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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













November 1, 1996




James P. Hoffa

November 1, 1996

Page 1



James P. Hoffa

2593 Hounds Chase

Troy, MI 48098


Randy Cammack, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 63

379 W. Valley Boulevard

Rialto, CA 92376


Jack Cox, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 572

450 Carson Plaza Drive

Carson, CA 90746


R. M. Jenkins, President

Teamsters Local Union 592

3705 Carolina Avenue

Richmond, VA 23222

Ralph’s Grocers, Inc.

1100 W. Artesia Boulevard

Compton, CA 90220


Ron Carey Campaign

c/o Nathaniel Charny

Cohen, Weiss & Simon

330 W. 42nd Street

New York, NY 10036


Bradley T. Raymond

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik, Raymond,

  Ferrara & Feldman, P.C.

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI 48334

James P. Hoffa

November 1, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-1048-LU572-CLA




James P. Hoffa

November 1, 1996

Page 1



James P. Hoffa, a member of Local Union 614 and a candidate for general president, 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”) alleging that “[o]n or about September 30, 1996, and continuing thereafter, supporters of Ronald Carey and his slate have caused numerous campaign materials from the Carey campaign to be affixed to vehicles owned by Ralph’s Grocery,” an employer of Local Union 572 members at its Compton, California warehouse and an employer of Local Union 63 members at its Riverside, California warehouse.  Mr. Hoffa lodges his protest against those local unions, Ralph’s Grocery, Local Union 572 President and candidate for vice president-at-large Jack Cox, Mr. Carey, and the Carey campaign.


Ralph’s Grocery responds that affixing campaign material to its property violates company policy and that it has reaffirmed that policy in a letter to Mr. Cox.


Local Union 572 states that it has posted a notice at the Compton warehouse reminding members that campaign material should not be affixed to employer property.


Counsel for the Carey campaign, also representing Local Union 572 and Mr. Cox, responds that “the protestor bears the burden of proving the protest” and that it would recom-mend that Local Union 572 post a notice upon the protester’s photographic proof of violations.  As just noted, the local union made the posting.


This protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Dolly M. Gee.


Mr. Hoffa put forth two witnesses to support the allegations in his protest.  Local

Union 572 member Ray Moreno, an employer at the Ralph’s Grocery warehouse in Compton, submitted six photographs to the Election Officer.  One photograph shows a Carey campaign bumper sticker on the door of Ralph’s Grocery trailer #4555.  One photograph shows a round Carey sticker affixed to an electrical jack.  Two photographs show Carey stickers affixed to fork-lifts.  One photograph shows a round Carey sticker on the upper corner of a men’s room door.  The last photograph shows where a sticker had been scraped off a bathroom stall.


Mr. Hoffa’s other witness, Local Union 572 member Leroy Ellis, also works at the Compton warehouse.  Mr. Ellis states that he has seen a Carey sticker on a Ralph’s Grocery trailer, one on the door of the dairy break room, and the scraped remains of a sticker on an elevator door.


No evidence was submitted with respect to the allegation of Carey stickers affixed to employer property at Ralph’s Grocery’s Riverside facility, where members of Local Union 63 are employed.  Therefore, the protest, with respect to that facility, will be denied in all respects.


With respect to the Compton facility, where members of Local Union 572 are employed, Ralph’s Grocery responded to the protest by sending a letter from Vice President for Labor Relations Douglas Rosenow to Mr. Cox on October 25, 1996, in which Mr. Rosenow stated, “We have received recent reports suggesting that certain of our Drivers are affixing Teamster election campaign material directly upon Company equipment in the form of bumper stickers and/or campaign stickers.”  He states that such activity violates company policy and that “[t]he Company will take necessary disciplinary action(s) upon any individual whom we find to be violating this policy.”  Mr. Rosenow also states that it is Ralph’s Grocery’s practice to remove stickers when it finds them.


As noted above, Local Union 572 agreed in conjunction with the Regional Coordinator to post the following notice at the Compton facility:

James P. Hoffa

November 1, 1996

Page 1



Local 572 is issuing this notice to remind members that the Election Rules prohibit misuse of employer property and resources during the International officer election.  Putting International candidate campaign material on employer property, or using employer resources in order to campaign, violates the Election Rules.


Although the Election Rules protect campaigning as a personal right of members, no member has any right to affix any International officer campaign material to employer-owned or employer-supplied vehicles or equipment.  Employer resources or property do not belong to members and cannot be used by them to campaign.


You are hereby requested to stop such activity if you see it and to remove any International officer campaign material from employer property when you find it.


As the Election Officer has stated in several recent matters, “[n]othing in . . . the Rules authorizes members to affix campaign material to employer-owned trucks . . .”  Hoffa, P-992-LU707-NYC (October 7, 1996); Knox, P-1046-LU337-MOI et seq. (October 30, 1996); Sweeney, P-1058-LU807-NYC (October 28, 1996).  While the Rules protect the ability of members to support candidates of their own choosing, that protection does not extend to affixing campaign stickers and other material to property that belongs to an employer.[1]  As the Election Officer stated in Phelan, P-711-LU550-NYC (April 23, 1996), aff’d, 96 - Elec. App. - 184 (KC) (May 6, 1996), “[t]he Rules protect campaigning as a personal right of IBT members and require that it be exercised that way.”


James P. Hoffa

November 1, 1996

Page 1



Affixing campaign material to employer property has other consequences as well.  Putting such material on an employer’s truck or equipment has the effect, under the Rules, of causing the employer to make an improper campaign contribution, in violation of Article XII, Section 1(b)(1), even if the affixing of the sticker was against employer policy.[2]  Putting stickers on employer trucks or equipment can also create a false impression of employer endorsement, which would be another form of making an improper campaign contribution.  See Feeley, P-874-LU817-MGN (September 17, 1996); Maney, P-956-IATSE-NYC et seq. (October 2, 1996), aff’d, 96 - Elec. App. - 251 (KC) (October 15, 1996); Knox, P-1006-SFD-MGN (October 14, 1996).


Furthermore, under Article XII, Section 1(b)(9) of the Rules, International officer candidates “are strictly liable to insure that each contribution received is permitted under the Rules.”  Therefore, affixing a campaign sticker or sign to an employer truck or other piece of equipment results in a violation of the Rules on the part of the candidate the member intends to support.


The Election Officer finds that campaign stickers have been affixed to a Ralph’s Grocery trailer and to certain other pieces of equipment, in violation of the Rules.  The Election Officer also finds that some of those stickers were appropriately removed even before the protest was filed.  There is no evidence in the record as to the identities of the person or persons who are affixing the stickers.


Mr. Hoffa’s allegation of “numerous campaign materials [being] affixed to vehicles owned by Ralph’s Grocery,” however, it is not supported by the evidence.  The Election Officer regards stickers affixed to a bathroom door and a bathroom stall to be vandalism and not the sort of activity that may be misunderstood as an employer endorsement or give rise to an employer contribution.  See McGinley, P-1083-LU560-PNJ (October 31, 1996) (affixing campaign sticker to urinal).  The other evidence of stickers on this record is too small to indicate a widespread use of stickers or a pattern of activity.  Thus, the Election Officer finds insufficient evidence of involvement by Local Union 572 or Mr. Cox.  Cf. Feeley, P-874-LU817-MGN (September 17, 1996) (local union involvement indicated by concentrations of stickers at multiple work sites and by failure of local union to act effectively after notice from Election Officer); Maney, P-956-IATSE-NYC et seq. (October 2, 1996) (local union involvement indicated by appearance of stickers on trucks sponsored by local union in parade), aff’d, 96 - Elec. App. - 251 (KC)

(October 15, 1996).


With respect to Ralph’s Grocery, the Election Officer notes that the evidence of the witnesses as to several stickers was that they had already been removed.  The employer further agreed to take steps to ensure the continuing removal of stickers and to prevent further occurrences.  “Immediate removal ends any potential impact of the improper campaigning.”  Hoffman, P-1050-LU817-NYC (October 28, 1996); Sweeney, P-1029-RCS-NYC et seq. (October 28, 1996).


For the foregoing reasons, the protest is:  RESOLVED with respect to Ralph’s Grocery; DENIED with respect to Local Union 572, Local Union 63, and Mr. Cox; and GRANTED with respect to the Carey campaign and Mr. Carey at Ralph’s Grocery’s Compton facility.


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.


James P. Hoffa

November 1, 1996

Page 1



In this matter, the Election Officer notes that Local Union 572 posted a notice at the Ralph’s Grocery facility in Compton, as quoted above.  The Election Officer orders that the notice remain posted on all local union bulletin boards at both facilities for 30 days after the date of this decision.


With respect to the role of International officer campaigns, the Election Officer has recently reaffirmed that “International officer candidates and slates have an obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that their campaign materials are not affixed improperly to private property . . .”  Sweeney, P-1058-LU807-NYC (October 28, 1996); Willett, P-863-LU331-PNJ (August 16, 1996).  Thus, “[t]he Election Officer expects International officer campaigns, when they receive notice of protests involving campaign material improperly affixed to employer property, to take their share of responsibility for ensuring that such materials are removed promptly.”  Sweeney, P-1029-RCS-NYC et seq. (October 28, 1996).


The response of the Carey campaign in the context of this protest was inadequate.  Its position, as communicated to the Regional Coordinator through counsel, was that it would take no action until the protester had met its “burden of proving the protest.”  In the meantime, however, improperly affixed campaign material may remain posted.  The Election Officer requires more effective action and orders the Carey campaign to take immediate action to investigate and ensure prompt removal of all Carey slate bumper stickers from employer property as soon as they are notified of any such incident.


On this record, however, the Election Officer notes that the employer and the local union have undertaken aggressive and appropriate efforts to remove stickers and prevent further occurrences at the facilities in question.


Accordingly, the Election Officer finds that no further remedy is required at this time.


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


James P. Hoffa

November 1, 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

Dolly M. Gee, Regional Coordinator


[1]Article VIII, Section 11(a) of the Rules states, All Union members retain the right to participate in campaign activities, including the right to . . . support or oppose any candidate, to aid or campaign for any candidate, and to make personal campaign contributions.

[2]This section states, No employer may contribute, or shall be permitted to contribute, directly or indirectly, anything of value, where the purpose, object or foreseeable effect of the contribution is to influence, positively or negatively, the election of a candidate.  Knowledge on the part of the employer is not an element of this violation.