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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters






December 3, 1997




Steve Williamson

December 3, 1997

Page 1



Steve Williamson

4114 45th Avenue, SW

Seattle, WA  98116


Edward G. Tyler, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 227

552 Denny Way

Seattle, WA  98109


James P. Hoffa

2593 Hounds Chase

Troy, MI  48098


Tom Sever, International Sec.-Treas.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20001

Jeraldine Cheatem

Post Office Box 288492

Chicago, IL  60628


Bradley T. Raymond, Esq.

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik,

  Raymond, Ferrara & Feldman

32300 Northwestern Highway

Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI  48334


Richard Brook, Esq.

Cohen, Weiss and Simon

330 West 42nd Street

New York, NY  10036

Steve Williamson

December 3, 1997

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. PR-031-LU227-PNW




Steve Williamson, a member of Local Union 174, 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”) against Local Union 227.  Mr. Williamson alleges that Local Union 227 posted and distributed campaign literature in violation of the Rules.  Local Union 227 denies that the Rules have been violated.


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


The protester is an employee of  Local Union 174 which maintains an office in the same building as Local Union 227.  On November 12, 1997, the protester walked by the office of Local Union 227.  He observed a bulletin board located about two or three feet inside the open Local Union 227 office door, facing the hallway.  A yellow flyer on letter-sized paper was posted on the bulletin board which stated, in pertinent part, as follows:


Steve Williamson

December 3, 1997

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1:00 PM ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16th, 1997











A disclaimer, stating that “only active members or members of their immediate family” may contribute to the Hoffa Campaign, appeared at the bottom of the flyer. 


After observing the posted material, the protester entered the office of Local Union 227.   He noted that a small stack of identical flyers were located on the counter.  The next day, the protester again observed the flyer on the Local Union 227 bulletin board and copies on the counter.


Ed Tyler, secretary-treasurer of Local Union 227, admits that he posted the flyer on the union bulletin board and that, for at least the two or three days prior to the date of Mr. Hoffa’s fundraiser, copies of the flyer were available at the counter.  Mr. Tyler denies any intent to endorse or advance the campaign of Mr. Hoffa and states that in posting the flyer and making copies available, he was merely “informing people” and “encouraging participation in the election process.”  According to Mr. Tyler, it is the policy of Local Union 227 to permit candidates to post campaign materials on the office bulletin board.  However, Mr. Tyler also states that this bulletin board is not available to members for general purposes and is for union business only.  Other than his statement, Mr. Tyler presented no evidence concerning the  existence of any bulletin board policy.  Further, there was no showing that campaign literature supporting any other candidate was ever previously posted on Local Union 227's bulletin board or distributed at the counter.


Campaign activity within a union hall is not prohibited by the Rules.  Such activity may take place, so long as the Rules requiring equal access and opportunity to candidates are strictly observed.  Thus, Article VIII, Section 5(a)(4) states:


Steve Williamson

December 3, 1997

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A Local Union shall not discriminate or permit discrimination in favor of or against any candidate in conjunction with its meetings or otherwise.  This requirement shall apply not only to formal presentations by or on behalf of candidates but also to informal campaign activities, such as, for example, comments on candidates during meetings, literature distribution at meetings, literature distribution tables, etc.


Similarly, Article VIII, Section 11(d) states that no restriction shall be placed upon a candidates or members preexisting right to use union bulletin boards for campaign publicity so long as [s]uch facilities and opportunities [are] available to all candidates and members on a nondiscriminatory basis.


By posting a Hoffa campaign flyer on a union bulletin board located in the union hall and by making Hoffa campaign literature available on the counter for at least several days prior to November 16, 1997, Local Union 227 discriminate[d] or permit[ted] discrimination in favor or against a candidate, in violation of the RulesSchlim, P-970-LU124-MGN (October 7, 1996). 


Local Union 227 asserts that this display of campaign material is consistent with its bulletin board policy.  A local union may maintain a non-discriminatory policy permitting all candidates to utilize its bulletin board for campaign purposes.  Such a policy must, however, be adequately communicated to the membership.  Nageotte, P-124-LU481-CLA (September 5, 1995). 


Even assuming a proper policy was in place prior to November 16, 1997, there is no evidence that such a policy was properly communicated to the members of Local Union 227 or to candidates.  There is no evidence that any other candidate, either for International office or for delegate, has ever displayed campaign literature on Local Union 227's bulletin board prior to the display which is the subject of this protest.


Accordingly, the protest is GRANTED.


When the Election Officer determines that the Rules have been violated, he “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.  Local Union 227's violation of the Rules has occurred just prior to the time that Mr. Carey was disqualified as a candidate on November 17, 1997.  See In re: Cheatem, Post - 27 - EOH (November 17, 1997) (supplemental decision).


Therefore, the Election Officer orders the following remedy:


Steve Williamson

December 3, 1997

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1.  Local Union 227 shall cease and desist from making its facilities available to any candidate unless all candidates are provided equal access to such assistance and are advised in advance, in writing, of the availability of such assistance.


2.  Within one (1) day of receipt of this decision, Local Union 227 shall display the attached notice on the bulletin board where the flyer was displayed for a period of 30 days.


3.  Within four (4) days of receipt of this decision, Local Union 227 shall file an affidavit with the Election Officer detailing its compliance with this order.


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 (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, 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.






Michael Cherkasky

Election Officer




cc:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Christine M. Mrak, Regional Coordinator







The Election Rules prohibit local unions from discriminating or permitting discrimination against any candidate for office in the 1995-1996 International union delegate and officer elections in connection with distribution of campaign literature. 


Local Union 227 has violated this provision by making available in its  office, campaign literature supporting James P. Hoffa for general president.  Local Union 227 will cease and desist from this activity, unless all candidates for International office are provided equal access to make literature available at the local union office, and are advised in advance, of the availability of this access.





Ed Tyler

Secretary-Treasurer, Local Union 227










This is an official notice which must remain posted for 30 consecutive days and must not be defaced or altered in any manner or be covered with any other material.


Approved by Michael Cherkasky, IBT Election Officer.