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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













May 30, 1996





Jim Powell

May 30, 1996

Page 1



Jim Powell

200 St. Benedict Lane

Florissant, MO  68033


Frank J. Wsol, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 710

4217 S. Halsted Street

Chicago, IL  60609


Dane Passo

6811 W. Roosevelt Road

Berwyn, IL  60402


Danny Mousette

Teamsters Joint Council 25

1645 W. Jackson, 6th Floor

Chicago, IL  60612

Bill Hamilton

Teamsters Local Union 107

107 Spring Garden Street

Philadelphia, PA  19123


James P. Hoffa

2393 Hounds Chase

Troy, MI  48098


Nathaniel Charny

Cohen, Weiss & Simon

330 W. 42nd Street

New York, NY  10036

Jim Powell

May 30, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-728-LU688-CHI




Jim Powell, a member of Local Union 688, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules).  The protest is filed against Frank Wsol, secretary-treasurer of Local Union 710, Bill Hamilton, a business agent for Local Union 107, Dane Passo, a member of Local Union 705, Oscar Davila, a member of Local Union 781, and

Danny Mousette, a staff person for Joint Council 25.  The protest alleges that Mr. Wsol,

Jim Powell

May 30, 1996

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Mr. Passo, Mr. Davila, Mr. Mousette and an unidentified person wore Hoffa or Hoffa/Hogan campaign jackets while attending a change of operations hearing in Chicago on April 10, 1996.  The protest also alleges that Mr. Passo, Mr. Davila and the unnamed person campaigned inside of the hearing by handing out literature and other campaign paraphernalia.  The protester further contends that Mr. Hamilton wore a Hoffa campaign button while he was testifying at the hearing.


Mr. Wsol denies wearing a campaign jacket during the hearing.  Mr. Passo,

Mr. Davila, and Mr. Mousette each admit wearing a Hoffa/Hogan campaign jacket to the hearing.  They each deny, however, that any of them had any official business at the hearing.  Mr. Hamilton denies that he wore a Hoffa button at the hearing.  


Regional Coordinator Julie E. Hamos investigated the protest.


The national collective bargaining agreement, to which the IBT and Arkansas Best Freight (ABF) are parties, requires an employer proposing a change of operations to appear before a joint labor-management committee to resolve issues arising as a result of the proposed change, such as relative seniority rights.  On April 10, 1996, ABF appeared before the change of operations committee at a hearing held in Chicago.


Local Union 710 Secretary-Treasurer Frank Wsol made a presentation at the hearing concerning the seniority of drivers and dock workers represented by Local Union 710 who would be affected by the proposed change of operations. Mr. Passo, Mr. Davila and

Mr. Mousette were present in the hearing but did not participate in the hearing as witnesses or in any representative capacity.


Local Union 107 Business Agent Hamilton attended the hearing with Local Union 107 President Thomas Ryan, who made a presentation concerning the effect of the proposed change of operations on his local union.  Mr. Hamilton did not testify, but sat next to

Mr. Ryan while he made his presentation.


The Rules, at Article VIII, Sections 11(a) and (b), provide that all union members, including union members who are union officers, have the right to participate in campaign activities, including the right to openly support or oppose any candidate [and] to aid or campaign for any candidate.  Article VIII, Section 11(a) protects the right on union members to distribute campaign literature and to otherwise solicit support for a members candidacy before, during and after a Union meeting, regardless of Union policy, rule or practice.  While members, including officers, do not have a right to campaign on work time, whether paid by the union or another employer, campaigning incidental to work or union business does not violate the Rules.


The Election Officer issued the Advisory on Wearing of Campaign Buttons and Other Emblems (Advisory ) on September 20, 1995.  The Advisory states that the Rules protect the right of IBT members, including union officers and employees, to wear campaign emblems on buttons, t-shirts or hats while working.  (Citations omitted.)  In regard to union officers, the Advisory specifies as follows:



Jim Powell

May 30, 1996

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[T]hey may not wear such [campaign] emblems when representing the Union before or with an unrelated third party.  Thus, Union officers, business agents and employees may not wear campaign emblems when meeting with an employer of IBT members for collective bargaining or grievance resolution, when participating either as an advocate, witness or panel member in grievance hearings . . . when making public appearances on behalf of the Union, or when engaged in similar type activities where the wearing of a campaign emblem might inappropriately suggest that the Union with which the officer . . . is affiliated, is an entity supporting or opposing any particular candidate or group of candidates.


The Election Officer held in Green, Case No. P-320-LU20-SEC (February 7, 1996), that a union official who attends a grievance committee meeting as a representative of his local union, joint council and conference may not wear a campaign button at the meeting, even though he did not serve on a panel or play any role in a grievance hearing.  The Election Officer found there that the official attended the meeting to advance the interests of the various subordinate bodies, for example, by attempting to secure an appointment for a member of his local union on the grievance committee, and by being available as a grievance panel member if a vacancy became available.  The Election Officer concluded that by wearing a campaign button, this official might inappropriately suggest to the employers present at the meeting that the entities he represented support a particular candidate.


Here, Mr. Passo, Mr. Davila and Mr. Mousette, attended the hearing as a spectators and not in a representative capacity.  Therefore, they had a protected right to wear campaign jackets there. Mr. Wsol, however, was clearly at the hearing in his capacity as local union officer.  However, notwithstanding the allegations of the protest, neither the protester nor any of his witnesses, all of whom attended the hearing, provided sufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Wsol wore a campaign jacket at the hearing.  


There is a dispute between the protester and Mr. Hamilton as to whether Mr. Hamilton wore a Hoffa campaign button during the change of operations hearing.  Mr. Hamilton denies wearing a button during the hearing, but admits that he put on a button outside of the hearing after the presentation by Mr. Ryan had concluded. Two of the protesters witnesses gave conflicting testimony as to whether Mr. Hamilton wore a campaign button during the Local Union 107 presentation.  The other witnesses presented by the protester did not know

Mr. Hamilton, but did not recall anyone wearing a button while participating in the hearing.


The Regional Coordinator contacted Local Union 107 President Ryan, who was not named as a witness.  Mr. Ryan denied that Mr. Hamilton wore a button while participating in the hearing.  In the face of the conflicting testimony presented by the protesters witnesses, the Election Officer credits Mr. Ryan as to this allegation and finds that Mr. Hamilton did not wear a campaign button while participating in the hearing.


Jim Powell

May 30, 1996

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As to whether the charged persons distributed campaign material inside the hearing, the statements of the protester and his witnesses are in conflict.  The protester could only recall seeing Mr. Passo hand a button to someone while inside the hearing room.  One of the protesters witnesses stated that three persons accompanying Mr. Wsol handed out campaign literature to people who were exiting and entering the hearing room.  Three witnesses who were present in the hearing room did not see anyone handing out campaign paraphernalia inside of the hearing room, although all of the protesters witnesses stated that campaigning occurred outside of the hearing room.  Mr. Passo, Mr. Davila, and Mr. Mousette admit that they distributed campaign material outside of the hearing room but deny that anyone campaigned inside of the hearing.  Based on these facts, the Election Officer does not find that campaigning occurred inside of the meeting.


                Thus, the Election Officer finds that none of the persons attending the change of operations hearing, as alleged here, wore campaign insignia or distributed campaign material in violation of the Rules.  Accordingly, the protest is 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.

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 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

Julie E. Hamos, Regional Coordinator