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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: FRED ZUCKERMAN,                  )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 339

                                                                        )           Issued: December 9, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-416-111716-CA     



Fred Zuckerman, candidate for IBT General President on the Teamsters United slate, 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 implementation of an unlawful vote buying strategy in Canadian local unions in support of Hoffa-Hall 2016.

            Election Supervisor representative Jeffrey Ellison investigated this protest.

Findings of Fact and Analysis

The protest, filed on the fourth day of the counting of ballots in the International officers election, alleged that Canadian local unions guaranteed ballot support of their membership for Hoffa-Hall 2016 through improper means.

The witness identified to our representative who presented the allegation was a Teamster member who served as an observer at the ballot count for the International officers election.  He told our representative that, while on a smoke break outside the counting facility during the afternoon of Thursday, November 17, he overheard three Hoffa-Hall 2016 observers discussing the electoral returns.  At that point in the count, all at-large candidates on the Teamsters United slate were leading their opposing candidates on the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate, with the tally of ballots from United States members complete and the counting of ballots from Canadian members underway.  According to the witness, two of the Hoffa-Hall supporters within his hearing urgently questioned the third, a member from Canada, about the prospects for Hoffa-Hall 2016 at-large candidates to overtake and hold the lead once ballots from Canada were fully counted.  According to the witness, the Canadian member replied emphatically that the Canadian ballots would deliver the victory to all at-large candidates on the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate, stating that certain members had been given a $7 improvement in wages and fringe benefits and would deliver their votes. 

The Canadian member the witness said he overheard was subsequently identified as Caley Fieldhouse, employed as a business representative for Local Union 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Fieldhouse told our representative the same date the protest was filed that no conversation such as described by the witness took place.  He expressed shock at the wage and fringe benefit package the witness said had been discussed, denying that he had ever seen a negotiated improvement that might begin to approach such a figure, let alone discussed it at the count facility.  He further denied discussing any strategy or scheme to obtain votes improperly.

Counsel for the protestor subsequently recast the protest’s allegations to assert that a successor collective bargaining agreement for striking members employed by Nord Gear, under the jurisdiction of Local Union 419 in Mississauga, Ontario, had been negotiated that included a sizeable improvement in wages and fringe benefits, but that receipt of the increase was expressly conditioned on the members’ electoral support for the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate.  Facebook posts suggest that Local Union 419 struck Nord Gear in Brampton, Ontario following the September 30, 2016 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement covering that unit, and remained on strike at least through the month of October.

The protestor’s counsel asserted that Joint Council 52, of which Local Union 419 was a constituent member, had an “unbelievably high” voter participation when compared with other joint councils in Canada, which he asserted was the result of the strategy to obtain votes from Nord Gear employees in exchange for contract improvements.  Review of returns from Canada contradicted this assertion, with overall turnout in Canada at 12.3%, while that for Local Union 419 at 11.3%.  Further, the ballot tally showed that while Hoffa-Hall 2016 polled 75% of the vote in Joint Council 52, where the alleged scheme was said to be centered, that figure was less than the 77% it polled across Canada.  Finally, while overall voter participation in Local Union 419 at 11.3% was by any measure low, it was dramatically greater than the voter participation from members employed at Nord Gear, who according to the protestor had been coerced to cast their ballots for Hoffa-Hall 2016.  The circumstantial evidence thus reviewed does not support the protestor’s theory. 

The protestor presented no witnesses or documentary evidence in support of the alleged vote-buying strategy.  A protest without evidentiary support will be denied.  Rivers, 2011 ESD 222 (April 19, 2011).

Accordingly, 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 339


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 107

12275 Townsend Road

Philadelphia, PA 19154


Teamsters Local Union 31

1 Grosvenor Square

Delta BC V3M 5S1


Shawn Dougherty


Mike Nugent


Caley Fieldhouse


Jack Sullens

462 Sandpoint Ct

Windsor ON N8P 1S3


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104