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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













August 23, 1995




Diana Kilmury, Vice President

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

2612 East 47th Ave.

Vancouver, BC  V5S 1C1


John Burt, President

Teamsters Local Union 230

55 Nugget Ave., Suite 214

Scarborough, Ontario  M1S 3L1


RE:  Election Office Case No. P-021-LU230-CAN





This pre-election protest was filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(a) of the Rules for the 1995-96 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules) by IBT International Vice President Diana Kilmury.[1]  The protester alleges that Local Union 230 in Scarborough, Ontario unlawfully used union resources to read, reproduce and disseminate a reprinted article which attacked Ms. Kilmurys candidacy at a March 19, 1995 Local Union membership meeting. 


Local Union 230 responds that at the time of the alleged violation, the Rules were not in effect, and the Local Union was not aware of who the candidates might be.  Local

Union 230 President John Burt states that the Local Union reads newspaper articles about the Teamsters to its membership so that the members will have the same information as employers, who typically read Teamster news articles. 


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Gwen K. Randall.


There is no dispute that at a Local Union 230 membership meeting, the Local Union Principal Officer read the text of a reprinted article which has been provided to the Election Officer.  Copies of the article were also reproduced and made available during the meeting at the back of the Local Union hall.


The article begins with a description of the alleged decline of the International Union, attributing the Unions purported demise to leaders like Diana Kilmury whose main objective is not to negotiate better contracts for members, but rather achieve her personal agenda which she is bound and determined to achieve ... at all costs.  The article claims that Ms. Kilmury has yet to negotiate a contract, spen[ding] a good portion of her time working with the dissident group Teamsters for a Democratic Union.  The article predicts that [t]he Teamsters, once the most powerful union in the world seem bound to go the way of the dinosaur, if something doesnt happen soon.


The article closes:


And what of Kilmury?  Last year Kilmury was paid $75,000, she also had $51,000 in business-related expenses, which include a furnished apartment in Washington, unlimited use of a Union car, unlimited air travel, we found a receipt for personal clothes for $3,435.68.


Kilmury seems to be enjoying life as a union leader.  With elections coming again in 1996 Kilmury will have to campaign on her own record and stand on issues which have plunged the union to bankruptcy.    


Ms. Kilmury denies that the article accurately describes how she spends her time, the benefits she receives, or the business expenses she incurs on behalf of the Union.


The Rules specifically provide that protests regarding violations of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, as amended, (LMRDA)  including violations of the IBT Constitution, allegedly occurring prior to the date the Rules were issued on April 24, 1995, may be filed within 30 days after that date.  See, n.1, supra. Thus, the instant protest filed April 10, 1995  alleging a violation of the LMRDA is proper.


Section 401(g) of the LMRDA, incorporated into the Rules in Article XIII, provides that:


No moneys received by any labor organization by way of dues, assessment, or similar levy. . . shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any person in an election subject to the provisions of this title.  Such moneys of a labor organization may be utilized for notice, factual statements of issues not involving candidates, and other expenses necessary for the holding of an election.[2]


                   Union assistance is prohibited only if the activity supported by such assistance promotes or opposes the candidacy of a person in a regulated election.  Although she had not publicly announced her candidacy, Ms. Kilmury identified herself on her stationery as a candidate and the Election Officer finds that she was a candidate at the time the reprinted article was read and made available to the members of Local Union 230.


The distinction between a campaigning and other forms of communication is important in this case.  It directly affects the extent to which union members are free to discuss union policies and criticize the leadership without fear of reprisal in a vigorous debate that must take on increased importance as an election approaches.  United Steelworkers of America v. Sadlowski, 457 U.S. 102, 112 (1982).  The balance between protected speech and impermissible campaigning must be carefully struck.  Restrictions on speech must not be read so broadly as to restrict the right and responsibility of union officers to conduct union business.  Nor should the Rules prohibit opponents of those officers from criticizing those policies. 




As the Election Officer stated in Crawley, P-027-LU988-PNJ, et al. (August 22, 1995), such an analysis has advantages for both incumbents and the opposition.  A union officer certainly derives a benefit from the attention and publicity connected with the conduct of official union business.  But the opposition is empowered to place blame on the incumbents when those policies fail.


Most of the article read and made available at the Local Union 230 membership meeting, while not complimentary of Mr. Careys administration or of Ms. Kilmury, addressed newsworthy issues such as the absence of a strike fund, International Union finances and Ms. Kilmurys job duties, such as negotiating contracts.  Thus, most of the article addressed relevant union business.  Sheldon v. OCallaghan, 335 F. Supp. 325 (S.D.N.Y 1971). As an International Vice President, the activities of Ms. Kilmury, whether complimented or criticized, are newsworthy to union members.


There was a reference in the article to the 1996 elections in the last paragraph of the article.  The Election Officer finds this limited reference to the elections in an article which generally dealt with Ms. Kilmurys performance as an International Vice President and the state of the Union, so far in advance of the elections, does not oppose the candidacy of

Ms. Kilmury in violation of the RulesSee, New Watch-Dog Committee v. New York Taxi Drivers Union, 438 F. Supp. 1242, 1250-51 (S.D.N.Y. 1977).


The protest is therefore, DENIED.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one day of  receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:



Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Ferdon

180 Maiden Lane, 36th Floor

New York, NY  10038 

Fax (212) 248-2655








Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 North Capitol Street, Suite 855, Washington, D.C. 20001, Facsimile

(202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer



cc:              Election Appeals Master Kenneth Conboy

Gwen K. Randall, Regional Coordinator



[1]This reach-back protest was filed within the 30-day period following the final promulgation of the Rules on April 24, 1995, and alleges violations occurring prior to the issuance of the Rules.  The Rules, at Article XIV, Section 2(a), state:


Protests regarding violations of the [Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, as amended] (including violations of the IBT Constitution) allegedly occurring prior to the date of issuance of the Rules and protests regarding any conduct allegedly occurring within the first twenty-eight (28) days after issuance of the Rules must be filed within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance, or such protests shall be waived.

[2]A Department of Labor Interpretive Regulation states:


Unless restricted by constitutional provisions to the contrary, union officers and employees retain their rights as members to participate in the affairs of the union, including campaigning activities on behalf of either faction in an election.  However, such campaigning must not involve the expenditure of funds in violation of section 401(g).  Accordingly, officers and employees may not campaign on time that is paid for by the union, nor use union funds, facilities, equipment, stationery, etc., to assist them in such campaigning.  Campaigning incidental to regular union business would not be a violation.


29 C.F.R. 452.76.