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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

OFFICE OF THE ELECTION SUPERVISOR

for the

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

 

IN RE: SCOTT TEMEN,                             )           Protest Decision 2017 ESD 369

                                                                        )           Issued: January 14, 2017

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-418-111816-MW           

____________________________________)                      

 

Scott Temen, member of Local Union 710, 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 710 business agent Ted Barnhart retaliated against him for protected activity, in violation of the Rules.

 

            Election Supervisor representative Joe Childers investigated this protest.

 

Findings of Fact and Analysis

 

Protestor Temen is a driver for ABF Freight and was elected as alternate delegate to the IBT convention as a member of the Rebuild 710 slate in Local Union 710’s delegates and alternate delegates election.  Ted Barnhart is a local union business agent with responsibility for the ABF Freight worksite where Temen is employed. 

 

The protest alleged that, on November 17, 2016, Barnhart “[c]alled up my phone concerning some Facebook posts & proceeded to yell, curse, harass & intimidate me & would not let me get in a word.”  The protest attributed Barnhart’s behavior to a threat allegedly made previously by Todd Anderson, Local Union 710 member and candidate for International trustee on the Teamsters United slate, to “make sure I would never work in 710 again & [to] make my work life miserable.”  We denied for insufficient evidence Temen’s protest that Anderson threatened him in violation of the RulesTemen, 2017 ESD 368, (January 14, 2017).

 

Temen told our representative during investigation of the current protest that there are problems at ABF Freight with respect to union stewards who are not doing their jobs.  Temen said he is part of a group of employees who have been petitioning for new steward elections.  He stated that business agent Barnhart accused him of initiating the petition drive, which Temen denied.  Nonetheless, Temen stated he informed Barnhart of “unrest” among employees.  Barnhart allegedly responded to this information by posting on Facebook that he had the stewards’ backs and there would be no new election.  Temen said he replied to Barnhart’s Facebook post with his own, which asserted that the decision to hold a new stewards election is “not [Barnhart’s] call.”  Temen stated that after his reply post, Barnhart called him on the phone and cursed and yelled at him and called him a snitch.

 

Temen further told our representative that a union steward at ABF stole a file folder containing a petition for a new steward election and delivered it to Barnhart.  The file folder was left for another driver.  Temen then reported the theft to ABF management.  Temen claimed that Barnhart called the driver for whom the folder was intended and intimidated him about not signing the petition calling for a new election of stewards.  When Temen told Barnhart during the telephone call that stealing was an offense punishable by termination of employment, Barnhart called him a “snitch” and hung up.  Temen then called Barnhart back and called him a liar.  Following that call, Barnhart texted Temen back and referred to him as “Beetlejuice.”  

 

Temen claimed that Barnhart’s use of that derogatory nickname was proof that the alleged threats Anderson made against him in Temen, supra, were being carried out by Barnhart.  According to Temen, Anderson took to calling Temen “Beetlejuice” for a reason unknown to Temen several years ago, that Anderson was the only person who ever referred to him by that name, and that Anderson was unsuccessful in getting other employees to call Temen that. Yet, according to Temen, Barnhart’s use of the nickname during the hostile call on November 17, 2016 was conclusive evidence that Barnhart had had recent contact with Anderson and was carrying out Anderson’s alleged threats.

 

In response to the protest’s allegations, Barnhart told our representative that Temen ran for union steward in February or March 2016 and lost by a sizable margin.  Ever since that election, according to Barnhart, Temen had been “crying” to Barnhart about how the stewards were not doing their jobs.  Barnhart stated that Temen had started the petition drive for a new steward election and that Barnhart had responded by posting on Facebook that he had the stewards’ backs. The next day, Temen started texting Barnhart and accusing a female steward, Tammy Swisher, of stealing a folder containing the petition.

 

Barnhart denied to our representative that he and Anderson were friends, that he had spoken to Anderson in the last several months, or that he was carrying out any alleged threats Anderson had made.  Barnhart stated that his relationship with Anderson in fact was less than warm, as Anderson had previously accused Barnhart of being Monty Hall on “Let’s Make a Deal” for settling grievances.  

 

Barnhart stated he called Temen on November 17, 2016 after receiving texts from Temen accusing Barnhart of knowledge and complicity in the alleged theft of the folder containing the petition.  Barnhart further admitted he got loud over the phone with Temen but denied that it was because of Temen’s past candidacy in the local union delegates and alternate delegates election or because of prompting by Anderson.  As for the “Beetlejuice” nickname, Barnhart stated that many drivers at UPS-South Holland, where Temen previously worked and where Barnhart also has business agent responsibilities, used that nickname to refer to Temen.

 

Article VII, Section 12(g) prohibits retaliation for activity protected by the Rules.  Barnhart and Temen are engaged in a dispute over the election of stewards at ABF Freight, a dispute that is unrelated either to the local union delegate election or the International officers election.   We reject as unsupported Temen’s attempt to connect the dispute to Anderson’s alleged threats to Barnhart by showing that both Barnhart and Anderson call Temen the same derogatory nickname. 

 

For these reasons, 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

JAMS

620 Eighth Avenue, 34th floor

New York, NY 10018

kroberts@jamsadr.com

 

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

            2017 ESD 369

DISTRIBUTION LIST (BY EMAIL UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED):

 


Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20001

braymond@teamster.org

 

David J. Hoffa

1701 K Street NW, Ste 350

Washington DC 20036

hoffadav@hotmail.com

 

Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

P.O. Box 10128

Detroit, MI 48210-0128

ken@tdu.org

 

Barbara Harvey

1394 E. Jefferson Avenue

Detroit, MI 48207

blmharvey@sbcglobal.net

 

Teamsters United

315 Flatbush Avenue, #501

Brooklyn, NY 11217

info@teamstersunited.org

 

Louie Nikolaidis

350 West 31st Street, Suite 40

New York, NY 10001

lnikolaidis@lcnlaw.com

 

Julian Gonzalez

350 West 31st Street, Suite 40

New York, NY 10001

jgonzalez@lcnlaw.com

 

David O’Brien Suetholz

515 Park Avenue

Louisville, KY 45202

dave@unionsidelawyers.com

 

Fred Zuckerman

P.O. Box 9493

Louisville, KY 40209

fredzuckerman@aol.com

 


Scott Temen

Grumpy1208@comcast.net

 

Ted Barnhart

tbarnhart@teamsters710.org

 

Todd Anderson

twa033@yahoo.com

 

Teamsters Local Union 710

9000 W. 187th Street

Mokena, IL 60448

tconelias@teamsters710.org

 

Joe Childers

201 W. Short Street, Ste. 300

Lexington, KY 40507

childerslaw81@gmail.com

 

William Broberg

1108 Fincastle Road

Lexington, KY 40502

wbroberg@ibtvote.org

 

Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

EllisonEsq@aol.com