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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021, 2020 ESD 9

OFFICE OF THE ELECTION SUPERVISOR

for the

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

 

IN RE: O'BRIEN-ZUCKERMAN 2021,    )           Protest Decision 2020 ESD 9

                                                                       )           Issued: July 27, 2020

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-014-072320-FW

____________________________________)

 

O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021, a slate of candidates for International office, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 2020-2021 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest alleged that Ron Herrera, candidate for General Secretary-Treasurer on the Teamster Power slate, impermissibly used union resources to support his campaign.

 

Election Supervisor representative Michael Miller investigated this protest.

 

Findings of Fact and Analysis

 

The protest alleged a canopy that candidate Ron Herrera used when soliciting signatures for International officer accreditation petitions constituted improper use of union resources to support his campaign.  Herrera is the elected principal officer of Local Union 396 and has been for several terms.  In addition, he was elected as the West region vice president of the IBT in the 2016 International officer election.

 

The evidence protestor presented consisted of three photos obtained from the Teamster Power Facebook page that showed petition activity under and in the vicinity of a pop-up canopy.  The canopy depicted had a footprint approximately ten feet square, standing on four white telescoping legs.  Navy-colored polyester fabric served as the roof of the canopy and rose to a single peak approximately nine feet high.  On each of four triangular pieces of fabric sloping from the peak to the eave the word “Teamsters” appeared above the IBT’s horses-and-wheel logo, all in four-color silkscreen process.  On each of the four 10-inch flaps of the canopy below the eave appeared “Ron Herrera Local Union 396” in gold small-caps.  On the lower right of each flap, printed in white 1-inch letters, read “Paid for by Ron Herrera.”

 

Investigation showed that Herrera contracted for the customized printing of the canopy with Mitchell Publishing, a union printer and mailer.  Herrera produced to our investigator the invoice and his personal check paying the invoice in full, both of which were dated in July 2020.  Herrera told our investigator that he bought the canopy for use in the International officer and delegate campaign as well as the Fall 2020 election of Local Union 396 officers, for which he will once again stand as a candidate for principal officer.  He stated he asked the contractor to add the language to each flap of the canopy indicating that the canopy was purchased and owned by Herrera to dispel any potential claim that it was union-funded. He further stated that he stores the canopy, when not in use, on personal property and not at the union hall. 

 

Article VII, Section 12(c) prohibits use of union equipment and other assets to assist in campaigning.  Article XI, Section 1(b)(6) repeats the prohibition on use of union resources found in Article VII, Section 12(c).  The provision goes on to clarify that use of union stationery bearing the union’s name, insignia, or mark may not be used  to campaign, but “[o]ther use of the Union’s name, insignia or mark by Union members, in connection with the exercise of rights under these Rules, is permitted.” This language has been held to permit use of the IBT logo and the union’s name in campaign material. Brazeau, 2001 EAD 316 (April 18, 2001); Watts, 2006 ESD 146 (March 17, 2006); Laszlo, 2011 ESD 87 (January 27, 2011). 

 

We find no violation on the facts presented.  We conclude that Herrera purchased the canopy with personal funds.  As such, it was a personal and not a union asset.  We further find that Herrera’s use on the canopy of the names “Teamsters” and “Local 396” as well as the horses-and-wheel logo (the union’s “name, insignia or mark”) fell squarely within the Rules proviso permitting use of such items.  We find, given this provision, that such use did not constitute an express or implied endorsement of his candidacy by the union that the Rules prohibit. 

 

For these reasons, we DENY the protest.

 

Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within two (2) working days of receipt of this decision.  Any party requesting a hearing must comply with the requirements of Article XIII, Section 2(i).  All parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely in any such appeal upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Supervisor.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing, shall specify the basis for the appeal, and shall be served upon:

 

Barbara Jones

Election Appeals Master

IBTappealsmaster@bracewell.com

 

Copies of the request for hearing must be served upon the parties, as well as upon the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, all within the time prescribed above.  Service may be accomplished by email, using the “reply all” function on the email by which the party received this decision.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for hearing.

 

                                                                  Richard W. Mark

                                                                  Election Supervisor

cc:        Barbara Jones

            2020 ESD 9

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                     

     


DISTRIBUTION LIST (BY EMAIL UNLESS NOTED):

 


Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

braymond@teamster.org

 

Edward Gleason

egleason@gleasonlawdc.com

 

Patrick Szymanski

szymanskip@me.com

 

Will Bloom

wbloom@dsgchicago.com

 

Tom Geoghegan

tgeoghegan@dsgchicago.com

 

Kevin Moore

Mooregp2021@gmail.com

 

F.C. “Chris” Silvera

fitzverity@aol.com

 

Fred Zuckerman

fredzuckerman@aol.com

 

Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

ken@tdu.org


Teamsters Local Union 396

teamsters@local396.net

 

Joe Kaplon

jkaplon@wkclegal.com

 

Elizabeth Rosenfeld

erosenfeld@wkclegal.com

 

Amanda Lively

alively@wkclegal.com

 

Michael Miller

miller.michael.j@verizon.net

 

Deborah Schaaf

dschaaf@ibtvote.org

 

      Jeffrey Ellison

     EllisonEsq@gmail.com