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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              January 16, 1997





James O’Donnell

8 Donalda Place

Brampton, ON  L6T 1S4


Charles Thibault, President

Teamsters Local Union 938

1194 Matheson Boulevard, E.

Missassauga, ON  L4W 1Y2


Re:  Election Office Case No. P-1344-LU938-CAN




James O’Donnell, a retired member of Local Union 938, 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 Charles Thibault, president of Local Union 938 and a successful candidate for Canadian vice president.  The protester alleges that he and other retirees were harassed and discriminated against by Mr. Thibault in connection with their attendance at

a Local Union 938 meeting held on December 8, 1996 and a previous meeting held in

November 1996. 


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Gwen K. Randall.


Mr. O’Donnell is a supporter of the Jim Hoffa-No Dues Increase-25 & Out Slate (“Hoffa slate”) and decided to attend the November and December meetings in order to see if political issues were being raised concerning the IBT International officer election.  According to the protester, Mr. Thibault asked him and all other attending retirees to sit in the front of the meeting hall during both the November and December meetings.  The protester also states that

James O’Donnell

January 16, 1997

Page 1



Mr. Thibault “went into a tirade” at the December meeting concerning retirees influencing active members and that Mr. Thibault announced a new policy requiring retirees to obtain written permission from the Executive Board to attend all future meetings.  The protester believes that these actions were humiliating and constituted an attempt to “intimidate and harass” him and the other retirees because of their support for the Hoffa slate. 


Mr. Thibault admits that he asked retirees to sit in front and imposed the requirement that they obtain written permission prior to attending future meetings.  He further states that he was concerned that the attendance of the retirees, including Mr. O’Donnell, was election-related and that he was also troubled about their influence on those members attending.  Mr. Thibault further admits that he knew that Mr. O’Donnell was a supporter of Mr. Hoffa and his slate, but that all retirees were treated equally.  Mr. Thibault denies that his actions violated the Rules and asserts that the protest is untimely.  Both Mr. O’Donnell and Mr. Thibault agree that the election was not discussed at either meeting.


Pursuant to Article XIV, Section 1 of the Rules, only members, the International union or its subordinate locals may file protests.  Retirees such as Mr. O’Donnell do not have standing to protest asserted Rules violations.  Branch, CONV-22 et seq. (July 18, 1996).  The standing requirement has been waived where “the issues could affect other IBT members who do have rights under the Rules.”  Lester, P-1217-LU669-PGH et seq. (November 27, 1996), aff’d,

96 - Elec. App. - 302 (KC) (December 10, 1996).  An allegation of retaliation may state such a claim.


Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules requires protesters to file “within two (2) working days of the day when the protestor becomes aware or reasonably should have become aware of the action protested.”  The short time limits are important to ensure that alleged violations of the Rules are quickly brought to the attention of the Election Officer in order to afford the greatest opportunity for applying an effective remedy if a violation is found.  “Nevertheless, the Election Officer has not treated time limits as an absolute jurisdictional requirement, but rather as a prudential restriction.”  Hoffa, P-788-IBT-EOH (June 18, 1996); Blake, P-712-LU630-CLA (April 29, 1996).  The allegations of this protest relating to the November meeting raises issues which took place more than a month prior to filing.  The allegations relating to the December meeting were only filed one day late and, therefore, the protest will be considered on its merits.


The Election Officer fails to find any prohibited discrimination or retaliation on the facts presented.  While Mr. Thibault imposed a requirement on Mr. O’Donnell in regard to attendance at meetings, he applied such a procedure to all retirees.


Accordingly, the protest is DENIED.


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:

James O’Donnell

January 16, 1997

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

Gwen K. Randall, Regional Coordinator