This website uses cookies.
Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

October 29, 1998


VIA UPS OVERNIGHT                                                                                                 


Donna Yeo

October 29, 1998

Page 1


Donna Yeo

P.O. Box 117

Jessup, MD 20794


Phillip Feaster, President

Teamsters Local Union 639

3100 Ames Place, NE

Washington, DC 20018


John Steger

8229 Bubbling Spring

Laurel, MD 20723


Tom Leedham Campaign Office

P.O. Box 15877

Washington, DC 20003

James P. Hoffa

2593 Hounds Chase

Troy, MI 48098


Bradley T. Raymond, Esq.

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik,

  Raymond, Ferrara & Feldman

32300 Northwestern Highway

Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI  48334


Hoffa Slate

c/o Patrick J. Szymanski, Esq.

Baptiste & Wilder

1150 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Suite 500

Washington, DC 20036

Donna Yeo

October 29, 1998

Page 1


Re: Election Office Case No. PR-292-LU639-EOH




Donna Yeo, a member of Local Union 639, 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 Phil Feaster.  Mr. Feaster is president of Local Union 639.  Ms. Yeo alleged that Local Union 639 resources were used for campaign purposes immediately after a shop steward meeting.  Mr. Feaster denies that any Local Union 639 resources were improperly used for campaign purposes.


The protest was investigated by Election Office Counsel David S. Paull.


The  material facts are not disputed.  Local Union 639 sponsors a shop stewards’ meeting approximately every three months.  The meeting takes place in the Local Union 639 union hall.  Usually, between 60 and 80 shop stewards attend.  The meetings usually begin at about

Donna Yeo

October 29, 1998

Page 1


11:00 a.m. and continue until all pertinent union business has been discussed.  Local Union 639   supplies lunch for all who attend and the stewards remain in the union hall for about an hour to eat and to socialize.  Sometimes, union business is discussed during and after the lunch period.  The meetings are mandatory for shop stewards.


A shop stewards’ meeting took place on September 12, 1998.  After the scheduled program, Local Union 639 served lunch.  While the shop stewards were seating themselves and beginning to eat, Mr. Feaster announced from the podium that, effective immediately, John Steger had rented the lunch area.  Mr. Steger is a candidate for International Trustee on the Hoffa Unity Slate.  Mr. Feaster further announced that a drawing for a raffle would take place to raise money for the candidacy of James P. Hoffa, a candidate for general president, and that tickets were still available.  Mr. Feaster and Mr. Steger admit that several tickets were sold during this time period.  Mr. Feaster contends that he informed those present that they were free to stay or leave, as they chose.


During the 1996 election, Local Union 639 notified each slate that its union hall was available for rental to candidates at a nominal fee.  No similar notice was made by

Local Union 639 for the rerun period, until several days after Mr. Steger’s fundraising event had taken place.


The Rules at Article VIII, Section 11(c) provide in pertinent part:             


Union funds, facilities, equipment, stationery, personnel, etc., may not be used to assist in campaigning unless the Union is reimbursed at fair market value for such assistance, and unless all candidates are provided equal access to such assistance and are notified in advance, in writing, of the availability of such assistance.


Local Union 639 violated the Rules at Article VIII, Section 11(c) when it permitted

Mr. Steger to rent the union hall for the purpose of raising campaign monies for Mr. Hoffa without notifying the other candidates.


Article VIII, Section 5(a)(4) of the Rules reads:


A Local Union shall not discriminate or permit discrimination in favor 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 . . . literature distribution tables, etc.


Donna Yeo

October 29, 1998

Page 1


The stewards’ meeting and lunch period were “clearly the type of function that [union officials] may feel obligated to attend as part of their official duties.”  Consequently, such campaigning as occurred during this time period was additionally impermissible because of the failure of Local Union 639 to advise competing candidates of the availability of such assistance pursuant to the Rules at Article VIII, Section 5 (a) (4).  Hoffa, P-133-IBT-CHI et.seq. (October 12, 1995), aff’d, 95 - Elec. App. - 28 (KC) (October 26, 1995)In re Riga, 91 - Elec. App. - 173 (SA) (August 1, 1991).


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.


To remedy this violation, the Election Officer requires that by November 5, 1998, all slates except the Hoffa Unity Slate and all candidates for International Trustee except for

Mr. Steger, may at their option, each submit one piece of campaign literature to

Local Union 639.  The campaign literature shall be prepared on one side of 8 ½  x 11 inch paper.  By November 6, 1998, Mr. Steger will copy all campaign literature submitted and mail all such literature to each and all stewards for Local Union 639.


Additionally, the Election Officer orders Mr. Feaster, Mr. Steger and Local Union 639 to cease and desist from any and all activity which violates the Rules.  Within one (1) day of the mailing, Mr. Steger will submit an affidavit to the Election Officer detailing his compliance with each and every aspect of 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 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


Donna Yeo

October 29, 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