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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: KURT MARCHETTA,              )              Protest Decision 2016 ESD 107

                                                                    )               Issued: February 10, 2016

            Protestor.                                       )               OES Case No. P-123-012216-FW     



            Kurt Marchetta, member of Local Union 542, 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 542 president Phil Farias made an intimidating statement to Marchetta and another member, in violation of the Rules.


            Election Supervisor representative Deborah Schaaf investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


            Protestor Marchetta and Adam King are delegate candidates in Local Union 542’s delegates and alternate delegates election.  On January 20, 2016, the day before the local union’s nominations meeting, Marchetta and King visited the local union office to deliver written nominations and seconds and acceptances for several candidates.


            They were invited into a conference room where president Farias and secretary-treasurer Jaime Vasquez spoke with them.  Vasquez left the room for several minutes to make copies of the nominating documents.  Marchetta told our investigator that, while Vasquez was gone, Farias told Marchetta and King that “it’s your right to participate, but it will cost the local $40,000 to run an election.”  Marchetta told our investigator that Farias’s statement “made us feel as if we were a financial burden to the local and should think twice about moving forward in the process.”


            Farias admitted making the statement but denied that it was intended to be intimidating or taken that way by Marchetta or King.  According to Farias, he and Vasquez were opposition candidates who won the most recent local union election.  They maintain an “open door” policy and communicate with members whenever they can.  When Marchetta and King visited the union office, Farias and Vasquez followed their practice of meeting with the members and discussing their concerns.  Farias told our investigator that Marchetta told him they were running for delegate because they want to get involved in the local union.  Farias said he answered that running for delegate may not be the best way to do it. Farias said he explained to the men, “Look, I don’t have a problem with you running. You think it’s the right thing.  We took out the local union leadership, so I get it.  But it will cost the local $40,000 to run an election.”  Farias said the best way to get involved in the local is to come in and talk about issues or complaints, and members are always welcome to do that.  Farias said he was directing his comments primarily to King “because he was not involved in the local.”  According to Farias, Marchetta was involved in organizing to vote down a UPS contract 3 years ago, and was not a newcomer to union activities.  Farias said there was no animosity on either side during the conversation, and said, “I wasn’t trying to intimidate them, and Kurt wasn’t intimidated.”


            King did not return our investigator’s several calls seeking his recounting of the meeting.  Vasquez was not in the room or in a position to hear the exchange.


            The next day at the nominations meeting, Marchetta and King were nominated and accepted nomination orally, in addition to the written nominations and acceptances they had submitted to the local union the previous day.  Further, several other candidates were nominated.  According to OES representative Michael Miller, who was present at the nominations meeting, there was little tension in the room during nominations, and both sides communicated well with each other, without intimidation, threat, or retaliation.


Article VII, Section 12(a) of the Rules guarantees to members the “right to participate in campaign activities, including the right to run for office, to support or oppose any candidate, to aid or campaign for any candidate, and to make personal campaign contributions.”  Article VII, Section 12(g) reinforces this basic right through its prohibition of “[r]etaliation or threat of retaliation by the International Union, any subordinate body, any member of the IBT, any employer or other person or entity against a Union member, officer or employee for exercising any right guaranteed by this or any other Article of the Rules...”


            We find that Farias’s statement did not violate the Rules.  It did not threaten, expressly or by implication, any type of adverse action against Marchetta or King, including a threat to withdraw union services or support in the workplace,[1] a threat of union discipline,[2] or a threat of physical harm or violence.[3] 


Accordingly, we DENY this protest.


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 107



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


Kurt Marchetta

942 Emerald St.

San Diego, CA 92109


Teamsters Local Union 542

4666 Mission Gorge Place

San Diego, CA 92120


Adam King

4559Piute Pl.

San Diego, CA 92117


Deborah Schaaf

1521 Grizzly Gulch

Helena, MT 59601


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 210

Ann Arbor, MI 48104


[1] See, e.g., Echeveria, 2006 ESD 66 (February 3, 2006).

[2] See, e.g., Bales, 2011 ESD 286 (June 28, 2011).

[3] See, e.g., Leal, 2011 ESD 269 (May 31, 2011).