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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













November 8, 1995




Robert Jordan

November 8, 1995

Page 1



Robert Jordan

6905 Archdale

Detroit, MI 48228


Larry Brennan, President

Teamsters Local Union 337

2801 Trumbull Avenue

Detroit, MI 48228


Barbara Harvey, Esq.

2915 Cadillac Tower

Detroit, MI 48226


Leone Foods Service

30660 Plymouth Road

Livonia, MI 48150

Robert Jordan

November 8, 1995

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-196-LU337-MGN




This protest was filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”) by Robert Jordan, 

a member of Local Union 337.  Mr. Jordan contends that Local Union 337 committed acts of retaliation against him in order to deny rights guaranteed under the Rules by (1) refusing to request a “union[-]business” leave of absence from Mr. Jordan’s employer so that he could campaign and (2) conspiring with Mr. Jordan’s employer, Leone Food Services, to discharge him.  These two actions, asserts Mr. Jordan, were taken to (1) adversely affect his right to be a candidate for delegate and local officer,[1] (2) deny him access to the local union membership, (3) discriminate against him in favor of members who have been granted such leaves of absence and (4) create a framework for his discharge.    


Local Union 337 denies that its conduct toward Mr. Jordan violates the Rules.


Regional Coordinator William A. Wertheimer, Jr. conducted the investigation of this protest.

Robert Jordan

November 8, 1995

Page 1



In a July 10, 1995 letter to Local Union 337, Mr. Jordan declared his candidacy for delegate.  Several weeks later, he was nominated as a candidate for local union president. 


Between September 13, 1995 and September 21, 1995, Leone Food Service disciplined Mr. Jordan in four separate incidents of absenteeism.  The first and second incidents caused letters of warning to be issued.  On September 20, 1995, Mr. Jordan was suspended for one day because of a third absence.  He was penalized by an additional three days’ suspension for missing work a fourth time on September 18, 1995. 


On September 22, 1995, Mr. Jordan requested, in writing, that Local 337 grant him a “leave of absence from my employer,” according to Article X, Section 2 of Local Union 337's collective bargaining agreement with Leone Food Service.  That provision states, in pertinent part:


The employer agrees to grant necessary and reasonable time off, without discrimination or loss of seniority rights and without pay, to any employee designated by the Union to attend a labor convention, or serve in any capacity on other official Union business.                           


Mr. Jordan’s letter stated that the purpose of the request was to afford him time to campaign, reasoning that campaigning is “an event that will greatly affect the future of our Local, [and] should be regarded as the highest form of official union business.”


On September 25, 1995, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 337 wrote Mr. Jordan reminding him that any request for a leave of absence from employment must be made to the employer and that a denial of such a request is subject to the grievance process under the collective bargaining agreement.  The letter further stated:


In my opinion you should be prepared to provide both parties to the labor agreement with any authority you may have for the proposition that a leave from your job to campaign for local union office constitutes official union business within the meaning of the collective bargaining agreement.


Members of Local Union 337 who campaign for elective office do so during non-working hours or on vacation time.  Leaves of absence are consistently requested by Local Union 337 and granted by employers for such purposes as counting ballots or observing the voting process.  There is no evidence in this case that the term “official union business,” as used in the applicable collective bargaining agreement, has ever been interpreted or extended to include a purpose to campaign.


Leone Food Services discharged Mr. Jordan on October 9, 1995 for excessive absenteeism and for dishonesty in connection with another absence on October 4, 1995.  A

Robert Jordan

November 8, 1995

Page 1



grievance was filed by Mr. Jordan on October 24, 1995 challenging his discharge.  This grievance is currently pending. 


Retaliation against a member for exercising any right guaranteed under the Rules is strictly prohibited.  Article VIII, Section 11(f).


This protection covers the right to run as a candidate for delegate or international office.  In Re: Wsol, P-095-IBT-CHI (September 20, 1995), aff’d, 95 - Elec. App. - 17 (KC) (October 1-, 1995).


In 1991, a protest was filed by a member who alleged that his request for “union leave” to campaign was denied, in violation of the Election Rules.  The Election Officer noted that the only reference to time off from work for union business appeared in Article IX, Section 1(c) (Article X, Section 1(f) in the current Rules).  The section provides that any time spent in “observing” any aspect of the election process shall be considered union business.  The Election Officer found the Rules clearly stated that no observer shall use this privilege for the purpose of campaigning.  Thus, campaigning is not a function of “union business” as that term is defined and protected by the RulesIn Re: Nathaniel Smith, 90 - Elec. App. 20 (December 21, 1990);  Moerler, Election Officer Case No. P-754-LU63-CLA (May 10, 1991).  Based upon the evidence presented, the Election Officer finds that the denial of

Mr. Jordan’s request for a leave of absence to campaign does not constitute a violation of the Rules.


The question of whether Local Union 337 colluded with Mr. Jordan’s employer to cause his discharge is the subject of an ongoing grievance.  The Rules afford the Election Officer the jurisdiction and authority to determine every issue raised by the protest, including those which are the subject of a pending grievance.   The Election Officer, however, chooses to defer her decision as to this component of Mr. Jordan’s protest until the grievance procedure is concluded.  In so doing, the Election Officer reminds the protester that she is not bound, in whole or in part, by the decision reached during the grievance proceeding or by the facts found or the conclusions drawn during the grievance process.  See, Star Market, Case No. P-760-LU25-ENG, aff’d, 91 -  Elec. App. - 187; aff’d, United States v. Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters, 776 F. Supp. 144, aff’d, 954 F.2d 801 (2nd Cir. 1992).  As she stated in Golubovic, P-025-LIU710-CHI (July 21, 1995):


Thus, while the Election Officer will defer her decision in this matter, she has the authority to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations of the protest and issue a decision on the merits of the protest based upon her determination and evaluation of the evidence presented to her in such independent investigation.


Mr. Jordan is requested to inform the Election Officer of the results of his pending grievance.


Robert Jordan

November 8, 1995

Page 1



Based upon the foregoing, the protester’s allegation as to the refusal of the

union[-]business” leave is DENIED; that portion of his protest referring to his discharge is DEFERRED.


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.

Latham and Watkins

885 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751-4864


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:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

William A. Wertheimer, Jr., Regional Coordinator



[1]The Election Officer has no authority to hear or determine protests which concern local union elections.  See Rules, Article I.