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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              July 15, 1996





Anthony Cassella & Terry Crane

July 15, 1996

Page 1



Anthony Cassella

5495 Los Monteros

Yorba Linda, CA 92687


Terry Crane

211-38 S. Redwood Avenue

Brea, CA 92621

Dee Zasio

Orange County Transportation Authority

550 S. Main Street

P.O. Box 14184

Orange, CA 92613

Anthony Cassella & Terry Crane

July 15, 1996

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Re:  Election Office Case No.              P-794-LU952-CLA, P-824-LU952-CLA




Anthony Cassella and Terry Crane, each members of Local Union 952 and employed by Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), filed separate pre-election protests pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules).  The protest filed by Mr. Cassella has been docketed as P-794-LU952-CLA.  The protest filed by Mr. Crane has been docketed as P-824-LU952-CLA.  The protesters allege that OCTA has denied its employees access to the union and employee bulletin boards for posting campaign materials and has prohibited the protesters from campaigning at work during non-work time, in violation of Article VIII, Section 11(d) of the Rules.  Mr. Cassella alleges that OCTA has prohibited him from displaying in his vehicle, while it is parked in the employee parking lot, a sign supporting James P. Hoffa, candidate for general president.  Messrs. Cassella and Crane also allege that they received written warnings from OCTA directing them not to campaign on OCTA property. The Election Officer has consolidated the two protests for decision as they involve similar parties, facts and issues.


Regional Coordinator Dolly M. Gee investigated the protests.


Anthony Cassella & Terry Crane

July 15, 1996

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Messrs. Cassella and Crane are employed by OCTA as coach operators.  OCTA has three home bases located in Anaheim, Garden Grove and Irvine, California.  Each base has a glass-enclosed union bulletin board and an unenclosed, multi-purpose employee bulletin board. 


OCTA Manager of Employee and Labor Relations Dee Zasio initially took the position that the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the employer, and company policy, prohibit all campaigning on company property.  Article 20, Section 3(a) of the collective bargaining agreement requires the employer to furnish bulletin boards at the various bases for the use of the union.  Article 20, Section 3(c) states, No notices or papers containing organizing or campaign material may be posted either on these bulletin boards or anywhere on the Authoritys premises or vehicles.  Additionally, the employer has a broad  policy prohibiting solicitation on its property.


OCTA issued a memorandum dated May 24, 1996 to Mr. Crane directing him not to campaign on OCTA property.  The employer issued another memorandum dated May 31, 1996 to Mr. Cassella advising him that he was not allowed to campaign on any OCTA property or vehicle.  In the memorandum, OCTA specifically advised Mr. Cassella that he was not allowed to post a campaign poster on the front window of his vehicle and to park the vehicle at the entrance to the employee parking garage.


OCTA issued another memorandum dated May 31, 1996 to all coach operators reminding them that no campaigning or solicitation was allowed on company property.  The employer issued a Final Warning to Mr. Crane dated June 7, 1996.  The memorandum cited Mr. Crane for alleged disruptive conduct, charging that he distributed campaign materials pertaining to the election of IBT officers on OCTA property.  In addition, the memorandum cited Mr. Crane for conduct unrelated to the election, specifically, making complaints to the California Highway Patrol concerning his equipment.


Article VIII, Section 11(d) of the Rules states:


No restrictions shall be placed upon candidates or members preexisting rights to use employer or Union bulletin boards for campaign publicity.  Similarly, no restrictions shall be placed upon candidates or members preexisting rights to solicit support, distribute leaflets or literature, conduct campaign rallies, hold fundraising events or engage in similar activities on employer or Union premises.  Such facilities and opportunities shall be made available to all candidates and members on a nondiscriminatory basis.


As to the effect of  language in a collective bargaining agreement limiting solicitation rights, the Election Officer has said:


Anthony Cassella & Terry Crane

July 15, 1996

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While the existence of a contractual prohibition on the use of union bulletin boards for campaign publicity is important evidence in determining whether there is a pre-existing right of access to the bulletin board, it may not be dispositive of the issue.  The de jure restricted union bulletin board may have been transformed through past practice into a de facto general purpose bulletin board.  In such case it would be violative of the Rules to prohibit the posting of campaign material on such boards even in light of the contractual prohibition on such posting.


Blake, P-953-LU848-CLA (October 30, 1991), quoted in Rodriguez, P-241-LU630-CLA (January 10, 1996).  Notwithstanding language in a collective agreement limiting solicitation rights, if there has been a practice of using a bulletin board for general purposes, even if the board has not been used for campaign purposes, union members have the right to use the bulletin board for campaign purposes.  Rodriguez, Post-59-LU630-CLA (May 22, 1991).  Thus, where a bulletin board has been used to post materials such as for sale signs and for other general purpose postings, campaign materials may be posted on that bulletin board, regardless of limitations contained in collective bargaining agreements.


While the union bulletin boards at OCTA have never been used to post campaign materials, the employee bulletin boards are used for general purposes such as selling goods and services.  Thus, OCTA employees have a preexisting right to use the employee bulletin boards for campaign posting. 


Among the other preexisting rights incorporated by Article VIII, Section 11(d) of the Rules are employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, and the Labor-Management Relations and Disclosure Act to campaign on employer premises, as long as the activity is conducted outside of work time in non-work areas.  See Platt, P-449-

LU150-CSF (February 21, 1996), remanded on other grounds, 96 - Elec. App.- 144 (KC) (March 29, 1996); Teller, P-062-LU741-PNW (February 7, 1991).


After discussion with the Regional Coordinator, OCTA has agreed to permit one-half of each employee bulletin board at each base to be used for posting campaign materials, and  to permit employees to distribute campaign material and discuss election-related matters on the employers property during non-work time.  OCTA has further agreed to permit campaign material such as a sign, sun visor or bumper sticker to be displayed on a members vehicle while it is parked in the members home base parking lot.  OCTA will remove the May 31, 1996 memorandum from the file of Mr. Cassella.


Based on the agreement reached with OCTA, Mr. Cassella has advised the Election Office that he wishes to withdraw his protest.  The Election Officer, finding that the withdrawal effectuates the purpose of the Rules, permits the protest by Mr. Cassella to be WITHDRAWN.


OCTA has rescinded the Final Warning letter issued to Mr. Crane insofar as it deals with campaign activity.  Mr. Crane has filed a grievance over the letter in the contractual grievance procedure.  The parties agreed that the remaining issue addressed in the letter is unrelated to the election process.

Anthony Cassella & Terry Crane

July 15, 1996

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Under these circumstances, the Election Officer concludes that further processing of this protest is unwarranted.  Mr. Cranes complaint, as stated in the protest, has been addressed and relief has been provided. 


Accordingly, Mr. Cranes protest is now RESOLVED.


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

Dolly M. Gee, Regional Coordinator