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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              November 25, 1996





Cari Perras

November 25, 1996

Page 1



Cari Perras

1570 Alabama Avenue

West Sacramento, CA  95691


Marty Frates

Teamsters Local Union 70

70 Hegenberger Road

Oakland, CA  94621

Martin Wald

Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis

1600 Market Street, Suite 3600

Philadelphia, PA  19103

Cari Perras

November 25, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-1197-LU70-CSF




A pre-election protest was filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules

for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”) by

Cari Perras, a member of Local Union 150.  Ms. Perras alleges that Local Union 70 Business Agent Marty Frates posted campaign material outside a grievance hearing room in a hotel. 

Ms. Perras alleges that upon discovering that the campaign material had been defaced, Mr. Frates re-posted the material and threatened to physically harm any person who defaced the material.


In response, Mr. Frates states that the posting was at a hotel and not on the employer’s premises.  Further, he states that the alleged threatening statements were not directed towards any individual and were made in jest.


This protest was investigated by Adjunct Regional Coordinator Victoria Chin.


Cari Perras

November 25, 1996

Page 1



The facts are not in dispute.  On November 5, 1996, Ms. Perras was attending a grievance hearing at the Clarion Hotel in Sacramento, California, involving his termination by Northern California UPS.  Approximately 44 persons attended the meeting, including 15 union business agents and five rank-and-file Teamsters.  Mr. Frates served on a union panel which met immediately before Ms. Perras’ hearing.  During a recess in Mr. Frates’ meeting, Mr. Frates posted a circular “Hoffa-Mack” campaign flyer outside the hearing room in front of approximately five IBT members, 20 managers and 15 union business agents.  After Mr. Frates returned to the hearing room, the campaign material was defaced; a red circle with a slash

across the material was drawn.  Shortly thereafter, when the meeting recessed again, several managers noticed the defaced campaign material and began chuckling about it.


According to Mr. Frates, after he noticed that the material had been defaced, he replaced it, smiled, and without looking at any person in particular stated, “If I catch anyone defacing my stuff, I’ll kick their asses.”  Mr. Frates states that he was joking, which was reflected in his tone of voice.  Mr. Frates also defends his reaction to the defacement by stating that the incident occurred at a hotel, not on the premises of an IBT employer or local union hall.  He also states that he saw Carey stickers on briefcases and binders, but that no one interfered with the Carey literature.


The investigator telephoned two people about the November 5 occurrence who,

according to the protester, witnessed the incident.  Neither returned the investigator’s phone calls.  Kim Muniz, a UPS labor relations executive, told the investigator that Mr. Frates often “jokes around” in this fashion.


In the Advisory on Wearing Campaign Buttons and Other Emblems (“Advisory”), the Election Officer stated, “[u]nion officers, business agents, and employees may not wear campaign emblems when meeting with an employer of IBT members for collective bargaining or grievance resolution . . .”  As the Election Officer also stated in the Advisory, this prohibition

is based on the concern that the wearing of campaign emblems in such a circumstance inappropriately suggests to third parties that the union with which the officer or business agent

is affiliated “is, as an entity, supporting or opposing any particular candidate or group of candidates.”  Mr. Frates posted and re-posted campaign literature, in full view of management representatives, outside the room where he was present as an official of the union on a grievance panel.  This conduct violates the Rules because, like the wearing of campaign emblems in meetings with third parties, it improperly suggests that the union supports Messrs. Hoffa and Mack in the election.


As to the alleged threats, Article VIII, Section 11(f) of the Rules prohibits retaliation and the threat of retaliation by any person against a member for exercising any right guaranteed by the Rules.  The right to engage in political and campaign activities includes the right to be free from threats of violence.  Lopez, P-456-LU743-CHI (April 10, 1996) (finding “I’ll kill you” to violate the Rules, in light of ongoing animosity between the parties); Smith, P-600-LU150-CSF (April 30, 1996) (finding remark “you’ll be taken out of here in a body bag” to violate the Rules); Kelly, P-600-LU705-CHI et seq. (March 27, 1991) (finding an aggressive threat to “kick their ass” made in a menacing manner to be harassment, in violation of the Rules).  A threat of physical violence for protected election activity is chilling and cannot be tolerated.


Cari Perras

November 25, 1996

Page 1



On these facts, the Election Officer finds that no Rules violation occurred with respect to Mr. Frates’ comments.  The Election Officer acknowledges that the statement “[i]f I catch anyone defacing my stuff, I’ll kick their asses” is similar to the statement found violative of the Rules by the 1991 Election Officer in Kelly, supra.  The statement made in Kelly, however, violated the Rules because the charged party had threatened the protester with physical violence on several prior occasions.  Here, Mr. Frates’ comment was not directed towards any one person, but to a large group of individuals gathered in a single room and was made in a joking manner.


Accordingly, the protest GRANTED as to posting campaign literature 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 directs Mr. Frates to cease and desist from posting campaign material while engaged in activities with IBT employers or unrelated third parties.


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


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

Victoria Chin, Adjunct Regional Coordinator