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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: CHARLES DONLEY,                   )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 238

                                                                        )           Issued: June 9, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-182-022316-SO     



Charles Donley, member of Local Union 519, 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 Wes Tratterchaud violated the Rules by using his cell phone for campaign activity; the protest further alleged that the leadership of Local Union 519 violated the Rules by failing to respond promptly to a request for information about the local union’s list of email addresses for its members.


Election Supervisor representative Dolores Hall investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Local Union 519 is entitled to elect three delegates and three alternate delegates to the IBT convention.  At the nominations meeting held January 16, 2016, two full slates were nominated.  Protestor Donley led one slate, local union principal officer Tratterchaud the other.


Ballots were mailed February 17, 2016.  On Friday, February 19, the protestor requested information concerning the local union’s email list.  With no response, the protest was filed Monday, February 22.


            Article VII, Section 7(a)(4) permits candidates to distribute campaign material using email lists of local unions.  Under this provision, “the Union shall advise the requesting candidate of the total number of electronic mail addresses on the list and let the candidate decide if he or she still wants to use the list.”  Donley made his request in writing to the local union secretary-treasurer.  As that person was out of the office on union business beginning early Monday, February 22, local union president Tratterchaud responded to the request on Tuesday, February 23, advising Donley that the email list the local union possessed contained 114 email addresses.  Donley elected not to make use of the list for campaigning,  concluding it was too small to make a difference in a local union where the membership exceeded 2,200 members.  We conclude that the local union’s response to the request for information within two business days after the request was made complied with the requirements of Article VII, Section 7(a)(4).


            The second aspect of the protest contended that Tratterchaud impermissibly used union resources to campaign by using his union-funded mobile phone to send campaign text messages.  Tratterchaud denied violating the Rules.  He admitted sending text messages to individual members for whom he had mobile phone numbers.  He stated the messages were merely communications to friends and were not campaign messages.  No evidence was presented to refute this assertion.  Tratterchaud further denied sending blast text messages.


            Investigation showed that Local Union 519 does not supply mobile phones to its officers and business agents.  Instead, they are required to maintain their own mobile phone accounts; they receive $100 monthly to defray the union-related expenses of the phone service.  Tratterchaud’s monthly mobile plan usually runs about $200, so the reimbursement allowance covers half the cost of the service, on average.  Given that the phone service is provided pursuant to a personal account paid for by each officer and business agent, we conclude that neither the phone nor the service is a union asset, even though part of the monthly expense is reimbursed to the individual by the local union.  Accordingly, we find no Rules violation on the facts presented here.


            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 238



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


Charles Donley


Wes Trotterchaud


Dolores Hall

1000 Belmont Pl

Metairie, LA


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104