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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              September 8, 1998




Roy Kruchten

8748 S. 84th Avenue

Hickory Hills, IL  60457


Gary M. Tocci, Esq.

Schnader, Harrison, Segal and Lewis

1600 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA  19103


Re: Election Office Case No. PR-205-LU705-NCE




Roy Kruchten, a member of Local Union 705, 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 United Parcel Service (UPS).  The protester alleges that UPS refused to permit him to wear a t-shirt supporting Tom Leedham, a candidate for general president, in violation of a pre-existing right, while permitting other employees to wear campaign paraphernalia.


UPS responds that the protest is untimely.  On the merits, UPS admits that it has forbidden the protester and others to wear campaign paraphernalia while in uniform at all times, but states that the policy does not violate the Rules because UPS does not permit any employees who come in contact with the public to wear campaign paraphernalia on company uniforms.


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


Roy Kruchten

September 8, 1998

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On July 28, 1998, Bill Barbre, a member of Local Union 705 who is a UPS driver, was wearing a t-shirt supporting Mr. Leedham over his UPS uniform in the driver cafeteria about 50 minutes before he was scheduled to start work.  Terminal Manager Rick Johnson asked Mr. Barbre if he was wearing his uniform under the t-shirt.  When Mr. Barbre replied, yes, Mr. Johnson advised Mr. Barbre that he could not wear anything over his uniform.  Over the next few days, Mr. Barbre continued to wear the t-shirt during his breaks, and before and after work at the UPS facility.  Instead of wearing it over his uniform, however, Mr. Barbre removed his uniform shirt and wore the t-shirt.  He was not disciplined for this conduct.


On July 29, 1998, the protester, who is a union steward, received a call from Terminal Manager Johnson.  Mr. Johnson complained to the protester that he had a Leedham sticker on a personal notebook which the protester keeps at work but uses for personal notes.  On July 30, the protester was standing outside the cafeteria with Mr. Barbre.  The protester had punched out and was preparing to leave the building.  Mr. Barbre was still on work time, and was discussing the t-shirt incident with the protester.  The protester had a pocket planner in his uniform pocket with a Leedham sticker on it which showed over the edge of his pocket.  Terminal Manager Johnson approached the protester and stated I thought we had talked about this.  The protester responded that he was on his own time and Mr. Johnson replied, Youre still in uniform and you need to respect it.


Mr. Barbre claims that a few days after this incident, he observed a part-time non-uniformed employee wearing a Frank Wsol campaign t-shirt.  (Mr. Wsol was a candidate for International vice-president early in the initial election period.)


As to the timeliness of the protest, the protester did not file the protest until six days after the occurrence of the last incident.  However, although the Election Officer set forth UPSs policy in several decisions in the initial election, the Election Officer believes it is important that the members and candidates in the rerun election understand UPSs policy and the Election Officers view of it under the Rules.


Article VIII, Section 11(d) of the Rules states that no restrictions shall be placed upon candidates or members preexisting rights to solicit support, distribute leaflets or literature, conduct campaign rallies, hold fundraising events or engage in similar activities on employer or Union premises.  The Advisory on Wearing of Campaign Buttons and Other Emblems (Advisory) issued by the Election Officer on September 20, 1995, states that among the rights so protected by the Rules is the right of IBT members to wear campaign emblems on buttons, t-shirts or hats while working.  (Citations omitted.)  The Advisory states further that:


Roy Kruchten

September 8, 1998

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[A] members right to wear campaign emblems, including buttons, t-shirts and hats, while on work time may be circumscribed by the members employer or the public at large.  The employer may prevent the wearing of campaign emblems only where the prohibition is necessary to maintain production and discipline, safety or preventing alienation of customers.  The basis for these limited exceptions is the right of the employer to prevent unrelated third parties from inappropriately assuming that the employer supports the political or campaign position advocated by the employee or the employees emblem . . .


(Citation omitted.)


The Election Officers investigation shows that UPS continues to observe its long-standing, strict dress and grooming code for UPS drivers and other employees who come in contact with the public.  This dress code includes a prohibition against wearing campaign paraphernalia, including union campaign buttons on UPS uniforms.  See Salazar, P-881-LU435-RMT (October 1, 1996).  The Election Officer has consistently found that this policy is not in violation of the RulesSee Bryant, P-1094-LU391-SEC (November 4, 1996).  There is no dispute that the protester and Mr. Barbre are drivers who wear UPS uniforms and who come into contact with the public. That UPS does not apply this policy to employees who do not interact with the public is consistent with the Rules.[1]


Accordingly, the protest is DENIED.


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


Roy Kruchten

September 8, 1998

Page 1


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






Michael G. Cherkasky

Election Officer



cc:              Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Judith E. Kuhn, Regional Coordinator

[1]The complaint from the terminal manager regarding the Leedham sticker on a personal notebook, although not protested, would violate the Rules unless the protester uses that notebook in making public deliveries.  To the extent that the notebook remains with his personal belongings, it does not violate UPS policy and to complain or reprimand a member for such conduct would violate the Rules.