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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters



October 24, 1997




George Saavedra

October 24, 1997

Page 1


George Saavedra

845 Thetford Place

Fairfield, CA 94533


Mary Allen


  Division Manager

United Parcel Service

8400 Pardee Drive

Oakland, CA 94621


Gary M. Tocci, Esq.

Schnader, Harrison, Segal and Lewis

1600 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103


Susan Davis, Esq.

Cohen, Weiss and Simon

330 W. 42nd Street

New York, NY 10036


Bradley T. Raymond, Esq.

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik,

  Raymond, Ferrara & Feldman

32300 Northwestern Highway

Suite 200

Farmington, Hills, MI 48334


George Saavedra

October 24, 1997

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No.  PR-007-LU490-PNW 




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 George Saavedra, a member of Local Union 490, against United Parcel Service (“UPS”).  Mr. Saavedra alleges that he was discharged for distributing campaign literature on September 5, 1997, in violation of the Rules.  UPS responds that the discharge was not for any campaign-related activity.


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Christine M. Mrak.


George Saavedra

October 24, 1997

Page 1


The protester is a “service provider” at UPS’s Cordelia/Concord/Napa facility  (“Cordelia facility”) located in Northern California and has worked for UPS for 22 years.  For nine years, Mr. Saavedra has been a shop steward.  Mr. Saavedra is currently on disability.  He supports Ron Carey for general president.


UPS states that it has an unwritten policy requiring employees on disability to call for an appointment prior to gaining access to the workplace.  The protester disputes the existence of this policy. There is no dispute, however, that UPS has instructed Mr. Saavedra on several occasions not to enter the building without an appointment while on disability.  The protester has previously filed two grievances and an unfair labor practice contesting these instructions. 


On September 3, 1997, the protester telephoned his supervisor, Scott Vanausdale, to advise Mr. Vanausdale that he was coming to the Cordelia facility to give UPS notice of an extension of his disability.   Mr. Vanausdale admits that he received this call and assumed that Mr. Saavedra would be coming to deliver the notice on September 3.


The protester arrived at the Cordelia facility at approximately 8:00 a.m. the next day, September 4, 1997.  He stopped at the “check-in” area and distributed campaign literature.  Work in this area did not begin that day until approximately 8:30 a.m.  It is not disputed that UPS has permitted Mr. Saavedra to pass out campaign material in the “check-in” area during non-work time in the past.  Mr. Vanausdale arrived thereafter and the protester gave him the notice for the extension of his disability.


Cordelia Facility Manager Ron Powell states that, prior to 8:30 a.m., he saw Mr. Saavedra at a loading dock talking to several other employees during their work time.  Mr. Saavedra admits that he left the check-in area and went to the loading dock while employees were working, in response to another member’s request that he observe a possible contract violation.  After that, the protester returned to the “check-in” area where he passed out additional campaign literature.


On September 13, 1997, the protester received a letter from the UPS Division Manager Mary Allen discharging him for “failure to follow instructions.”  In her letter, Ms. Allen cites other incidents where the protester failed to follow instructions and refers to prior instructions to the protester not to come into the Cordelia facility without calling for an appointment. Ms. Allen then states that on September 4, “you were in the Cordelia up on the dock, being disruptive at drivers start time.”  In addition to filing this protest, Mr. Saavedra has challenged his termination by filing another unfair labor practice and another grievance pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement.


In the past, the protester has distributed both campaign and non-campaign related material at the check-in area.  Both Mr. Vanausdale and Mr. Powell admit that they saw Mr. Saavedra leaflet in the check-in area on September 4, but did not know what was being distributed.  There is evidence of some hostility between Mr. Powell and the protester.


George Saavedra

October 24, 1997

Page 1


The protester claims the UPS retaliated against him for campaigning in violation of the Rules.  In­­ Strzezewski, Decision on Remand II, P-416-LU705-CHI (August 27, 1996), aff’d, 96 - Elec. App. - 236 (KC)(September 19, 1996), the Election Officer summarized the elements of proof required to sustain a protest based on retaliation:


(1) A showing that the protester was engaged in an activity protected by the Rules;


(2) A showing that the charged party had actual or constructive knowledge that the protester was so engaged; and


(3) The activity which is protected by the Rules was a motivating factor in causing the adverse action.


The Election Officer has specifically stated that no violation of the Rules at Article VIII,

Section 11(f) can be sustained unless some evidence is presented or disclosed which expressly or inferentially connects the conduct which is alleged to be improper to an activity protected by the RulesGiacumbo, P-100-IBT-PNJ (October 13, 1995); Salucci, P-178-LU552-MOI

(October 31,1995). 


Additionally, the Election Officer has repeatedly held that the existence of a reasonable independent basis for a discharge or removal from an appointed office defeats an allegation of improper motivation, so long as such basis does not form an excuse for or is a pretext for conduct or action which is actually in violation of the Rules.  The Election Officer will not determine that conduct or action is retaliation for the exercise of election-related rights if she concludes that the union officer or entity would have taken the same action, even in the absence of the protester’s protected conduct.  See Gilmartin, P-032-LU245-PNJ (January 5, 1996), aff’d, 95 - Elec.

App. - 75 (KC) (February 6, 1996); Leal, P-051-IBT-CSF (October 3, 1995), aff’d, 95 - Elec. App. - 30 (KC) (October 30, 1995); Wsol, P-095-IBT-CHI (September 20, 1995), aff’d,

95 - Elec. App. - 17 (KC) (October 10, 1995); Cf., Wright Line, 251 NLRB 1083 (1980), enforced, 662 F.2d 899 (1st Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 989 (1982). 


The protester was terminated for being disruptive at the loading dock and for failing to secure an appointment, not for his campaign activities.  Mr. Saavedra admits during the time he was at the loading dock, he was not campaigning.  The protester has consistently been permitted by UPS to distribute leaflets in the check-in area.  In these circumstances, the Interim Election Officer finds that his discharge was not related to the election or a violation of the Rules.


Accordingly, the protest is DENIED.


George Saavedra

October 24, 1997

Page 1


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one (1) 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, 444 N. Capitol Street, Suite 445, Washington, DC 20001, Facsimile

(202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Benetta M. Mansfield

Election Officer



cc:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Christine M. Mrak, Regional Coordinator