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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

October 5, 1998




James P. Hoffa

October 5, 1998

Page 1


James P. Hoffa

2593 Hounds Chase

Troy, MI 48098


Hoffa Slate

c/o Patrick J. Szymanski, Esq.

Baptiste & Wilder

1150 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Suite 500

Washington, DC 20036


Tom Leedham

c/o Tom Leedham Campaign Office P.O. Box 15877

Washington, DC 20003


Bradley T. Raymond, Esq.

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik,

  Raymond, Ferrara & Feldman

32300 Northwestern Highway

Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Gerald Zero, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 705

1645 W. Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60612


Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.

Kennedy, Schwartz & Cure

113 University Place

New York, NY 10003


James Lewis

Human Resources Director

ABF Freight System

1900 E. Lincoln Highway

Sauk Village, IL 60411


John Metz Slate

c/o George O. Suggs, Esq.

Wilburn & Suggs

1015 Locust, Suite 818

St. Louis, MO 63101


James P. Hoffa

October 5, 1998

Page 1


Re: Election Office Case No. PR-252-LU614-NCE




James P. Hoffa, a member of Local Union 614 and a candidate for general president, 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 Tom Leedham, the Leedham “Rank and File Power” Slate (“Leedham Slate”), and Local Union 705.  Mr. Hoffa alleges that Mr. Leedham and his campaign supporters violated the Rules by obtaining access to the ABF’s terminal in Sauk Village, Illinois, and engaging in campaign activities inside the ABF facility during employees’ work time on August 25, 1998.  Mr. Hoffa claims that there is no preexisting right of access to ABF’s facility for non-employees.  As a result, Mr. Hoffa contends that the Leedham campaign received an improper employer contribution.  Mr. Hoffa further alleges that Otis Cross, a business agent of Local Union 705 campaigned with Mr. Leedham at the ABF terminal on union time.

James P. Hoffa

October 5, 1998

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Mr. Leedham admits that he gained access to the ABF facility for campaigning but contends that the Rules were not violated since he did so without advance notice to or permission from ABF.  Mr. Cross maintains that the Rules were not violated because he used vacation time to campaign at the ABF terminal.


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


The investigation disclosed that on August 25, 1998, Mr. Leedham and his campaign supporters, all non-ABF employees, distributed campaign literature, spoke to employees, and sold  campaign paraphernalia to employees in the lunchroom for approximately half an hour .  Mr. Leedham and his supporters then proceeded to the docks and continued to campaign for approximately half an hour to an hour.  Before leaving the premises, Mr. Leedham campaigned in the parking lot during a shift change.  While inside the ABF facility, Mr. Leedham and his supporters were not asked to leave the premises by any ABF manager/representative.


ABF’s Director of Industrial Relations Ron Fetty maintains that ABF’s policy prohibits campaigning on the dock or in other work areas.  Mr. Fetty acknowledges that the terminal manager did not know how to handle the situation and attempted to contact senior management for advice.  By the time the terminal manager received directions from senior management to instruct Mr. Leedham to leave the facility, Mr. Leedham and his supporters had already left ABF’s premises.  The investigation also confirmed that Mr. Cross was on vacation time when he campaigned with Mr. Leedham at the ABF terminal.


The Rules generally do not give candidates or members the right to campaign on employer premises (other than in the parking lot), unless there is a pre-existing right.  Thus, Article VIII, Section 11(d) states:


[N]o restrictions shall be placed upon candidates’ or members’ preexisting rights to solicit support, distribute leaflets or literature, . . . or engage in similar activities on employer or Union premises.  Such facilities and opportunities shall be made available to all candidates and members on a nondiscriminatory basis.


The Election Officer has repeatedly stated that “[i]f an employer chooses to allow campaigning on their premises, it may do so as long as equal access is provided to all candidates pursuant to Article VIII, Section 11(d).”


The Regional Coordinator discussed the issue of equal access to all candidates pursuant to Article VIII, Section 11(d) with ABF’s Director of Industrial Relations.  ABF has now agreed to the following:


James P. Hoffa

October 5, 1998

Page 1


In order to resolve a protest filed with the IBT Election Officer, ABF is offering candidates James Hoffa, Jr. and John Metz one hour each of access to the dock, lunchroom and yard of its facility at 1900 East Route 30, Sauk Village, IL.  It is understood that each candidate may use that time to walk through the facility and converse with individual employees, some of whom may be on their working time.  With respect to employees who are on their working time (as opposed to breaks or lunch periods) the conversations will be brief, and will not substantially disrupt the employer’s work.  A small number of campaign workers for the candidates may engage in the sale of paraphernalia and/or the distribution of literature during the one hour of access, but such sales or distributions are to be limited to the lunchroom only, and may not take place in any working area, nor disrupt the employer’s work.  To schedule such access, please contact Ron Fetty at (708) 757-7600.


If Mr. Hoffa and Mr. Metz or their designees, decide to take advantage of this opportunity, they shall give not less than 24 hours’ advance notice to Mr. Fetty, ABF ‘s Director of Industrial Relations, regarding when the campaigning will take place, and a facsimile confirming the same shall be sent at the same time to the Election Officer at (202) 624-3525.


In resolving this protest,  neither ABF nor the Election Officer is creating or sanctioning a “preexisting right” to campaign on ABF’s docks or lunchroom for candidates for the duration of the rerun election.  This opportunity for the other general president candidates or their designees  to campaign will be limited to this single occasion.


For the foregoing reasons, the protest against IBT Local Union 705 is DENIED, and the protest against Mr. Leedham and the Leedham Slate is RESOLVED.


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


James P. Hoffa

October 5, 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 N. Capitol Street, 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