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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 191

                                                                        )           Issued: May 4, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-223-031616-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 the Teamsters First slate violated the Rules by distributing campaign material that may be and was affixed to employer property at a First Student facility.


            Election Supervisor representative Dan Walsh investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Local Union 100 is entitled to election five delegates and two alternate delegates.  Three full slates and one unaffiliated delegate candidate competed for these positions.  The Teamsters United slate was led by protestor Bucalo; the Local 100 Teamsters First slate was comprised of the local union principal officer Dave Webster and was comprised of other officers and business agents; the No More Hoffa slate was a rank-and-file slate.


This protest alleged Rules violations at First Student.  This employer operates four facilities under the jurisdiction of Local Union 100.  At the Hamilton lot on March 10, 2016, Nick Wainscott, a candidate for alternate delegate on Bucalo’s Teamsters United slate, distributed campaign literature on personal time.  He entered the facility and asked the manager if he could place campaign flyers in the break room and the employee mailboxes located in that room.  After the manager learned the nature of the flyers, she told Wainscott it was “absolutely OK” for him to do so.  He left flyers in the break room and placed one in each mailbox.  As he completed this task, he observed another person putting Teamsters First calendars in the same mailboxes.  These calendars measured approximately 4” x 2.5,” read “Teamsters First,” listed Dave Webster and Ron Butts as “President” and “Secretary-Treasurer,” respectively,[1] and had a peel-off adhesive backing.


The person distributing these calendars among the mailboxes was Kym Kelly, a First Student employee, a local union steward, and a member of the local union election committee.  She told our investigator that the mailboxes are used for employer and union communications and for personal things such as garage sales and the like.  Kelly was off duty when she placed the calendars in the mailboxes, as she works the 3 p.m. to midnight “sports pick-up” shift.  She saw a man (presumably Wainscott) placing campaign flyers in the same mailboxes.


Charlotte Smith is a First Student employee at the Beechmont Avenue facility.  She was not a candidate in the delegates and alternate delegates election but will be in the officers election.  She told our investigator she passed out calendars at the Beechmont location during the unpaid break between the two halves of her split shift.  She denied putting the calendars in the mailboxes at Hamilton; however, she said she gave calendars to Kelly to distribute.


Tanya Pace, the assistant manager for First Student at the Hamilton lot, told our investigator that a man (Wainscott) asked and received permission to put campaign material in the mailboxes there. 


No evidence was presented that the calendars were affixed to any employer equipment or buses.  Bucalo told our investigator that it “made sense” to him that the calendars were put to that use, but no witness, including the employer’s Pace, provided any evidence this had occurred.


Article VII, Section 12 (d) of the Rules provide that:


No restrictions shall be placed upon candidates' or members' preexisting rights to use employer or Union bulletin boards for campaign publicity. Similarly, no restrictions shall be placed upon candidates' or members' preexisting rights to solicit support, distribute leaflets or literature, conduct campaign rallies, hold fund-raising events or engage in similar activities on employer or Union premises. Such facilities and opportunities shall be made available to all candidates and members on a non-discriminatory basis.


The evidence in this case established that employees at First Student – Hamilton have a preexisting right to use employee mailboxes to campaign.  Workplace mailboxes are used to distribute communications unrelated to work.  Kelly confirmed that she regularly received unofficial material in her workplace mailbox and that the boxes were open to general use. The candidates therefore had a pre-existing right to use the workplace mailboxes to distribute literature, and there is no Rules violation. See Walter, 2001 EAD 525 (October 25, 2001) (no violation to distribute campaign literature in driver cubbyholes at workplace where evidence established pre-existing right to use that facility for campaigning); Zajac, 2011 ESD 173 (March 21, 2011). 


            With respect to the allegation that the calendars were affixed to employer’s property and buses, no evidence supported it.  Bucalo’s intuition is no substitute for evidence.


            Finally, Bucalo claimed that it is unethical for an election committee co-chair to distribute campaign literature.  However, the individual in question is a member and possesses the rights all members have “to participate in campaign activities” (Article VII, Section 12(a)), where the exercise of those rights do not interfere with or compromise her function on the election committee.  We find that distributing campaign material on personal time more than three weeks before the tally of ballots did not impair the co-chair’s election committee function.


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 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 191



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

[1] Butts is presently the local union vice president, but he will run for secretary-treasurer, Bucalo’s current position, in the local union officers election to be held in fall 2016.  The calendars were printed for use by Teamsters First in both the delegates election and the upcoming officers election.