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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













November 6, 1996




David Eckstein

November 6, 1996

Page 1



David Eckstein

Field Services

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20001


Yellow Freight Systems

943 Omar Avenue

Avenel, NJ  07001


Daniel Hornbeck

Yellow Freight Systems

10990 Roe Avenue

Overland Park, KS  66207

Richard Brook

Cohen, Weiss & Simon

330 W. 42nd Street

New York, NY  10036


James Hoffa Campaign

c/o Bradley T. Raymond

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik, Raymond,

  Ferrara & Feldman, P.C.

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI  48334

David Eckstein

November 6, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-1157-LU641-PNJ




David Eckstein, a member of Local Union 661, filed a protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”) against Yellow Freight, an employer of Teamster members,  and the Hoffa campaign.   The protester alleges that Yellow Freight made an improper campaign contribution  in violation of the Rules, by allowing a sign in support of James P. Hoffa, a candidate for general president, to be posted at its facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and by refusing to remove the sign. 


The charged parties respond that they have no knowledge of who placed the poster on Yellow Freight’s property and bear no responsibility for the posting.


Regional Coordinator Peter V. Marks, Sr. investigated this protest.

David Eckstein

November 6, 1996

Page 1



The protester states that while campaigning for Ron Carey, IBT general president and a candidate for reelection, in the Woodbridge area on October 30, 1996, he noticed a Hoffa sign measuring approximately two feet by three feet posted inside the fence at the Yellow Freight facility.  According to Mr. Eckstein, an unidentified employee informed him that he had posted the sign and intended it to remain there only for the change in shifts.  The employee refused to remove the sign.  Mr. Eckstein, however, reports that when he returned to the site later that day, the sign was gone.   He further states that he drove by the Woodbridge facility subsequent to filing the instant protest and the sign had not been reposted.


Yellow Freight’s terminal manager, Ken Thomas, informed the Regional Coordinator that he was unaware the Hoffa sign had been posted on company property and would make sure that no campaign material was placed there in the future.


Article VIII, Section 11(a) of the Rules guarantees the right of union members “to participate in campaign activities, including the right to . . . support or oppose any candidate, [and] to aid or campaign for any candidate.”  However, the Election Officer has held that this protection “does not extend to affixing campaign material to property that belongs to an employer.”  Aguilar, P-1080-LU848-CLA (October 31, 1996); Hoffa, P-1048-LU572-CLA (November 1, 1996).  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.”  


In a series of recent cases, the Election Officer has held that the affixing of campaign stickers to employer trucks has the effect of causing the employer to make an improper campaign contribution, in violation of Article XII, Section 1(b)(1) of the Rules.[1]  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); Knox, P-1046-LU337-MOI et seq. (October 30, 1996).  The Election Officer found that the placement of stickers on employer trucks can also create a false impression of employer endorsement, which would be another form of improper campaign contribution. 


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, the placement of campaign material on employer property results in a violation of the Rules on the part of the candidate who the member intends to support.


David Eckstein

November 6, 1996

Page 1



The Election Officer finds that the placement of the Hoffa sign on Yellow Freight’s property violated the Rules.   However, the identity of the person who posted the sign and refused to remove it is unknown.[2]  There is no evidence on the record connecting this individual to the employer.  The Election Officer further notes that Yellow Freight has taken appropriate steps in response to this protest to ensure that campaign material will be promptly removed from its property and to prevent future occurrences.


For the foregoing reasons, the protest is DENIED with respect to Yellow Freight and GRANTED with respect to the Hoffa campaign. 


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. 


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). 


In the instant protest, the Election Officer notes that the Hoffa sign was posted on Yellow Freight’s property for a brief time on October 30, 1996 only.  As the Election Officer has recently stated, “Immediate removal ends any potential impact of the improper campaigning.”  Hoffmann, P-1050-LU817-NYC (October 28, 1996); Sweeney, supra.


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:


David Eckstein

November 6, 1996

Page 1



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

Peter V. Marks, Sr., Regional Coordinator


[1]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.

[2]The Election Officer notes that the written protest claims that “[t]he employer refused to remove the poster when requested by Mr. Eckstein.”  However, in his discussions with the Regional Coordinator, Mr. Eckstein stated that an employee who he could not identify posted the sign on the employer’s property and refused to remove it.