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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: HOFFA-HALL 2016,                      )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 268

                        )           Issued: June 30, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case Nos. P-311-062916-NA   



Hoffa-Hall 2016 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 Avral Thompson impermissibly made an acceptance speech when he was nominated for IBT Central region at the IBT convention on June 29, 2016.

            Election Supervisor representative Michael Miller investigated this protest. 

Findings of Fact and Analysis

            Candidates for International office are nominated by delegates at the IBT convention.  On Wednesday morning, June 29, 2016, candidates for regional vice president positions were nominated.  Candidate Avral Thompson was nominated for Central region vice president on the Teamsters United slate. 

Article III, Section B of the Supplemental Election Supervisor Rules for the 28th International IBT Convention (Supplemental Rules) regulates the acceptance of nominations for International office, viz.

In accepting his/her floor nomination, a candidate may state that he/she is seeking nomination as a member of a slate and may identify it by name.  This must be a brief statement of acceptance, not an acceptance speech.

Thompson said the following:

Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman.  My name is Avral Thompson, vice president of Teamsters Local 89, home of Fred Zuckerman.  I’d like to say that this week we’ve had a lot of talk here about people being TDU.  Well, I’m not TDU but if you are I have no problem with you.  The problem with our union is everybody in this union has a voice.  TDU people have a voice; they have good ideas.  Brother you have good ideas.  We need to put ‘em together.  We need to make our union stronger.  Together!  Teamsters United is what we need!  Teamsters United!

Thompson’s statement constituted campaign speech and went beyond the acceptance of nomination permitted by the Supplemental Rules


When the Election Supervisor determines that the Rules have been violated, he “may take whatever remedial action is deemed appropriate.”  Article XIII, Section 4.  In fashioning the appropriate remedy, the Election Supervisor views the nature and seriousness of the violation as well as its potential for interfering with the election process.  “The Election Supervisor’s discretion in fashioning an appropriate remedy is broad and is entitled to deference.”  Hailstone & Martinez, 10 EAM 7 (September 14, 2010).

            We order Thompson to cease and desist from further violations of the Rules.

To reinforce that compliance with the Supplemental Rules is required, we order Thompson to pay a fine of $250 to the Office of the Election Supervisor by noon PDT, Friday, July 1, 2016. 

This fine is substantially less than that imposed on William Hamilton for a violation of the same provision in Gegare, 2011 ESD 289 (June 29, 2011).  We note a significant difference that causes us to exercise discretion in imposing a lesser fine here.  Hamilton’s speech was delivered to a rapt convention body, the large majority of which responded vociferously to his partisan words.  In contrast, a large majority of the convention body in the present case was engaged in loud shouting in an attempt to drown out Thompson’s words, which had the effect of substantially minimizing the speech’s impact on them.

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 268


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

Avral Thompson


Michael Miller

P.O. Box 251673

Los Angeles, CA 90025


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104