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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters












September 12, 1996




Don Carbone

September 12, 1996

Page 1



Don Carbone

505 18th Street, S.W.

Puyallup, WA  93371


Jim Benson

4444 W. Northern Avenue, SuiteA-2

Glendale, AZ  85301


Ken Mee

42356 Greenbrier Park Drive

Fremont, CA  94538

Patrick Swanson, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 313

220 S. 7th Street

Tacoma, WA  98402


John Sullivan, Associate General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20001

Don Carbone

September 12, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-887-LU313-PNW




Don Carbone, member of Local Union 313, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to

Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”) alleging that Local Union 313 discriminated against the Hoffa slate by inviting two members of the Carey slate to the local union’s annual picnic, in violation of

Article VIII, Section 5 of the Rules.  The invitees were incumbent Vice President At-Large

Jim Benson and incumbent Western Region Vice President Ken Mee.  Mr. Carbone also alleges that the local union may have compensated Messrs. Benson and Mee for their attendance, in violation of Article XII, Section 1 of the Rules.


Local Union 313 responds that Secretary-Treasurer Pat Swanson invited Messrs. Mee and Benson and Western Region vice-presidential candidate Jon Rabine to the picnic but did not provide a forum for campaign speeches.  The IBT states that Messrs. Mee and Benson were on their own time and paid their own expenses. 


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Christine Mrak.


Don Carbone

September 12, 1996

Page 1



The Local Union 313 annual picnic is a family gathering for the local union’s current and retired members and their guests.  The picnic in question was held on Saturday, August 17, 1996, on beachfront property owned by the local union.


The Election Officer’s investigation revealed that during the IBT Convention, which took place from July 15 to July 19, 1996, Mr. Swanson invited Messrs. Mee, Benson and Rabine to the local union’s picnic.  All the invitations were tendered orally and informally.


On the day of the picnic, Mr. Rabine campaigned and handed out leaflets outside the picnic area until Messrs. Benson and Mee arrived, at which time all three candidates proceeded to enter the picnic area and mingle with the guests.  A pro-Carey literature table was set up at the picnic by Glen Cisco, a local union member and part-time business agent, who is not part of either Mr. Mee’s or Mr. Benson’s campaigns.  There is no evidence that any member requested to set up a literature table on behalf of Mr. Hoffa.


Mr. Carbone alleges that the local union discriminated against the Hoffa slate by inviting Messrs. Mee and Benson to the annual picnic, both Carey slate candidates.  In addition, he questions whether the IBT compensated Messrs. Mee and Benson through wages or reimbursement of vehicle expenses.


The Rules are designed to ensure that candidates have equal access and opportunity to campaign at local union meetings and functions, if campaigning is allowed at all.  The Rules, at Article VIII, Section 5(a), provide, in relevant part:


(3) The Local Union need not allot time for campaigning during any of its meetings.  However, if campaigning during such meetings is permitted, the Local Union shall notify all candidates for the positions for which such campaigning will be permitted of the opportunity to speak at least five (5) days prior to the meeting and shall divide the time equally between those candidates (or the candidates’ credentialed representatives) who request an opportunity to speak.  The order of appearance shall be determined by lot.


(4) A Local Union shall not discriminate or permit discrimination in favor or against any candidate in conjunction with its meetings or otherwise.  This requirement shall apply not only to formal presentations by or on behalf of candidates but also informal campaign activities, such as, for example, comments on candidates during meetings, literature distribution at meetings, literature distribution tables, etc.


Don Carbone

September 12, 1996

Page 1



Article VIII, Section 5(a)(3) of the Rules, which sets out the notice requirements for campaigning during local union meetings, does not apply to informal social gatherings.  However, Section 5(a)(4) applies to local union “meetings or otherwise,” which includes social gatherings.


Article VIII, Section 5(a)(4) of the Rules is clear in prohibiting “discrimination in favor or against any candidate in conjunction with its meetings or otherwise.”  The Election Officer’s investigation did not uncover any evidence, however, that any of the candidates distributed literature or otherwise campaigned after entering the picnic grounds, or that the local union afforded an opportunity for formal presentations of any kind.  The evidence does not show that the candidates did anything other than participate in the day’s activities and partake of the food and refreshments.  It does not violate the equal access provisions of the Rules for a candidate to attend a local union meeting or function if campaigning does not take place.  Thus, the Election Officer finds that there was no discrimination by the local union at the picnic, in violation of the Rules.


Mr. Carbone also alleges that Local Union 313 and the IBT may have made prohibited campaign contributions to Messrs. Mee and Benson, in violation of Article XII, Section 1(b)(1) of the Rules.  In the absence of any evidence of campaigning at the picnic, Mr. Carbone’s allegations of possible campaign contributions need not be addressed.


For the foregoing reasons, 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

Christine Mrak, Regional Coordinator