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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

October 8, 1998




Ramon Tapia

October 8, 1998

Page 1


Ramon Tapia

355 Mountainview

Long Beach, CA 90805


Ed King

Human Resources Director

USA Waste of California

1970 E. 213th Street

Long Beach, CA 90810


Paul Alan Levy, Esq.

Public Citizen Litigation


1600 20th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20009


Raul Rodriguez

13882 Stagecoach Circle

Victorville, CA 92392

Tom Leedham Campaign Office

P.O. Box 15877

Washington, DC 20003


Mauricio Terrazas

3800 Bradford Street, #233

La Verne, CA 91750


Susan Piller, Esq.

Senior Vice President, Employee Relations

USA Waste Services, Inc.

1001 Fannin, Suite 4000

Houston, TX 77002

Ramon Tapia

October 8, 1998

Page 1


Re: Election Officer Case No. PR-300-LU396-EOH




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 Ramon Tapia, a member of Local Union 396, against his employer, USA Waste, Inc. (“USA Waste”). 

Mr. Tapia alleges that he was terminated by USA Waste as a result of campaign activities in support of a candidate in the Rerun Officer Election.


USA Waste states that the protester’s termination was not based upon his campaign activity, but upon Mr. Tapia’s refusal to adhere to USA Waste’s rules and regulations as well as his refusal to follow “the standards set forth by the Articles of Agreement between the company and Teamsters Local 396.”


The protest was investigated by Election Office Staff Attorney Peter F. Gimbrère.


Ramon Tapia

October 8, 1998

Page 1


As to the termination, the investigation revealed that pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement between USA Waste and the union, a grievance has been filed by the local union concerning the termination of Mr. Tapia.


The Election Officer has determined that his decision in this matter will be deferred until the conclusion of the grievance/arbitration procedure in the collective bargaining agreement.  The Election Officer has, pursuant to the Rules, jurisdiction and authority to determine the instant protest on its merits.  Further, the Election Officer is not bound, in whole or in part, by the decision reached in the grievance proceedings or by the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law made during the grievance process.  See Golubovic, P-025-LU710-CHI (July 21, 1995); Henderson, Case No. P-760-LU25-ENG, aff'd, 91 - Elec. App. - 187; aff'd U.S. v. IBT, 776 F.Supp. 144; aff'd, 954 F.2d 801 (2d Cir. 1992). 


Thus, while the Election Officer will defer his decision in this matter, he has the authority to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations of the protest and issue a decision on the merits of the protest based upon his determination and evaluation of the evidence presented to him in such an independent investigation.  Mr. Tapia is advised to inform the Election Officer at the conclusion of the grievance processing and to provide a copy of any resulting arbitration award or settlement to the Election Officer.


Accordingly, the protest is DEFERRED.


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


Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 North Capitol Street, Suite 445, Washington, D.C. 20001,










Ramon Tapia

October 8, 1998

Page 1


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