This website uses cookies.
Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters













November 13, 1996




Art Ramirez

2376 S. Lenox Avenue

Milwaukee, WI  53207


Paul Lovinus, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 344

10020 W. Greenfield Avenue

Milwaukee, WI  53214


Re:  Election Office Case No. P-1198-LU344-NCE




Art Ramirez, a member of Local Union 344, 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 Paul Lovinus, secretary-treasurer of Local

Union 344, violated the Rules when he gave the local unions telephone number as the contact number when he reserved a hotel conference room for a Hoffa campaign event.


Mr. Lovinus admits giving the local unions address to hotel management for billing purposes and is unsure of whether he also gave the local unions telephone number as the contact number for the event.


This protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Judith E. Kuhn.


Art Ramirez

November 13, 1996

Page 1



The investigation revealed that the protester learned of a Hoffa rally to be held in a conference room at the Grand Milwaukee Hotel in early November, and when he phoned the hotel seeking further information he was given the name of Paul Lovinus as the contact person and the telephone number of Local Union 344.  Mr. Lovinus believes the hotel may have supplied the local unions number on its own initiative because Mr. Lovinus had done business with the hotel previously in his official capacity as secretary-treasurer.  The investigation also found that no telephone inquiries regarding the rally were actually received at the local union office and that Mr. Lovinus paid for the use of the conference room personally.


Article VIII, Section 11(c) of the Rules prohibits the use of Union . . . facilities . . . to assist in campaigning unless the union is reimbursed at fair-market value for such assistance and all candidates are provided equal access to such assistance and are notified in advance.  In Olson, P-172-LU70-CSF (November 1, 1995), the Election Officer found that putting a local union officers telephone number in campaign material as a contact number violated the Rules even though it produced only three calls and a modest deviation from work on the part of the official:  The use of union telephone equipment to assist in campaigning during work time, even when such activity is not consequential in terms of time, however, violates the Rules.  See also Hoffa, P-812-IBT-NYC (August 16, 1996) ([I]t is a

violation of the Rules to give out a union telephone number as a place to return a campaign call).


The Election Officer finds that Mr. Lovinus violated Article VIII, Section 11(c) of the Rules when he used Local Union 344s resources--specifically its address and phone number--for purposes of promoting the Hoffa rally.  This matter illustrates the importance of separating union business from campaign activity, under the Rules.  By providing Local Union 344s address, Mr. Lovinus created the impression that the local union was involved with the campaign rally, notwithstanding Mr. Lovinus request that he be billed personally.  The Election Officer finds that the hotel then referred any questions it received regarding the event to the local union, using the telephone number that it had from prior local union events.


Accordingly, the protesters allegation is GRANTED.


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 Mr. Lovinus to cease and desist from using Local

Union 344 resources for campaign purposes unless such use meets the advance notice and nondiscrimination requirements of the Rules.


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

Art Ramirez

November 13, 1996

Page 1



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

Judith E. Kuhn, Regional Coordinator