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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              November 20, 1996




Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

Page 1



Thomas Tullius

336 W. Woodruff Avenue

Arcadia, CA  91007


Bruce D. Blake

1101 West Road

La Habra Heights, CA  90631


Jim Santangelo, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 848

9960 Baldwin Place

El Monte, CA  91731


Gerald Moerler

21131 E. Calora Avenue

Covina, CA  91724


Vons Grocery Company, Inc.

12801 Excelsior Drive

Santa Fe Springs, CA  90670


Harry Ashley, President

Teamsters Local Union 952

140 S. Marks Way

Orange, CA  92668


Claude Brown, Strategic Campaigns

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20001

Raul Rodriguez, Jr.

13882 Stagecoach Circle

Victorville, CA  92392


Gloria Sandlin

Gateway Plaza Holiday Inn

14299 Firestone Boulevard

La Mirada, CA  90638


Bruce Thompson, Mgr. Labor Relations

The Vons Companies

618 Michillinda Avenue

Arcadia, CA  91007


Nathaniel K. 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


John Sullivan, Associate General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20001

Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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Re:  Election Office Case Nos.              P-1111-LU848-CLA


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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Related pre-election protests were filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) for the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules) by Thomas Tullius and Bruce Blake, both members of Local Union 848.  In P-1111-

LU848-CLA, Mr. Tullius makes the following allegations regarding the IBT-sponsored Teamsters Human Rights Commission Conference (IBT conference) on October 19, 1996 at the Gateway Plaza Holiday Inn (Gateway Plaza) in La Mirada, California:  (1) that Local

Union 952 President Harry Ashley drove to the conference in a union vehicle that had placards supporting Ron Carey, a candidate for general president, in the rear windows; (2) that Gateway Plaza permitted supporters of Mr. Carey to campaign in its parking lot without permitting similar access to supporters of James P. Hoffa, a candidate for general president; (3) that Claude Brown, the IBT representative in charge of the conference, interfered with the protesters rights to campaign for Mr. Hoffa; (4) that IBT members Mr. Blake and

Raul Rodriguez, Jr. intimidated and physically threatened IBT members Gerald Moerler and Tony Marquez while they were placing Hoffa stickers in areas surrounding Gateway Plaza; and (5) that while Mr. Marquez was campaigning for Mr. Hoffa in front of Gateway Plaza, IBT International Representative Scott Askey harassed him.  In a matter unrelated to the conference, Mr. Tullius also contends that Carey bumper stickers were on the interior walls, and on employer tractors and trailers, at a Vons Grocery Company (Vons) facility in

Santa Fe Springs, California.


In P-1112-LU848-CLA, Mr. Blake contends that Mr. Moerler and other Hoffa supporters destroyed Carey campaign posters around Gateway Plaza and harassed and intimidated Carey campaigners when he took pictures of Mr. Rodriguez, a Hoffa campaigner.


Both protests involve allegations regarding incidents that occurred in relation to the conference, thus the protests were consolidated by the Election Officer.


These protests were investigated by Adjunct Regional Coordinator Michael D. Four.


1.               Allegation of Improper Use of Union Vehicle for Campaigning


Mr. Tullius contends that Mr. Ashley drove to the conference in a union-owned vehicle with placards supporting Mr. Carey posted in the three rear windows of the vehicle.


Mr. Ashley admits that he drove to the conference in a union-owned vehicle with Carey campaign signs posted in the three rear windows.  Mr. Ashley maintains that as president of Local Union 952, he is provided with a union-owned vehicle for union business and personal use.


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


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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Union officers and employees provided with Union-owned or leased cars, if otherwise afforded the right to utilize those cars for personal activities, may use the cars for campaign activities, provided no costs, or expenses incurred as a consequence, of such use are paid out of Union funds or other prohibited sources.


              Therefore, Mr. Ashleys display of campaign material in the union-owned vehicle does not violate the Rules.


2.              Allegations of Improper Interference with Campaigning


Mr. Tullius alleges that Claude Brown, the IBT representative in charge of the IBT conference and a supporter of Mr. Careys candidacy, used his influence/title when he complained to the management of Gateway Plaza in order to interfere with the rights of Hoffa supporters to campaign in front of Gateway Plaza.  He also alleges that Gateway Plaza discriminated against supporters of Mr. Hoffa because it allowed Carey supporters to sell campaign paraphernalia, but denied similar rights to Hoffa supporters.


Mr. Brown responds that he attended the conference at Gateway Plaza solely in his capacity as an IBT International representative and conference co-chair.  Mr. Brown states that he spoke to Gateway security and to Gateway Manager Gloria Sandlin because he did not want Mr. Tullius truck and trailer, which displayed large Hoffa banners, located so close to the front of the entrance to the hotel.  Mr. Brown states he did not want the conference to be perceived as a Hoffa-sponsored, campaign-related event.  Mr. Brown denies that he requested Gateway Plaza to restrict the protesters campaign activities, including distributing literature or selling paraphernalia, in front of the hotel.


Ms. Sandlin responds that she requested that Mr. Tullius move his truck and trailer to the back of the hotel to avoid congestion in the parking lot, based upon guest complaints about parking because the truck and trailer were occupying six parking places in front of Gateway Plaza.  Ms. Sandlin states that the protester was allowed to remain in the same general area in front of the hotel to otherwise campaign for Mr. Hoffa.


The investigation revealed the following.  On October 19, Mr. Tullius parked his truck and 20-foot trailer in the parking lot by the entrance to the hotel.  The vehicle and trailer occupied six parking spaces.  The protester and other Hoffa supporters with him proceeded to distribute campaign literature.  Mr. Brown, identifying himself as an IBT representative responsible for the conference, complained to Ms. Sandlin that since this was not a campaign event, it was inappropriate for the protesters trailer, with its large campaign signs, to be parked so close to the entrance of Gateway Plaza.  Ms. Sandlin states that a security guard also advised her that guests were complaining about being able to find parking in front of Gateway Plaza because the protesters vehicle and trailer were taking up so many spaces. 

Ms. Sandlin then contacted the hotel general manager who advised her to have the protester move the tractor and trailer to spaces in back of Gateway Plaza.  Ms. Sandlin states, however, that the protesters vehicle was allowed to remain in the same general area in front of Gateway Plaza after he disconnected the trailer, thereby occupying only two parking spaces.


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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Ms. Sandlin offered to set up a table for the Hoffa campaigners to distribute their literature.  Both Ms. Sandlin and Mr. Brown deny ever telling the protester that he could not distribute or sell Hoffa campaign materials. 


Mr. Tullius asserts that Carey supporters Messrs. Rodriguez and Blake had a similar truck and trailer in front of Gateway Plaza, to which Carey banners were affixed.  The protester asserts that the Carey supporters parked their truck and trailer in two stalls in the general area that the protester was located.  The protester asserts that the Carey supporters set up a table for selling T-shirts and soliciting contributions.


The Rules, at Article VIII, Section 5(a)(4), state that the union shall not discriminate or permit discrimination in favor of or against any candidate in conjunction with its meetings or otherwise.  At Article VIII, Section 11(d), the Rules contain non-discriminatory-access language to employer property for campaigning purposes. 


The evidence here does not show that either Mr. Brown or Gateway Plaza discriminated against Mr. Tullius.  Hoffa supporters were permitted to campaign in the same manner as Carey supporters.  The fact that Gateway Plaza asked the protester to move his vehicle was not discriminatory.  He was able to park in front of Gateway Plaza as he alleges the Carey supporters did.  He was similarly permitted to campaign in front of the hotel.


3.              Allegations of Threats and Harassment


A.  Incidents Alleging Verbal and Physical Threats


Mr. Tullius asserts that while Messrs. Moerler and Marquez were putting Hoffa campaign signs on a pole located at the Firestone Boulevard exit near Gateway Plaza, they were threatened by Messrs. Blake and Rodriguez.  Mr. Tullius alleges that Messrs. Blake and Rodriguez suddenly drove up beside them in a pickup truck and parked in the traffic lane at an angle so that the pickup truck blocked the protesters car.  He asserts that both Messrs. Blake and Rodriguez approached them in their vehicle, blocking traffic and yelling at them for putting up the signs.  He alleges that Mr. Blake said, If you dont leave, were going to beat the crap out of you, and then continued to yell and swear at the protesters.  Mr. Tullius also asserts that Mr. Blake then picked up a large hammer and swung it alongside his car, attempting to hit the car or the passengers themselves.   


Messrs. Blake and Rodriguez deny that they intimidated or threatened to harm

Messrs. Moerler and Marquez, but merely accused the protesters of tearing down Carey signs.  They state that it was Mr. Moerler who became defensive and aggressive and wanted to start a fight with them.  Mr. Blake admits that at one point he picked up a hammer, but only to hang a campaign sign.  Mr. Blake denies that he was swinging the hammer at Mr. Moerler or his car.


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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The investigation revealed the following events occurred.  Messrs. Moerler and Marquez had parked their vehicle on the side of the road and were either tearing down a Carey campaign poster on a utility pole or putting up a Hoffa campaign poster.  Messrs. Blake and Rodriguez saw the Hoffa campaigners while in their vehicle and abruptly drove across several lanes of traffic to the location where the Hoffa campaigners were and parked on an angle blocking one lane of traffic.  There ensued a heated argument between Messrs. Blake and Rodriguez and Messrs. Moerler and Marquez.  At the height of this argument, Mr. Blake picked up a large hammer and swung it towards Messrs. Moerler and Marquezs vehicle in a menacing manner.  While Mr. Blake states he only picked up the hammer to hang up a campaign sign, the Election Officer does not find this statement credible.  First, there is no evidence that Mr. Blake hung up any campaign signs.  Second, Mr. Blake was admittedly angry at the Hoffa supporters and admits he put the hammer down once Mr. Marquez entered the vehicle and drove away.


Article VIII, Section 11(a) of the Rules guarantees members the right to participate in campaign activities, including the right to . . . support or oppose any candidate [and] to aid or campaign for any candidate.  This basic right, essential to the goal of a free and fair election, is reinforced in Section 11(f)s prohibition of retaliation against any IBT member for exercising any right guaranteed by this or any other Article of the Rules.  Section 11(f) is violated when members engage in physically or verbally aggressive behavior that threatens actual harm.  Passo, P-469-LU705-CHI et seq. (February 29, 1996) (finding intent to provoke physical confrontation violates Rules), affd in relevant part, 96 - Elec. App. - 124 (KC) (March 13, 1996); Lopez, P-456-LU743-CHI (April 10, 1996) (finding Ill kill you

to violate the Rules, in light of ongoing animosity between the parties); Smith, P-600-

LU150-CSF (April 30, 1996) (finding remark youll be taken out of here in a body bag to violate the Rules); Cecere, P-935-LU122-ENG (October 23, 1996) (charged party violated the Rules by driving his car at campaigners).


While a heated and emotional interaction between the supporters of Messrs.

Carey and Hoffa is in violation of the Rules, see Mee et al., P-1153-LU853-CSF et seq. (November 13, 1996) (finding that nasty exchange between Carey and Hoffa supporters did not violate the Rules), when Mr. Blake threatened the Hoffa supporters with the hammer, he threatened actual harm, in violation of Article VIII, Section 11(f), and thereby engaged in conduct outside the protection of the Rules.


B.              Allegations of Interference with Campaign Rights


In P-1112, Mr. Blake contends that the actions by Messrs. Moerler and Marquez in tearing down and destroying Carey campaign signs on poles outside Gateway Plaza violated the Rules.


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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The Election Officer has found that the posting of campaign signs and other materials in the public right-of-way is not protected by the RulesHoffa, P-1034-JC1-CLE (October 17, 1996); Braga, P-795-LU439-CSF (June 19, 1996).  The Rules, at Article VIII, Section 11(a), protect the right of union members to distribute literature and solicit support for candidates outside a meeting hall.  Article VIII, Section 11(d) authorizes union members to use employer or union bulletin boards for campaign publicity, assuming that a pre-existing right has been established.  That same section permits the distribution of campaign literature at campaign events occurring on employer or union premises when such activity has previously been allowed.  A right to distribute campaign literature at an employer parking lot is available, within certain limitations, under Article VIII, Section 11(e) of the Rules.


The Rules, however, do not grant any right to distribute, post or receive campaign material at any other locations.  Union members who choose to post campaign materials on public utility poles or public signs existing along public streets or sidewalks are not engaging in conduct which is either protected or sanctioned by the Rules.  Hoffa; Braga.  For the same reason, tearing down signs which have been posted on public utility poles, or other structures in the public right-of-way, is not within the jurisdiction of the Rules.  Therefore, the Hoffa supporters did not violate the Rules with such conduct.


C.              Allegations of Harassment and Surveillance by Hoffa Supporters


In P-1112, Mr. Blake alleges that just after the incident involving the signs outside the hotel, Mr. Moerler approached the Carey campaign table set up in front of Gateway Plaza, took pictures of individuals at the table, and made insulting comments about the Carey supporters and campaign material.  Mr. Moerler admits that he approached and took pictures of the Carey campaign table.  Mr. Moerler asserts that he was obtaining evidence that T-shirts were being sold by the Carey campaign while the Hoffa campaign was not allowed to do so.  Mr. Moerler admits that he made insulting comments, but contends that he made these comments only after Carey supporters yelled at him.  Mr. Moerler also admits that he was still upset and frustrated about the earlier incident with Mr. Blake.


The insulting remarks between supporters of candidates by themselves do not violate the Rules.  Article VIII, Section 11(a) of the Rules guarantees members the right to participate in campaign activities, including the right to . . . support or oppose any candidate [and] to aid or campaign for any candidate.  This basic right, essential to the goal of a free and fair election, is reinforced in Section 11(f)s prohibition of retaliation against any IBT member for exercising any right guaranteed by this or any other Article of the Rules.


The Election Officer has found on several occasions that photographing members during protected campaigning, or otherwise conducting surveillance of such activities, chills the free exercise of such activities and is destructive of the fundamental safeguards of . . . free and fair elections outlined in the Consent Decree and the Election Rules.  Pollack,

P-008-LU732-NYC (October 29, 1990), affd, 90 - Elec. App. - 8 (November 7, 1990).  [T]he appearance of surveillance of IBT members engaging in campaign activities violates the right of members to support candidates free from coercion, interference or harassment.  In Re: Giacumbo et al., 95 - Elec. App. - 45 (KC) (December 18, 1995); Halberg, P-259-

IBT-SCE (January 2, 1996), affd, 95 - Elec. App. - 58 (KC) (January 23, 1996); Sheibley,

P-1010-LU653-ENG (October 14, 1996) (videotaping supporters outside campaign meeting violates Rules).


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November 20, 1996

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The Election Officer similarly finds that the conduct of photographing Carey supporters at their campaign distribution table violates the Rules


D.              Allegation of Humiliation


Mr. Tullius alleges that Mr. Askey made the following comment to Mr. Marquez intending to demean and humiliate him:  Hey Tony, congratulations, heard you were laid off.  The protester notes that Mr. Marquez is presently laid off from Miller Brewing Company.


Mr. Askey admits that he made the alleged comment to Mr. Marquez.  Mr. Askey contends that the comment was not a threat, but rather a form of Teamsters banter. 

Mr. Askey maintains that the comment was made after Mr. Marquez and others yelled comments to him such as, You only have two months in your job, which implied that

Mr. Carey would lose the election and Mr. Askey would then lose his job. 


Mr. Askeys comment did not constitute a threat or any other form of prohibited conduct in violation of the Rules


4.              Allegations Concerning Improper Posting of Carey Campaign Stickers


Mr. Tullius alleges that Carey campaign stickers were posted on employer tractors and trailers and on the walls of the Transportation Department restroom at a Vons facility in

Santa Fe Springs.  The protester submitted photographs taken on October 19, 1996 of the Carey campaign stickers on the trailers and walls of the restroom.  There is no evidence in the record as to the identities of the person or persons who committed the violations.


The Carey campaign asserts that it does not know who posted the material on the trailers and in the restroom of the Vons facility.  However, the Carey campaign has enlisted an employee at the Vons facility to remove any Carey campaign material that he observes posted on any tractors/trailers and in any restrooms.


In Aguilar, P-1080-LU848-CLA (October 31, 1996), the Election Officer addressed the issue of posting Hoffa campaign material on employer trailers at the Vons facility at issue in the instant protest.  The investigation in Aguilar revealed that Vons Director of Labor Relations Bruce Thompson has discussed the issue of improperly affixed campaign material with the managers of all five facilities and instructed them to record and remove any such materials that they see.  Mr. Thompson also personally inspected company equipment

and removed campaign stickers.  On October 16, 1996, Mr. Thompson sent a letter to

Mr. Santangelo, stating that Vons policy prohibited the posting of such stickers on employer property.  Mr. Santangelo then posted a notice at Vons Santa Fe Springs and El Monte facilities stating that the Rules prohibit such conduct and members should not engage in such activity.  The Election Officer ordered that this notice remain posted on all local union bulletin boards at both facilities until November 30, 1996.


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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As the Aguilar decision addressed the same conduct during the same time period protested here, the Election Officer finds no further decision is warranted.


Accordingly, the protest in P-1111-LU848-CLA is GRANTED as to the threatening conduct by Mr. Blake and DENIED in all other respects; the protest in P-1112-LU848-CLA is GRANTED as to the improper surveillance and DENIED in all other respects.


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.  Mr. Blake is ordered to immediately cease and desist from threatening Messrs. Moerler and Marquez.  In addition, for the duration of the International election campaign (until December 10, 1996), Mr.  Blake is ordered not to come within 20 feet of Messrs. Moerler and Marquez at any time.


2.  Mr. Moerler is ordered to immediately cease and desist from photographing Carey supporters engaged in protected campaign activities.


3.  Within two (2) days of receipt of this decision, the Election Officer orders Local Union 848 to post the attached Notice to Members of Local Union 848 on all bulletin boards at the local union hall.


An order of the Election Officer, unless otherwise stayed, takes immediate effect against a party found to be in violation of the RulesIn Re: Lopez, 96 - Elec. App. - 73 (KC) (February 13, 1996).


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


Thomas Tullius & Bruce Blake

November 20, 1996

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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

Michael D. Four, Adjunct Regional Coordinator











You have the right to participate in campaign activities on behalf of any candidate for International office.  It is a serious violation of the Election Rules for any IBT member to threaten, coerce, intimidate or harass a member because they exercise rights guaranteed under the Election Rules.  Attempting to interfere with legitimate campaigning by subjecting members to surveillance is also a serious violation of the Election Rules.


Any member believing the Election Rules have been violated may file a protest with the Election Officer at 400 N. Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 855, Washington, D.C. 20001; telephone (800) 565-VOTE or (202) 624-3500; facsimile (202) 624-3525.





_______________________                                                        ______________________________

Date                                                                                                                Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer                                                                                                                             











This is an official notice which must remain posted through December 10, 1996 and must not be defaced or altered in any manner or be covered with any other material.