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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: RICHARD THOMPSON,              )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 182

                                                                        )           Issued: April 27, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-259-041316-ME     



Richard Thompson, member and delegate candidate in Local Union 325, filed a post-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 3(b) of the Rules for the 2015-2016 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest alleged that four voters in the local union’s delegates and alternate delegates election were improperly deemed ineligible to vote.


Election Supervisor representatives Bill Broberg, Joe Childers, and Dennis Sarsany investigated this protest. 


Findings of Fact and Analysis


            Local Union 325 is entitled to elect one delegate and one alternate delegate to the IBT convention.  At its nominations meeting held Saturday, January 9, 2016, two delegate candidates and two alternate delegate candidates were nominated.  Local union secretary-treasurer and principal officer Richard Thompson, the protestor here, was nominated for delegate against Patrick McNinch.  At the tally of ballots commenced April 9 and concluded after resolution of challenges on April 12, McNinch polled two votes more than Thompson and was declared the winner of the delegate election.[1]


            Protestor Thompson contends that four of the eleven ballots ruled ineligible at the tally should have been ruled eligible and therefore counted.


            Under Article V, Section 1 of the Rules, “[t]o be eligible to vote in the election for delegate, alternate delegate, or International Officers, a member must have his/her dues paid up through the month prior to the month in which the election is held.”  For Local Union 325, the election tally date was April 9; therefore, the election is deemed held in April and eligible voters are those whose dues are paid through March.


            A special eligibility rule applies to voters who pay dues by checkoff authorization.  For these, “each member otherwise in good standing whose dues record does not reflect that his/her dues have been paid through the month prior to the month in which ballots are counted” are deemed eligible if the “employer has remitted dues for him/her in the last remittance made by such employer, provided that such remittance was received within ninety (90) days of the date on which the ballots are counted.”  Article V, Section 1(b).  This provision is in place to protect the eligibility to vote of members from the failure of employers to remit their dues timely to the local union.  It will not, however, render a member eligible who otherwise is ineligible. 


            Applying these provisions, we examined the eligibility of each of the voters Thompson identified.


            Donald Williams – The protestor contends that Williams should have been held eligible to vote.  Williams was designated a challenge code of C-5, assigned to checkoff members for whom no dues remittance has been received in 90 days prior to the election tally date.  The protestor presented evidence from the employer that dues were deducted from Williams’s pay on either March 25 or April 8, although they had not yet been transmitted to the local union.  The protestor argued that the deduction of dues is sufficient to render Williams eligible to vote.  We disagree.  Williams’s dues payment history showed that his last dues payment was recorded to his TITAN record on December 21, 2015, giving him a “paid thru” date of December 2015.  By this measure alone, he was ineligible to vote because his dues were not paid through March 2015.  He cannot rely on the checkoff provision of Article V, Section 1(b) to grant him eligibility because no dues were received by the local union in the 90 days prior to April 9.  Moreover, even had the deduction made April 8 been received by the local union the same day, it would have been insufficient to render Williams eligible because it would have paid him through January 2016, not the March 2016 paid through date necessary to make him eligible to vote.  Accordingly, Williams was properly held ineligible.


            Gregory Pahnke – Investigation showed that Pahnke, a checkoff member, was off work from his employer for the period December 7, 2015 through March 13, 2016, and returned to work on March 14.  His last checkoff dues remittance was received by the local union on December 30, 2015 and paid his dues through January 2016.  During the period he was off work, Pahnke neither paid cash dues nor took a withdrawal card.  Accordingly, when he returned to work, he was in arrears for February.  Assuming dues were deducted from his pay in March, those dues would have paid his obligation through February, leaving him ineligible to vote.  Regardless, no dues were received by the local union on Pahnke’s account during the 90 days prior to April 9, and he was ineligible to vote both because his dues were not paid through March 2016 and no checkoff remittance had been received on his behalf in the previous 90 days.


            Ed Switzer – Investigation showed that Switzer is a cash dues payer.  His dues were paid through February 2016 on election day, rendering him ineligible.  The protestor argues that Switzer pays his dues regularly, although not timely, and asks that an exception be made for him.  The Rules do not permit any exception to the requirement that members be paid through the month prior to the month of the election, other than the exceptions stated in the Rules.  There is no exception that will render Switzer eligible to vote.  Accordingly, he was properly held ineligible.


            James Grillo – Investigation showed that Grillo paid his dues through March 2016 but then requested to be placed on withdrawal status.  Accordingly, he was on withdrawal on election day.  Members on withdrawal are not in good standing and are not eligible to vote.  Accordingly, Grillo was properly held ineligible to vote.


For these reasons, we DENY this protest.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within three (3) 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 182



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


Richard Thompson

8319 Al-Ben-Ken Road

Roscoe, IL 61073


Teamsters Local Union 325

5533 Eleventh St

Rockford, IL 61109


Joe Childers

201 W. Short Street, Ste. 300

Lexington, KY 40507


Bill Broberg

1108 Fincastle Road

Lexington, KY 40502


Matthew Fitch

Merriman River Group

5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 700

Los Angeles, CA 90045


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

[1] The alternate delegate election was decided by 50 votes.