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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: TEAMSTERS UNITED,               )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 165

                                                                        )           Issued: April 8, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-221-031416-FW     



            Teamsters United filed a post-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 3(a) of the Rules for the 2015-2016 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest alleged that impermissible ballot collection and lack of security at the ballot count of ballot packages returned as undeliverable affected the outcome of the Local Union 572 delegates and alternate delegates election.[1]


            Election Supervisor representatives Denise Ventura and Michael Miller investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Ballot collection is a serious offense because it interferes directly with the democratic choice of the membership.  Article II, Section 15, titled “Prohibition on Interference with Voting,” provides the following:


No person or entity shall limit or interfere with the right of any IBT member to vote, including, but not necessarily limited to, the right to independently determine how to cast his/her vote, the right to mark his/her vote in secret and the right to mail the ballot himself/herself.  No person or entity may encourage or require an IBT member to mark his/her ballot in the presence of another person or to give his/her ballot to any person or entity for marking or mailing.


Any violation of this rule may result in disqualification of a candidate who benefits from the violation, referral of the matter to the Government for appropriate action under law (including the Final Order) or such other remedy as the Election Supervisor deems appropriate. 


The instructions for balloting included in ballot packages shall contain these prohibitions and shall urge members to promptly vote and return their ballots.


The protest alleged that stewards at Mission School Transportation, an employer under the local union’s jurisdiction in Long Beach, California, collected ballots so they could be voted for the Middleton slate, which the Teamsters United 572 slate opposed in the local union’s delegates and alternate delegates election.  One member employed at that facility told our investigator that the member had asked steward Shanda Harrell whether the member should mail the ballot or give it to the steward for mailing.  According to the witness, the steward said that the witness could give the ballot to her.  The witness went home, thought about the exchange, and then decided to mail the ballot directly rather than give it to the steward.  The protestor presented no other evidence of ballot collection by this or any other member.

Separately, steward Harrell contacted the local union after ballots were tallied in the election to report that she had collected a number of ballots and failed to mail them.  Harrell met with our investigator and surrendered the ballots to him, whereupon they were voided.  Harrell told our investigator that around February 15, members began approaching her in the workplace to ask her how they should fill out their ballots and for whom they should vote.  According to Harrell, she told each member that she could not tell them how to vote, but she said she explained the purpose of the election and that members should not vote for more than twelve delegate candidates or seven alternate delegate candidates, the maximum permitted without over-voting.  Harrell told our investigator this was the first election since she became a steward, and she answered the questions of as many as ten members about completing the ballot.  Most of these asked her if she would mail the ballot for them, and Harrell agreed. 

Harrell said she collected completed ballots over several days, placing them in the side pocket of her car door for later mailing.  Some time later, she learned that the election was over.  She was surprised at this news because she thought she had additional time in which to mail the ballots she had collected.  She contacted the local union to advise that she had several ballots she had not mailed and to ask what to do with them.  The local union passed the information on to our investigator, who met Harrell to take delivery of the ballots.  Our investigator received ten ballot return envelopes, eight of which were sealed.  One of the ballot return envelopes was Harrell’s.

Harrell told our investigator that she now understands that ballot collection is forbidden by the Rules.  Harrell asked our investigator if she would go to jail for her action.  Harrell stated that she had the impression that the other steward at the facility, Lois Webb, also collected ballots.

Webb told our investigator emphatically that she did not collect ballots.  She stated that one member asked her to mail the member’s ballot, but Webb said she told the member she could not do so and that the member would have to mail the ballot.

The investigation substantiated the ballot collection claim and we GRANT that aspect of the protest.

The remedy for proved ballot collection is to void the collected ballots.  Here, such action is unnecessary because the collected ballots were never mailed. 

However, given our decision ordering a rerun election in Halstead, 2016 ESD 166 (April 8, 2016), we order the notice attached to this decision be posted on all worksite bulletin boards under the jurisdiction of the local union and remain posted through May 13, 2016, the date set for tallying ballots in the rerun election.

            The second allegation of this protest that we address alleged that ballots returned as undeliverable were left unsecured at the ballot tally.  The implication of this allegation is that the ballot packages were accessible so that one or more unscrupulous persons could remove the ballots, secret ballot envelopes, and ballot return envelopes from ballot packages returned as undeliverable, vote the ballots, and slip them in to be counted with voted ballots picked up from the post office.


            OES staff attended the ballot count in this local union.  They observed that the ballot packages returned as undeliverable were maintained in a tray on the floor within the perimeter established by the tables used to count ballots.  They were out of reach of persons who observed the counting of ballots and were not touched or opened by any person. 


            Accordingly, we DENY this aspect of the 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 165 




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


Frank Halstead

260 LaFollette Court

Los Angeles, CA 90042


Teamsters Local Union 572

450 East Carson Plaza Dr

Carson, CA 90746


Michael Miller

P.O. Box 251673

Los Angeles, CA 90025


Deborah Schaaf

1521 Grizzly Gulch

Helena, MT 59601


Denise Ventura

949 Old Hickory Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15243


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Office of the Election Supervisor

for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

1050 17th Street, N.W., Suite 375

Washington, D.C.  20036


844-428-8683 Toll Free

202-774-5526 Facsimile


Richard W. Mark

Election Supervisor




DO NOT GIVE YOUR BALLOT TO ANYONE TO MARK OR MAIL ON YOUR BEHALF. No person or entity shall limit or interfere with the right of each IBT member to determine independently how to cast his or her vote and to cast and mail the ballot himself or herself.  The Election Supervisor shall not hesitate to impose the most severe sanctions for violation of the prohibition against solicitation of a member's ballot by any other Union member, officer, business agent, steward or other person, including, but not limited to, recommending appropriate disciplinary proceedings against members involved, referring the matter to the Government for appropriate action under law (including the Consent Order) and, when appropriate, disqualifying the candidate on whose behalf ballots were solicited. 


No de su papeleta de voto a nadie para que se lo marque o envie por correo.  Ninguna persona o entidad puede limitar o interferir con el derecho que tiene cada miembro del IBT de decidir en forma independiente sobre su voto y enviarlo por correo personalmente.  El Supervisor de Elecciones no dudará en imponer las sanciones más severas a cualquier miembro del Sindicato, oficial, representante de empresa, administrador o a cualquier otra persona por violar la prohibición de solicitar la papeleta de voto de un miembro.  Estas sanciones incluyen hacer recomendaciones judiciales contra los miembros involucrados, refiriendo el asunto al gobierno para una acción apropiada bajo la ley (incluyendo el Orden de Consentimiento) y en caso de juzgarse apropiado, descalificar al candidato a cuyo nombre se solicitaron las papeletas de voto.



This is an official notice prepared and approved by Richard W. Mark, Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  It must remain posted on this bulletin board through

May 13, 2016 and must not be defaced or covered up.

[1] This protest incorporated by reference protests previously filed by Frank Halstead, lead candidate on the Teamsters United 572 slate, that concern Local Union 572’s delegates and alternate delegates election.  Protest P-148-020616-FW, alleging retaliation by local union principal officer Rick Middleton against Teamsters United supporter James Motty by issuing him a withdrawal card was deemed resolved in Halstead, 2016 ESD 162 (April 8, 2016), when the local union accepted Motty’s dues and deposited the withdrawal card.  Protest P-172-021216-FW, alleging interference with campaign rights at First Student – Pasadena, was denied in Halstead, 2016 ESD 163 (April 8, 2016).  Protests P-142-020416-FW and P-175-021716-FW were consolidated for decision and granted in Halstead, 2016 ESD 166 (April 8, 2016).  Protests P-168-021616-FW and P-189-022416-FW, alleging employer retaliation for activity protected by the Rules, remain under investigation and will be addressed in future decisions.  Protest P-177-021716-FW, filed by Lourdes Garcia, a candidate on the slate that opposed the Teamsters United 572 slate, was denied in Garcia, 2016 ESD 164 (April 8, 2016).