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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: KENNY GONZALES,                   )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 351

                                                                        )           Issued: December 20, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-152-020716-FW     



Kenny Gonzales, 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 he suffered retaliation from the local union for activity protected by the Rules.


            Election Supervisor representative Deborah Schaaf investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Gonzales was nominated for delegate at Local Union 439’s nominations meeting held February 17, 2016.  Evidence showed that the local union leadership was aware for many months prior to the nominations meeting that he intended to run for delegate.


Gonzales alleged the following:


The local has not let me sit in when my grievances are heard.  I’m not being told when my grievances are being heard.  I have asked the local to take my grievances to panel and the local has not.  I feel is retaliation against me for running as a DELEGATE.


Our representative interviewed Gonzales on February 11, 2016, the date the protest was docketed and acknowledged by OES.  At that time, Gonzales made general allegations of unfair, retaliatory actions and inactions by Local Union 439 in its handling of his grievances, as stated in his protest.  He referred to three letters he said he sent to the local union regarding grievances that he asserted had been ignored or mishandled by the local union.  With respect to the alleged failure of the local union to permit him to attend meetings where his grievances are heard or discussed, Gonzales acknowledged that the local union bylaws do not provide that members must be present at hearings, but he said it was the practice of Local Union 439 under a previous administration that members be present at grievance hearings.  During the interview, our representative requested that Gonzales provide documentation for his protest, including details regarding all grievances he had filed and how the local union had handled them, in order to determine whether he had been treated differently because of his delegate candidacy. 


Our representative attended Local Union 439’s nominations meeting on February 17, 2016 and spoke with Gonzales there.  She repeated her request for documentation and evidence he relied on to substantiate his protest of retaliatory treatment.  At that time, Gonzales told our representative that he did not wish to pursue the protest.  At no time before or after that date did he produce the evidence our representative requested.


Also at the February 17 nominations meeting, our representative interviewed Ken Guertin, Local Union 439’s principal officer.  He denied that the union had treated Gonzales any differently than other local union members with respect to grievances; he stated further that the local union bylaws do not require that members be present at grievance hearings.


Article XIII, Section 1 states in part that “it shall be the burden of the protestor to present evidence that a violation has occurred.”  As the protestor has not done so, 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 351



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


Kenny Gonzales


Teamsters Local Union 439

1531 East Fremont St

Stockton, CA 95205


Ken Guertin

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