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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: LAURENCIO BRAGA,                 )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 346

                                                                        )           Issued: December 16, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-305-062616-FW     



Laurencio Braga, member of Local Union 439, 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 Local Union 439 violated the Rules by sending its executive board to the IBT convention.


            Election Supervisor representative Deborah Schaaf investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Following a contested election, the six delegates and one alternate delegate Local Union 439 sent to the IBT convention did not include any elected officer of the local union.  The local union executive board adopted a resolution following the election that authorized board members and local union staff to be sent to observe the convention at union expense. 


The executive board resolution was submitted for ratification or rejection at a general membership meeting held June 15, 2016.  The membership ratified the resolution.  The eight guests who attended the convention at local union expense were comprised of the secretary-treasurer, the president, the vice president, the recording secretary, and three business agents.


The protest alleged that sending these members to the convention at local union expense violated the Rules, adding that there was no “union purpose” justifying their attendance.


Our Advisory Regarding Payment of Expenses for Convention Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the 29th International Convention permits a local union to send guests to the IBT convention at union expense provided that it sends all delegates and alternate delegates authorized by the local union election plan at union expense.  The Advisory cautions that “[u]nder no circumstances may a Local Union treat either a delegate or alternate less generously than a member or guest,” citing Article III, Section 3(d) of the Rules.


Investigation showed that the six delegates and one alternate delegate elected by the local union membership were sent to the IBT convention at local union expense.  Further, the evidence presented showed that the guests who attended the IBT convention at Local Union 439 expense were not treated more favorably or generously than any member of the elected delegation.


Accordingly, we DENY this protest.  In doing so, we note that our role in this matter is limited to assessing whether the elected delegation received the rights and benefits due them by virtue of their election.  We find that they did.  Although local union officials during the investigation of this protest presented their rationale for attending the convention at union expense, evaluating whether that rationale is sufficient is a political question for the local union membership rather than this office to carry out. 



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 346



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 439

1531 East Fremont St

Stockton, CA 95205


Deborah Schaaf

1521 Grizzly Gulch Dr

Helena, MT 59601


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104