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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













March 21, 1996





Jean Birch

RR2, Box 286

Staples, MN 56479


Sue Mauren Unity Slate

1901 S. 5th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55454


Re:  Election Office Case No. P-603-LU320-NCE




A pre-election protest was filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election ("Rules") by Jean Birch, a member of Local Union 320 and candidate for delegate on the Ron Carey Rank and File slate ("Rank and File slate").  Ms. Birch alleges that members of one of the rival slates, the Sue Mauren Unity slate ("Mauren slate"), have been violating the Rules by campaigning systematically at bargaining unit meetings.[1]  She further alleges that the local union violated the Rules by first refusing, and then unnecessarily delaying, furnishing her with a schedule of those meetings.


Local Union 320 is in trusteeship.  Sue Mauren is the assistant trustee.  The members of her slate include most of the full-time local union staff.  In the delegate election, the Mauren slate and the Rank and File slate are both full slates, i.e., composed of candidates for all of the

10 delegate positions and three alternate delegate positions that the local union is entitled to fill.  There is a partial slate, the United Minnesota Teamsters Coalition slate ("Coalition slate"), composed of six candidates for delegate.  There is also one independent candidate for delegate.

Jean Birch

March 21, 1996

Page 1



This protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Judith E. Kuhn.


On March 1, 1996, Ms. Birch sent a letter to Local Union 320 Trustee Harold J. Yates, stating:


It has come to our attention that the Sue Mauren Unity Slate has access to class meetings and bargaining unit meetings other slates do not have.  Equal access should apply here and we request the complete list of all scheduled member meetings and/or any other unit meetings of the membership including but not limited to the General Membership meetings.


Ms. Birch based this letter on her experience of the Mauren slate campaigning at a bargaining unit meeting on February 28.  The meeting was conducted by Local Union 320 Business Agent Joanne Derby, who is a member of the Mauren slate.  Ms. Derby stated in the meeting notice that a vote would be taken to ratify a contract and that "You must be present to vote."  However, no vote was taken; Ms. Derby proposed that absentee ballots be accepted, and the members agreed.  Ms. Birch asserts that approximately 31 of 45 bargaining unit members attended the meeting, whereas only 11 members attended the previous meeting on February 14, where no vote was scheduled.


After Ms. Derby adjourned the meeting, but before anyone had gotten up, she introduced Tim Mulcrone, a Local Union 320 business agent and member of the Mauren slate.  She said, "Tim Mulcrone would like to speak to you about the delegate election."  Mr. Mulcrone then campaigned for the Mauren slate for about 10 minutes.


On March 6, a Local Union 320 member attended a different bargaining unit meeting which was held at the Local Union 320 hall.  It was conducted by June Del Castillo, a candidate on the Sue Mauren slate for alternate delegate.  When business was over, the member states that Ms. Del Castillo made a point of adjourning the meeting, and then five members of the Mauren slate made campaign presentations to the members.  These included Joanne Derby,

Tim Mulcrone, and George Peterson.


On March 9, Local Union 320 member Eric Jensen heard that a bargaining unit meeting was to take place and positioned himself outside of the building to campaign to members as they left.  The first person he spoke to was a steward for the unit who, while disagreeing with

Mr. Jensen's support for General President Ron Carey, said, "Come on in and you can peddle your wares."  Mr. Jensen did enter the meeting.  After some more discussion of business, the person conducting the meeting said, "Now, I want to do this.  It's perfectly legal.  Some of you have been asking about the opposition slate."  The meeting was adjourned, and Mr. Jensen was permitted to campaign for the Rank and File slate.  Tim Mulcrone gave a campaign speech for the Mauren slate.


Jean Birch

March 21, 1996

Page 1



By letter dated March 8, John Quarnstrom, counsel to Local Union 320 Trustee Harold Yates, replied to Ms. Birch's request for information on local union membership and unit meetings.  Ms. Birch received this letter on March 11.[2]  Mr. Quarnstrom denied the request, stating that Article VIII, Section 5(b) of the Rules only requires local unions to furnish candidates with "a list of the dates, times and places of its regularly scheduled general or special membership meeting(s) . . ."


Ms. Birch had sent the Election Officer a copy of her March 1 letter, which the Election Officer received and docketed as this protest on March 8.[3]  On Tuesday, March 12, Regional Coordinator Kuhn faxed a copy of Ms. Birch's letter to the local union, advised the local union that it was being treated as a protest, and asked that the local union "call within 24 hours of your receipt of this fax, and advise as to your position on this letter."  Regional Coordinator Kuhn also specifically asked whether Ms. Birch had been given the information she sought.


The local union did not respond to Ms. Kuhn's fax within the 24 hours requested.  On Wednesday, March 13, Ms. Kuhn again faxed the local union.  She attached a copy of the Election Officer's decision in Weronke, P-306-LU662-NCE (January 31, 1996), which found that candidates have the right of access under Article VIII, Section 5(a)(1) of the Rules to all meetings of the local union, and that the local union has an obligation to furnish candidates with such information as it has about all meetings, upon request.  Ms. Kuhn advised the local union of the extreme time sensitivity of protests and requested a rapid response.  On March 13, Ms. Kuhn also spoke to a member of Local Union 320's office staff who advised Ms. Kuhn that

Ms. Mauren's father had died.  Ms. Kuhn stated that if Ms. Mauren could not handle this matter personally, then Ms. Kuhn's fax should be referred to the local union's attorney.  Mr. Quarnstrom called Ms. Kuhn late in the day on Thursday, March 14.  They had an extensive conversation during which Ms. Kuhn discussed the requirements of the Weronke decision and repeated the time-sensitivity of the protest.  Mr. Quarnstrom finally stated that he was meeting with Local Union 320 business agents at 7:00 a.m. the next day (Friday, March 15), and that he would call Ms. Kuhn following the meeting.  Mr. Quarnstrom did not call Ms. Kuhn after his meeting with the business agents, or throughout the day.  Ms. Kuhn finally called Mr. Quarnstrom's office on March 15.  He was not there, but he returned her call from his home.  He stated that he had met with the business agents that morning and that they had agreed to provide notice of all union meetings to Ms. Birch.  Mr. Quarnstrom stated that he would fax the list to her on Monday, March 18.  Mr. Quarnstrom did not fax Ms. Kuhn the list on March 18.


Jean Birch

March 21, 1996

Page 1



Late in the day on March 18, Ms. Kuhn called Mr. Quarnstrom to ask where the list was.  He said that he had gotten involved in another matter.  Mr. Quarnstrom did not fax the list to Ms. Kuhn.  Late in the afternoon on March 19, Mr. Quarnstrom left a message for Ms. Kuhn that he had mailed her the list, apparently because Ms. Birch had told him not to fax the list to her

(Ms. Birch).  Ms. Kuhn called Mr. Quarnstrom's office on the morning of March 20 to demand the list.  She received it by fax in mid-afternoon.


The Election Officer finds on these facts that the incumbent members of the Mauren slate have been taking advantage of their knowledge, as Local Union 320 employees, of scheduled bargaining unit meetings, in order to conduct a pattern of campaign activity at them.  The Election Officer further finds that Local Union 320 withheld information about such meetings from Ms. Birch and then engaged in a pattern of delay in withholding such information from Regional Coordinator Kuhn in the course of her investigation on behalf of the Election Officer. These are very serious violations of the Rules.


The Rules, at Article VIII, Section 5, provide that all candidates and campaigns must be treated equally with respect to attendance at local union meetings and the right to engage in campaign activities at local union meetings.  A bargaining unit meeting is a local union meeting. See Weronke, supra.  If members of a local union who are candidates are permitted to engage in campaign activity during a local union meeting, other candidates or their representatives or slates must be granted similar opportunites and advance notice.  Article VIII, Section 5(a)(3).  That the members of the Mauren slate technically “adjourned” the meeting prior to campaigning, is frankly a hollow attempt to circumvent the purpose of Article VIII, Section 5 of the RulesSee Johnson, Case No. P-977-LU886-SOU (October 28, 1991) (Campaigning found where after adjournment of meeting, an announcement was made from the podium about upcoming campaign event); Shea, Case No. P-735-IBT (July 18, 1991) (Campaign speech made after adjournment of joint council meeting but before holiday celebration violates Election Rules). 


The Election Officer finds that Local Union 320 employees used their knowledge of bargaining unit meetings to provide a forum for Mauren slate campaigning, and further used their conduct of such meetings to introduce Mauren slate members for campaign purposes.  This is particularly egregious activity given the large geographic area of the local union and the resulting necessity for conducting union business in a large number of small meetings.  Local Unon 320 turned at least the three meetings in this record into candidate fora without observing any of the notice and fairness requirements in the Rules.[4]


Jean Birch

March 21, 1996

Page 1



The Election Officer finds that this pattern of improper campaigning at bargaining unit meetings was further exacerbated by Local Union 320's initial refusal and then extended delay in making bargaining unit information available to Ms. Birch.  In Weronke, issued January 31, the Election Officer made clear that Article VIII, Section 5(a)(1) of the Rules, guaranteeing the access of any candidate to "any meeting of the Local Union to which he/she belongs as a member" requires that candidates, on request, be told of such meetings.  As stated in Weronke, "the Election Officer interprets this provision to apply to all meetings of the local union, including craft meetings."  Thus, Local Union 320 had no basis for refusing to provide Ms. Birch with the dates, times and locations of "all scheduled member meetings and/or any other unit meetings of the membership included [sic] but not limited to the General Membership meetings," as she requested.


The Election Officer further notes that Local Union 320 delayed eight days from

Ms. Kuhn's first contact before it faxed her a list of bargaining unit meetings.  This delay was caused by a pattern of resistance and unfulfilled commitments on the part of the local union. 


The list of bargaining unit meetings shows 29 meetings in the 13-day period from

March 19 through March 31.  If the rate of meetings is constant, then Local Union 320's eight-day delay in furnishing Ms. Kuhn with the list deprived Ms. Birch of the opportunity to attend

17 meetings.  From the local union's receipt of Ms. Birch's request on March 6, the delay was

14 days, or perhaps as many as 31 meetings.  Thus, Ms. Birch was deprived of important information, and Local Union 320 may have been able to conduct more campaigning at local union meetings undetected.[5]


For the foregoing reasons, the protest is GRANTED.


When the Election Officer determines that the Rules have been violated, she "may take whatever remedial action is appropriate."  Article XIV, Section 4.  In fashioning the appropriate remedy, the Election Officer views the nature and seriousness of the violation, as well as its potential for interfering with the election process.


The Election Officer orders the following.


(1) Local Union 320 shall cease and desist from permitting campaigning by any member of the Sue Mauren Unity slate, or any other candidate for delegate or alternate delegate, at any of the local union's meetings, whether of the entire membership or any part of the membership, unless the local union complies with the notice and fairness requirements set forth in

Article VIII, Section 5(a)(3) of the Rules.


Jean Birch

March 21, 1996

Page 1



(2) On or before March 25, 1996, Local Union 320 shall send a list of all local union meetings, whether of the entire membership or of any part of the membership, known to the local union at the timing of sending, to all candidates for delegate and alternate delegate.  This list shall include the date, time, and location of each meeting, and the group that is involved.  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 April 2, 1996.


(3) On or before March 25, 1996, Local Union 320 Trustee Harold Yates and Assistant Trustee Sue Mauren shall execute the attached notice and post it on all local union bulletin boards at all work sites.


(4) Local Union 320 shall send to every member of the local union, at its expense, one mailing of campaign material provided to it by each of:  (i) the Ron Carey Rank and File slate, (ii) the United Minnesota Teamsters Coalition slate, and (iii) independent candidate

Matthew J. O'Brien.  These mailings shall not be combined.  The literature for each mailing shall be no longer than a single page, 8½ x 11 inches, may be printed on both sides but shall be suitable for mailing as a tri-fold.  The literature shall be provided to Local Union 320 by the

Ron Carey Rank and File slate, the United Minnesota Teamsters Coalition slate, and independent candidate O'Brien, if they so choose, and shall be duplicated and mailed by first-class mail by Local Union 320 within two (2) business days of the date the literature is provided.  Local

Union 320 shall bear the cost of duplication and mailing.  Local Union 320's obligations under this order run separately to the Ron Carey Rank and File slate, the United Minnesota Teamsters Coalition slate, and independent candidate O'Brien, and shall be met independently.


(5) At the time that literature is submitted to Local Union 320 pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the submitter shall simultaneously provide a copy of such literature to the Election Officer.  With respect to each mailing made under the preceding paragraph, Local Union 320 shall, within three (3) days of the date on which the mailing is made, submit an affidavit to the Election Officer demonstrating that the mailing has been accomplished.


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


Jean Birch

March 21, 1996

Page 1



Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 N. Capitol Street, Suite 855, Washington, DC 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

Judith E. Kuhn, Regional Coordinator








The Election Officer has decided that Local Union 320 violated Article VIII, Sections 5(a)(3) and (4) of the Rules for the IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election ("Rules") by permitting members of the Sue Mauren Unity slate to campaign at bargaining unit meetings held on February 28, March 6, and March 9, 1996, without giving notice and affording equal access to other candidates in the local union delegate election.


The Election Officer has decided that Local Union 320 employee-members of the

Sue Mauren Unity slate violated Election Rules by using their knowledge of where and when the meetings listed above would be held, in order to prepare for, attend, and campaign at those meetings.  The Election Officer further determined that Local

Union 320 violated Election Rules by refusing to give information about bargaining unit and other local union meetings to a candidate who requested such information, and further by resisting and delaying disclosure of such information to the Election Officer's representative in the course of investigating these violations.


To remedy the improper campaign advantage that these violations have given to the Sue Mauren Unity slate, the Election Officer has ordered us to make a campaign mailing to the members for each of the Ron Carey Rank and File slate, the United Minnesota Teamsters Coalition slate, and independent candidate Matthew J. O’Brien, if they so choose.



Harold Yates, Trustee

Teamsters Local Union 320




Sue Mauren, Assistant Trustee

Teamsters Local Union 320




This is an official notice which must remain posted for 30 consecutive days and must not be defaced or altered in any manner or be covered with any other material.


Approved by Barbara Zack Quindel, IBT Election Officer.

[1]Local Union 320 represents numerous public employee bargaining units.  A bargaining unit meeting is a separate meeting with a single public employee group within the local union, similar to a craft meeting.

[2]Mr. Quarnstrom's letter recites that the local union received Ms. Birch's March 1 letter on March 6.

[3]This protest was timely.  Article XIV, Section 2(b) requires that protests be filed "within two (2) working days of the day when the protestor becomes aware or reasonably should have become aware of the action protested . . ."  With respect to her access to local union meetings, Ms. Birch was not denied access until March 11.  With respect to the Mauren slate's pattern of campaigning at bargaining unit meetings, it continued on this record to March 9.

[4]It also does not matter that Mr. Jensen was invited in to campaign at the March 9 meeting.  There was still discrimination against the Coalition Slate and the independent candidate.

[5]While a suspicion does exist on this record that Local Union 320 and the Mauren slate may have used bargaining unit meetings systematically for campaign purposes, the Election Officer's findings are restricted to the three meetings in this record.  The remedies arising therefrom are warranted by the violations at those meetings and do not depend upon the finding of a broader pattern.