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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

October 15, 1997



Roy L. Atha, Secretary-Treasurer                                          Ron Carey Campaign

Teamster Local Union 654                                                        c/o Susan Davis

832 Warder Street                                                                      Cohen, Weiss & Simon

P.O. Box 1404                                                                      330 West 42nd Street

Springfield, OH 45501                                                        New York, NY   10036


Ron Carey, General President                                          Bradley Raymond, Esq.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters                            Finkel, Whitefield, Selik, Raymond,

25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.                                                        Ferrara & Feldman

Washington, D.C.  200001                                                        32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI 48334


David L. Neigus, Deputy General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C.  20001


Re: Election Office Case No. PR-002-IBT-EOH

                            Election Office Case No. PR-004-IBT-EOH              [CORRECTED]




Roy L. Atha, secretary-treasurer of Local Union 654, filed two pre-election protests pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules), against IBT General President Ron Carey and the IBT.  The protests were consolidated for decision.


In PR-002, Mr. Atha alleged that certain items appearing in the August 22, 1997 Teamster Leader magazine constitutes an improper use of IBT resources to support Mr.Carey’s candidacy in the rerun election. In PR-004, Mr. Atha alleges that another IBT publication, Teamster UPS Update, is a “form of campaigning” and “serves no other purpose than campaigning.”

Roy L. Atha

October 15, 1997

Page 1




The IBT responds that the challenged matter consists of “legitimate reporting on items of interest and importance to IBT members” and that the IBT’s use of resources in the production and distribution of these publication did not violate the Rules.


             The protest were investigated by Interim Election Officer Benetta Mansfield.


The Teamster Leader is an IBT newsletter that is regularly mailed to local union officials, stewards, organizers and other members of the IBT.  An edition of this publication consisting of four pages was issued and distributed by the IBT on August 22, 1997.  The central feature was an article entitled “UPS Teamsters Win a Victory for All of Us.”  This story was accompanied by a picture of Mr. Carey and a “message” from him entitled “This Was a Victory for All Teamsters” and two shorter articles entitled “Teamster Unity + Public Support = Victory” and “Use Strike Victory to Boost Organizing.”  A small block announcement contained within the publication advised that a video tape “about the new contract and how we won it” was being sent to “every UPS local union and all UPS stewards for whom the local union provided an address.”  The only articles in the Teamster Leader which did not relate to the UPS contract negotiations and strike was an item devoted to the IBT’s opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement and a short announcement concerning an upcoming “Human Rights” conference. 


The Teamster UPS Update contained a number of short articles which generally advised union members as to the status of the strike and the nature of the contested issues and encouraged union members to support it.  Five major stories appear under various headlines including “Members Fight For Our Future,” “Teamsters Tell Our Story,” “Why UPS Wants To Control Your Pension,” “Health Care Coverage for Strikers,” and a 3 page article entitled “What We’re Fighting For.”  One of the articles mentioned General President Carey, referring only to his appearance on national television in support of the strike.


Article VIII, Section 8(a) of the Rules states that a union-financed publication or communication may not be “used to support or attack any candidate or the candidacy of any person.”  In reviewing union-financed communications for improper campaign content, the Election Officer looks to the tone, content and timing of the publication.  Martin, P-010-IBT-PNJ, et seq. (August 17, 1995), affd, 95 - Elec. App. - 18 (KC) (October 2, 1995). The Election Officer also considers the context in which the communications appeared.


              In Martin, the Election Officer recognized that union officers and officials have a “right and responsibility to exercise the powers of their office to advise and report to the membership on issues of general concern.” (quoting Camarata v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 478 F. Supp. 321, 330 (D.D.C. 1979), aff’d, 108 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2924 (D.C.Cir. 1981).  These publications have been reviewed for tone and content.  With the exception of the NAFTA article and the announcement of the “Human Rights” conference, the contents of these publications concern only the collective bargaining issues.

Roy L. Atha

October 15, 1997

Page 1


The disputed issues of the Teamster Leader and the Teamster UPS Update have been bargaining negotiations with UPS or the results of the IBT strike action.  The IBT represents approximately 185,000 UPS employees.  The strike and its outcome are of wide and legitimate interest to its UPS members and to all union members.  The Election Officer has previously

determined that collective bargaining is a topic of  legitimate interest to the members.  Michaels, P-205-LU407-CLE (November 8, 1995); Riley, P-101-IBT-EOH (August 23, 1995), aff’d, 95 - Elec. App. - 14 (KC) (September 29, 1995).  The Election Officer has specifically ruled that developments in the ongoing contract negotiations with UPS were newsworthy.  Hoffa, P-1181-IBT-EOH (November 18, 1996). 


The timing of the items coincides either with the strike itself or the vote on the ratification for the final UPS collective bargaining agreement.  The only statement by or about a candidate is the picture and “message” from Mr. Carey and the announcement of his national television appearance.   Mr. Carey personally participated in negotiations.  The articles and Mr. Carey’s picture are consistent with his activities during the negotiations and are not excessive.  The articles are confined strictly to Mr. Carey’s role as general president.


The protester further asserts that the announcement and production of the video tape are “unusual” and therefore constitute campaigning.  The use of union funds to produce a video tape does not violate the Rules so long as the subject of the production is confined to matters which are of legitimate interest to union members.  Young, P-410-LU41-MOI (March 5, 1996) (videotape produced by IBT to persuade members to vote for a dues increase did not violate the Rules).  As found above, the UPS strike is of such interest.


Accordingly, the protests are 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:


Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Latham & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751-4864

Roy L. Atha

October 15, 1997

Page 1



Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 444 N. Capitol Street, Suite 445, Washington, D.C., 20001, Facsimile (202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.





Benetta M. Mansfield

Interim Election Officer


cc:              Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master