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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters










              January 31, 1996




Richard Weronke

2910 Hwy. QQ

Custer, WI 54423


James Newell, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 662

119 West Madison Street

Eau Claire, WI 54703


Re: Election Office Case No. P-306-LU662-NCE




              A pre-election 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 Richard Weronke, a member of Local Union 662 and candidate for delegate, against the local union's secretary-treasurer, James Newell.  The protester alleges that Mr. Newell refuses to provide him with the date, time and location of the local union's craft meetings, information he has requested in writing. 


The charged party responds that:  (1) the protest is untimely; (2) under the Local Union 662 bylaws, craft meetings are run by the individual crafts and the business agent assigned to each craft, and are often scheduled, changed, or postponed on very short notice; (3) the local union is not obligated to provide such information to Mr. Weronke under the Rules.


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Judith Kuhn.


Richard Weronke

January 31, 1996

Page 1


Mr. Weronke filed an earlier protest with the Election Office, Case No. P-239-LU662-NCE, alleging that he was denied access to a local union craft meeting on November 11, 1995.   By letter to Mr. Weronke dated November 20, Mr. Newell stated that the denial "resulted from a misinterpretation of the rules as pertain to a member's right to attend local union meetings,"[1] as the local union understood the rule to exclude individual craft meetings.  Having received "the proper interpretation" of the relevant rule from the Election Officer, Mr. Newell wrote, "henceforth any delegate candidate(s) will be permitted access to Local Union meetings, including individual craft meetings, consistent with the rules." 


Based on Mr. Newell's written assurance, Mr. Weronke advised the Election Officer that he wished to withdraw his protest.  By decision dated November 28, 1995, the Election Officer approved the withdrawal, finding that the protest had been resolved. 


As indicated above, Mr. Newell asserts that the instant protest is untimely and that the local union is not obligated to provide the protester with his requested information. 


1.              Timeliness


Article XIV, Section 2(b) requires that pre-election protests be filed "within two (2) working days of the day when the protester becomes aware or reasonably should have become aware of the action protested."   According to Mr. Newell, Mr. Weronke wrote to the local union in late December 1995, requesting the date, time and place of all craft meetings for the month of January 1996.  By letter dated January 4, 1996, Mr. Newell declined to honor the protester's request, stating that because monthly craft meetings are arranged by the individual crafts and their business agents, Local Union 622 "does not maintain a running list of which meetings are occurring when and where."   The letter also stated that "we know of no obligation either under law or inter-union to divulge this type of information." 


Mr. Newell contends that this correspondence reached the protester by January 6 at the latest, and Mr. Weronke's protest filed on January 10, 1996 is therefore untimely under the Rules.


The requirement to promptly file protests is an important part of the election process.  The short time limits were designed to ensure that alleged violations of the Rules would be quickly brought to the attention of the Election Officer in order to afford the greatest opportunity for applying an effective remedy in the event a violation is found.  Regardless of whether a protest has been filed, timely or not, the Election Officer is empowered to remedy misconduct which may frustrate the Consent Decrees goals.  See In Re: Carter, Supplemental Decision, 95 - Elec. App. - 46 (January 19, 1996).


Richard Weronke

January 31, 1996

Page 1


The instant protest represents the second time that Mr. Weronke has sought the assistance of the Election Officer to receive information to which he is entitled under the Rules.  Therefore, the Election Officer finds it will better serve the underlying puposes of the Rules to resolve this protest on its merits and will so exercise her authority.


2.              Obligations of the Local Union


Under Article VIII, Section 5(a)(1), a candidate may not be denied access "to any meeting of the Local Union to which he/she belongs as a member."  (Emphasis added)   As Mr. Newell acknowledged in his letter of November 20, 1995 to the protester, the Election Officer interprets this provision to apply to all meetings of the local union, including craft meetings. 


The Election Officer takes note of Mr. Newell's statements pertaining to how craft meetings are scheduled and the tendency of such meetings to be called, changed or cancelled on very short notice.  However, while the local union may not, as Mr. Newell asserts, maintain a complete list of all craft meetings, this does not mean it can refuse to provide the protester with the information it possesses regarding such meetings.  See Brannan, Case No. P-039-LU344-NCE (December 5, 1990) (local union is obligated to provide members with reasonable notice of craft meetings ).  Thus, under the Rules, Local Union 622 is obligated to furnish  Mr. Weronke or any candidate who so requests the date, time and location of all crafts meetings scheduled of which it is aware.


Based upon the foregoing, the protest is GRANTED.


III.              Remedy


When the Election Officer determines that the Rules have been violated, she "may take whatever remedial action is appropriate."  Article XIV, Section 4.


As described above, the instant protest represents the second time that Local Union 622 has been informed by the Election Officer that it is obligated under the Rules to supply the information sought by the protester.  To insure all candidates receive this information, within five (5) days of the date of this decision, the Election Officer orders Local Union 622 to send a listing of all local union meetings currently scheduled, including craft meetings, to all candidates for delegate and alternate delegate.  In addition, the local union shall be under a continuing obligation to transmit such information regarding all local union meetings of which the local union becomes aware until the election is completed on March 8, 1996.  Within two (2) days of sending the first information required under this order, Local Union 622 shall send an affidavit to the Election Officer detailing its compliance with this order along with a copy of the information sent to the candidates. 

Richard Weronke

January 31, 1996

Page 1



Richard Weronke

January 31, 1996

Page 1


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 & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

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

Judy Kuhn, Regional Coordinator

[1] Article VIII, Section 5(a)(1) of the Rules states: "No candidate may be denied access to any meeting of the Local Union to which he/she belongs as a member."