELIGIBLE to stand for election in Local Union 509’s delegates and alternate delegates election and was eligible to nominate and second nominations of candidates there.


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

            2016 ESD 83 



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 509

2604 Fish Hatchery Road

West Columbia, SC 29712


John Collins


Dolores Hall

1000 Belmont Pl

Metairie, LA 70001


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

[1] Dues in industries where a legal right to strike exists are set at 2.5 times the hourly rate (IBT constitution, Article X, Section 3(d)(1)), rounded to the nearest whole dollar (Article X, Section 3(d)(iv)).  For UPS mechanics, 2.5 x $34.99 = $87.475, which is rounded to a monthly dues rate of $87.00