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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

October 14, 1998




William Zimmerman

October 14, 1998

Page 1


William Zimmerman

7104 NE 61st Avenue

Vancouver, WA 98661


Terrance L. Nelson, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 58

2212 NE Andresen Road

Vancouver, WA 98661


Harold F. Mackenzie, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 81

1874 NE 162nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97230


Roger Niedermeyer, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 162

1850 NE 162nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97230


Clayton D. Banry, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 223

1230 NE 106th Avenue

Portland, OR 97220


Tony L. Andrews, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 305

1870 NE 162nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97230


William W. Holbrook

16500 S. Pam Drive

Oregon City, OR 97045

Darel Aker, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 324

2686 Portland Road, NE

Salem, OR 97303


Walter Engelbert, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 670

P.O. Box 3048

Salem, OR 97302


Jerry L. Stuart, Sec.-Treas.

Teamsters Local Union 962

P.O. Box 189

Medford, OR 97501


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



William Zimmerman

October 14, 1998

Page 1


Re: Election Office Case No. PR-311-JC37-EOH


William Zimmerman

October 14, 1998

Page 1




William Zimmerman, a member of Local Union 206, 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 Terry Nelson, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 58; Harold Mackenzie, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 81; Roger Niedermeyer, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 162; Clayton Banry, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 223; Anthony Andrews, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 305; Darel Aker, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 324; Walter Engelbert, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 670; and Jerry Stuart, the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 962.  Mr. Zimmerman alleges that a “Hoffagram,” signed by all of the charged parties, improperly implies that the local unions affiliated with the charged parties endorse the candidacy of James Hoffa and the Hoffa Slate, in violation of the Rules.  Mr. Aker, who admits to creating the endorsement letter, responds that all of the charged parties endorsed Mr. Hoffa in their individual capacities and were not speaking on behalf of any other members.


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


As evidence of the alleged violation, the protester submitted a copy of a “Hoffagram” that was handed to him on September 17, 1998,[1]  and an article from the Sunday, August 2, 1998 edition of The Columbian.  The two-column article, entitled “Hoffa makes a Portland stop on campaign,” contained the following statement:


Darel Aker, president of the regional Joint Council, said eight of nine local presidents in the Oregon-Southwest Washington region have endorsed Hoffa and his slate of candidates.


Mr. Aker told the Election Office investigator that he approached the other secretary-treasurers with the idea of endorsing Mr. Hoffa and the Hoffa Slate.  After they had signed an endorsement letter, they mailed it to the Hoffa campaign office with the understanding that it would be utilized for some sort of campaign purpose.  There was no evidence that any union funds were used to gather the signatures or to send the page of endorsements to the Hoffa campaign headquarters.

William Zimmerman

October 14, 1998

Page 1


Mr. Aker admitted making a similar comment to the reporter from The Columbian but stated that he specifically told the reporter that eight secretary-treasurers were endorsing Mr. Hoffa in their capacity as individual members.[2] 


Article VIII, Section 11(b) of the Rules makes clear that while union members, including officers, are free to endorse candidates, this can only be done in the member’s “individual capacity.”  The provision also states, however: “The Union or a Local Union as such . . . may not endorse or otherwise advance a candidacy, even if all members agree on the endorsement or candidacy.”   The Rules define  “campaign contribution” as including “[a]n endorsement or counter-endorsements by an individual, group of individuals, or entity.”  Definitions, 5(f).


Individual members of a local union’s executive board or a local union, in their capacity as members of the IBT, may endorse candidates for International office, a particular candidate or slate of candidates.  For example, in Moriarity, P-1071-LU677-ENG (November 15, 1991), a letter sent to local union members stated that “the members of Teamster Local No. 24 Executive Board have unanimously endorsed the R. V. Durham Unity Team.”  The letter was signed by the executive board and noted their titles.  The Election Officer found no violation because this was an endorsement by individual members of the board.  Such campaign activity, however, may not be financed by union funds.  Schauer, P-1251-LU421-MOI (November 19, 1996).


Individual endorsements are distinguished from endorsements by collective entities of the unions, such as the executive board or the local union as a body.  Such entities cannot endorse any candidate or slate of candidates.  Thus, a notice violated the Rules since it indicated endorsement by the local’s executive board:  “Teamsters Local 673's Executive Board unanimously endorse the Shea-Ligurotis Action Team.” Custer, P-1098-LU673-CHI (November 18, 1991).  Also, an improper contribution was found when a statement of the Executive Board of the local endorsed candidates for International office.  Hoffa, P-954-LU53-EOH (September 23, 1996).


In the immediate protest, the secretary-treasurers have endorsed Mr. Hoffa and the Hoffa Slate in their capacities as individual members of the IBT.  While the secretary-treasurers chose not to indicate on the endorsement that their positions were listed “for identification purposes only,”  there is no language on the “Hoffagram” which suggests that the endorsement is by the local unions or by Joint Council 37.  Similarly, Mr. Aker’s comments as reported in The Columbian do not constitute an improper endorsement.


Accordingly, the protest is DENIED.

William Zimmerman

October 14, 1998

Page 1



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, 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

[1]The Hoffagram at issue is attached as an Appendix to this decision.


[2] Not all of the secretary-treasurers of all of the local unions in Joint Council 37 signed the “Hoffagram”:  the secretary-treasurer of Local Union 206, Thomas Leedham, a candidate for general president opposing Mr. Hoffa, did not endorse Mr. Hoffa.