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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: SAM BUCALO,                              )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 186

                                                                        )           Issued: May 4, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-133-013116-ME     



Sam Bucalo, member and secretary-treasurer of Local Union 100, 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 100 violated the Rules by publishing a list of pending and resolved internal union charges, which Bucalo contends slandered him and constituted a union-funded attack on his delegate candidacy.


            Election Supervisor representative Dan Walsh investigated this protest.



Findings of Fact and Analysis


            In Grone, 2015 ESD 60 (December 17, 2015), we considered a protest that Local Union 100’s newsletter violated the Rules because it supported the candidacies of persons who opposed Bucalo and attacked Bucalo.  Except for a discreet violation not relevant here, we held that the local union newsletter did not violate the Rules.  The edition of the newsletter at issue in Grone included a listing and description of internal union charges then pending.  We held that each of the case descriptions was purely factual, presented in a fair context, and was newsworthy information of general concern to the membership.


            Bucalo appealed our decision.  The Election Appeals Master affirmed.  16 EAM 5 (January 13, 2016).  On the allegation that the newsletter violated the Rules by reporting on the internal union charges, the Election Appeals Master held as follows:


Mr. Bucalo’s fourth point on appeal pertains to the summary of the internal union charges that appeared in the Newsletter.  Notably, both Mr. Grone and Mr. Bucalo acknowledge that the case descriptions accurately summarize the decisions rendered by the Local 100 trial panel and the Joint Council 26 panel.  Mr. Bucalo’s complaint is that the summarized decisions were themselves “biased.”  Mr. Bucalo can and has challenged these decisions.    With respect to the Newsletter, the relevant question is whether the reporting was purely factual, a point that Mr. Bucalo concedes.  Mr. Bucalo further complains that previous Local 100 newsletters did not publish accounts of internal union disciplinary proceedings.  Here again, the relevant question is not the motivation of the publishers, but whether the content is objectively newsworthy.  I find that the Election Supervisor did not abuse his discretion in finding the report of internal union disciplinary proceedings newsworthy.


The Election Appeals Master appended a footnote to this paragraph that read as follows: “Of course, as the Election Supervisor observed during the hearing on this appeal, having embarked on publication of internal disciplinary charges, Local 100 must fairly report any decisions on challenges to the reported allegations.”

For the violation we found in Grone that is not at issue in the instant protest, we ordered the local union to publish a remedial notice in the next edition of the newsletter published on or before January 31, 2016, or, if no newsletter was published by that date, to mail the remedial notice to all members of the local union.  The local union published a newsletter.  Consistent with the Election Appeals Master’s decision, the edition of the newsletter that is the subject of the instant protest included a summary of pending internal union charges, including a favorable ruling by the IBT General Executive Board (GEB) on Bucalo’s appeal of one case that reversed a two-week suspension Bucalo had been made to serve and reimbursed lost salary to him.


Bucalo’s protest here reasserts that the publication of the status of pending internal union charges violated the Rules.  We disagree.  We find that the charges are newsworthy and are of general concern to the membership.  Further, we find that they are presented in purely factual terms and in fair context.  Moreover, the reportage included the fact that the GEB reversed a suspension of Bucalo and ordered him reimbursed for the salary he lost when serving that suspension. 


Finally, we note that neither the case descriptions nor the newsletter in any way reference Bucalo’s delegate candidacy or the local union’s delegates and alternate delegates election.


For these reasons, we find no violation of the Rules provision that prohibits use of union publications to support or oppose a member’s candidacy, and we therefore 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 186



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


Sam Bucalo

6158 Kingoak Drive

Cincinnati, OH 45248


Teamsters Local Union 100

2100 Oak Drive

Cincinnati, OH 45241


Dave Webster


Ron Butts

520 South Main Street

South Lebanon, OH 45065


Dan Walsh

950 Duxbury Court

Cincinnati, OH 45255


John Pegula

1434 Greendale Dr.

Pittsburgh, PA 15239


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104