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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: RUBEN MORENO,                                    )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 347

                                                                        )           Issued: December 16, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-267-042216-FW     


Ruben Moreno, 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 a proposed t-shirt design to be purchased for a contract campaign by Local Union 439 impermissibly adopted a design used by a slate in the local union’s delegate and alternate delegate election.

            Election Supervisor representative Deborah Schaaf investigated this protest.

Findings of Fact and Analysis

In an election contested by three slates, Local Union 439 elected five delegates and two alternate delegates to the IBT convention[1].  The winning slate, named Stability Through Solidarity, was led by Alex Parra.  The election concluded on April 22, 2016.

At a general membership meeting on April 20, 2016, Parra proposed and the membership adopted a motion to purchase shirts at local union expense for a coming contract campaign at Safeway, a large employer under the local union’s jurisdiction.  The motion had broad support, including from protestor Moreno.

Following the vote, Moreno saw the shirt design for the first time and filed this protest, alleging that the design was an “exact replica” of the one Parra’s slate used during the delegates and alternate delegates election.  As such, the protest alleged that the purchase of the shirts would constitute impermissible support by the local union for Parra’s slate. 

The two shirts had similarities but were not identical.  Thus, both were printed on black fabric with red and white graphics and lettering.  Where the slate’s campaign shirt recited the slate’s name, “Stability Through Solidarity,” the contract shirt read “Solidarity 2016 Safeway Contract.” 

The local union’s principal officer told our representative that under local union bylaws, the general membership does not have authority, acting in the first instance, to authorize an expenditure such as the purchase of shirts.  Rather, that authority is reserved to the local union executive board, which determines whether to authorize the expenditure and, if so, sets the details as to vendor, design, and the number to be purchased.  The bylaws permit the board’s action to be presented thereafter for ratification or rejection by the membership.  Accordingly, the vote of the general membership on April 20 to purchase shirts for the Safeway contract campaign in a design not displayed to the membership did not constitute authorization to make the purchase, according to the principal officer.

Exercising its authority under the local union bylaws, the local union executive board voted on May 18, 2016 not to purchase the shirts with the Parra design.  Subsequently, the executive board voted to purchase shirts for the Safeway contract using a design that was not similar to any shirt design used during the delegates and alternate delegates election.  This resolution was ratified by the membership at a general membership meeting. 

Accordingly, we DENY the protest as MOOT.

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 347


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


Ruben Moreno


Teamsters Local Union 439

1531 East Fremont St

Stockton, CA 95205


Philip Creamer

For Restore the Pride


Alex Parra

For Stability Through Solidarity


Deborah Schaaf

1521 Grizzly Gulch Dr

Helena, MT 59601


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

[1] Because of an increase in average membership, Local Union 439’s delegation was subsequently adjusted to six delegates and one alternate delegate, with the first-ranked elected alternate delegate being promoted to delegate.