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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 318

            FRED ZUCKERMAN, and             )           Issued: October 27, 2016

            MIKE HOWELL,                             )           OES Case Nos. P-377-100616-MW,

                                                                        )              P-382-101116-MW & P-384-101116-MW

            Protestors.                                         )                                              


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, docketed as Case No. P-377-100616-MW, alleged that Fred Zuckerman and the Teamsters United slate impermissibly used employer and union resources to campaign.

Fred Zuckerman, candidate for IBT General President, and Mike Howell, member of Local Union 414, filed a pre-election protest docketed as Case No. P-382-101116-MW, alleging that Hoffa-Hall 2016 impermissibly used union resources to campaign.

Zuckerman filed an additional pre-election protest docketed as Case No. P-384-101116-MW, alleging that Hoffa-Hall 2016 impermissibly used other union resources to campaign.

            Election Supervisor representative Joe Childers investigated these protests.  They were consolidated for decision.

Findings of Fact and Analysis

Jack Cooper Transport provides carhaul services to the General Motors Ft. Wayne Assembly Plant from its location on Fogwell Parkway in Roanoke, IN.  The Jack Cooper employees at that location are members of Local Union 414.    

Three bulletin boards are mounted on the wall of the drivers’ break room at the facility.  Two are glass-covered, and the third is an open cork board.  Investigation showed that all three boards historically have been used for official employer and union business only, and none has been used either for campaign or personal business.  Specifically, one of the enclosed boards is used to post driver bids for the week, and the other is used for official union and employer notices, including workers compensation notices.  The open cork board is used for official union notices only.  Although the two glass-covered boards are equipped with locks, they are not locked. 

Hoffa-Hall 2016’s protest asserted that flyers promoting the candidacy of Fred Zuckerman for IBT General President were improperly posted on a glass-covered board and the open one.  Photos of the boards were displayed on Facebook, and Fred Zuckerman is said to have “liked” them. 

The second protest, filed by Zuckerman and Howell, alleged that Hoffa-Hall 2016 campaign material also was posted on the same boards.  Photos of the two glass-covered boards provided to our investigator showed a business card bearing a Hoffa-Hall 2016 campaign message inside the glass of each board.

Both postings were inconsistent with the established practice reserving the bulletin boards exclusively for official notices of the employer and the union.  Article VII, Section 12(d) prohibits restrictions on members’ pre-existing rights to use employer or union bulletin boards for campaign publicity.  However, investigation here shows no such pre-existing right to post campaign material on the boards exists at the Roanoke facility.

Kevin Tumbleson, yards superintendent at the facility, told our investigator that he frequently finds campaign stickers and flyers posted about the premises.  He said as soon as he sees them, he removes and disposes of them.  Likewise, Curtis Goodwin, senior vice president for labor relations for Jack Cooper, told our investigator that the election is heavily contested at the Roanoke facility, describing it as a “blood bath” between Hoffa and Zuckerman.  Goodwin stated that management personnel frequently find stickers placed on company property and immediately remove them.  Flyers are also found by management personnel and discarded.  He said that he would discharge any employee caught placing the campaign material on company property.  Although photos showed campaign material posted on the bulletin boards at Roanoke, both management and rank-and-file witnesses told our investigator that the postings were no longer on the boards and, indeed, they had never seen the postings there.  Accordingly, we conclude that the campaign postings were on the boards only very briefly and were promptly removed.

We have held the posting of campaign material on an employer’s premises to be an improper endorsement of a candidate by an employer.  Hoffa-Hall 2016, 2016 ESD 64 (January 8, 2016).  However, the prompt removal of the improper endorsement has often been held sufficient remedy for the protest. Id. See also, Halstead, 2006 ESD 386 (October 26, 2006); Wright, 2006 ESD 361 (October 2, 2006); Leedham Slate, 2006 ESD 301 (July 5, 2006); Halstead, 2005 ESD 31 (June 6, 2005); Domeny, 2001 EAD 499 (October 5, 2001); Speak, 2001 EAD 239 (March 14, 2001). 

For these reasons, we deem protests P-377-100616-MW and P-382-101116-MW RESOLVED.

Turning to the remaining protest, Zuckerman alleged that a two-drawer file cabinet at the Roanoke facility violated the Rules because of partisan bumper stickers affixed to it.  The cabinet has been used by the local union steward for decades for storage of grievance materials.  A photograph submitted with the protest showed several bumper and  pole stickers attached to the cabinet, including two Hoffa 2006 bumper stickers, one Hoffa-Hall 2006 bumper sticker, one Hoffa-Mack 2006 bumper sticker, one Zuckerman/Teamsters United 2016 pole sticker over which was placed a Local Union 414 bumper sticker, one GCC Teamsters bumper sticker, one Teamsters for Obama bumper sticker, a Teamsters For Change bumper sticker, a Walter Lytle reform slate bumper sticker (apparently from 1980), and what appeared to be a Hoffa-Hall 2016 bumper sticker.  On the top surface of the filing cabinet was a Local Union 414 sticker, which was not a campaign sticker.  According to George Gerdes, local union business agent with responsibility at that facility, the filing cabinet was removed from the facility at his direction by Tim Gitary, steward at the facility, on or about October 14, 2016, after the protest was filed.  The filing cabinet was taken to Gitary’s home, where it remains.

Evidence shows a pre-existing right exists to post partisan material on the filing cabinet.  Although the majority of the stickers were Hoffa-related from previous elections, stickers for Zuckerman and Hoffa from the current election had been posted there.  For this reason, we find no violation of Article VII, Section 12(d) and 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 318



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


Teamsters Local Union 414

2644 Cass Street

Fort Wayne, IN 46808


Mike Howell


Joe Childers

201 W. Short Street, Ste. 300

Lexington, KY 40507


Bill Broberg

1108 Fincastle Rd

Lexington, KY 40502


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104