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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Bucalo, 2020 ESD 20


for the



IN RE: SAMUEL BUCALO,                       )           Protest Decision 2020 ESD 20

                                                                        )           Issued: September 18, 2020

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-029-090320-ME



Samuel Bucalo, a member of Local Union 100, 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 leadership of Local Union 100 used a membership list for an impermissible purpose, impermissibly barred some members from attending a local union meeting, and improperly placed members on withdrawal status to render them ineligible for nomination in the upcoming delegates and alternate delegates election.


Election Supervisor representative Dan Walsh investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Protestor Bucalo is a former officer of Local Union 100.  He was first elected in 2010.  His last term of office expired December 31, 2016, following a defeat in the local union officers election held that fall.  Shortly after assuming office in January 2011, Bucalo retired from UPS and began receiving a pension from that employer.  Following his tenure in elected office, Bucalo sought employment under the local union’s jurisdiction by registering on the union’s movie referral list, which functions to supply Teamsters for movie productions occurring in greater Cincinnati. 


Since leaving union office, Bucalo has worked at least three movie transportation jobs of short duration.  He has also filed several NLRB charges against the local union alleging that he was not referred to movie transportation jobs for which he was qualified and possessed requisite seniority; Bucalo stated that one charge resulted in a substantial back pay award to him from the local union. 


Despite holding a place on the local union’s movie referral list, Bucalo is regarded by the local union as a “retiree” and is coded as such in the TITAN dues payment system.  Bucalo has made several attempts to pay dues to the local union over the past three and a half years.  Many such payments have been accepted by the local union and then refunded to Bucalo.[1]  He has not requested to be placed on honorable withdrawal status.  At various points since Bucalo left office, the local union nonetheless has placed him on honorable withdrawal on its initiative.  As this decision issues, Bucalo’s TITAN record shows his dues are paid through August 2019.


Local Union 100 scheduled and conducted an in-person monthly membership meeting on September 3, 2020 at 7 p.m., the first time it conducted an in-person meeting of this type since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.  The local union made efforts to comply with public health orders and recommendations, including requiring facemasks and social distancing at the meeting, and reducing attendance in the local union hall well below fire code capacity.  Shortly before 5 p.m. that day, Bucalo arrived at the hall to pay his dues.  He told the office clerical he was doing so because a movie was to start production shortly and he wished to be in good standing.  Although he did not say so, Bucalo also sought to bring his membership status into good standing so he could attend and participate in the membership meeting in that status.  The clerical reported Bucalo’s presence and effort to pay dues to principal officer Bill Davis, who was in the building. Davis then spoke directly to Bucalo, telling him that his dues could not be accepted because he was not working and was on withdrawal status.  The offered dues payment was not accepted; Bucalo’s TITAN record continued to show him on honorable withdrawal.  A disagreement ensued between Bucalo and Davis, after which Bucalo left the hall.


Bucalo returned shortly before the scheduled meeting time and entered the lobby.  Business agent Dorian Stone and trustee Nick Prather were seated at a table with a local union membership list they were using to check membership status of persons seeking to enter the meeting.  They told Bucalo he could not attend the meeting because he was not a member in good standing.  Then ensued a debate over provisions of the local union bylaws governing meeting attendance.  Prather argued Article 22, Section (C)(2), which provides that members on honorable withdrawal “shall have only such rights to participate in the meetings and the affairs of the Local Union as shall be uniformly permitted by the Local Union Executive Board.”  Bucalo and at least one other member on withdrawal were barred from the membership meeting under this provision.  In response, Bucalo argued Article 22, Section (F), which provides that the union shall not “deprive individual members … [of] the right to attend membership meetings.”  The debate did not result in agreement.  Stone called the police.  Bucalo exited the building, spoke with the police, and left.


The membership meeting took place as scheduled.  The meeting did not concern the delegates and alternate delegates election, which will not occur for several months.


This protest followed.  Local Union 100 argues that Bucalo is ineligible to file a protest under the Rules because he is not a member in good standing.  We reject this defense because membership in good standing is not a prerequisite to filing a protest.  Article XIII, Section 1 grants “[a]ny member” the right to file a protest.  It does not qualify that status.  Definition 33 of the Rules defines “member” as “any person who has fulfilled the requirements of membership in any Local Union and who has neither voluntarily withdrawn from membership nor been expelled or suspended from membership after appropriate proceedings consistent with lawful provisions of the IBT Constitution and the by-laws of the Local Union.”  Bucalo satisfies this definition because he has fulfilled the requirements necessary to become a member and has not withdrawn of his own volition nor been expelled or suspended through constitutional process.  We make no determination as to whether he is a “member in good standing” (Definition 34) or a “ballot-qualified member” (Definition 4), as those determinations are unnecessary to our holding that Bucalo is eligible to file a protest.


Turning to the merits, Bucalo’s protest raises three issues.  First, he contends that the possession and use of the union membership list by Stone and Prather to check membership status of persons seeking to enter the meeting violated the Rules because it gave them access to membership information they or their political allies could use in the delegates and alternate delegates election that will occur in early 2021.  Investigation showed that the list was used for the limited purpose of checking membership status.  Local union officials told our investigator that the list was secured following this use and was not used or disseminated for use for any other purpose.  On these facts, we find no violation of Sections 2, 7, or 12 of Article VII.


Bucalo’s second contention is that the local union violated the Rules by barring him from the membership meeting.  Article VII, Section 5 grants members who are candidates the right to attend local union membership meetings.  Article II, Section 5 grants members the right to attend meetings at which candidates for local union delegates and alternate delegates are nominated.  The meeting at issue here was not a nominations meeting for the local union’s delegates or alternate delegates election, nor is Bucalo a candidate for such a position.  Accordingly, his right to attend the meeting, if he had one, was not enforceable under the Rules.  He is left to any enforcement action that may exist under the local union by-laws or IBT Constitution.


Bucalo’s final contention is that the local union has placed on honorable withdrawal status three stewards who ran on a slate that opposed the winners of the 2019 officers election.  He avers that this action was taken to render them ineligible for nomination in the delegates and alternate delegates election, should they decide to run.  A check of their TITAN records shows that they remain members in good standing and that the local union continues to pay their monthly dues, as established by local union bylaws for members who serve as stewards.


For these reasons, we DENY this 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


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 20









Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters


Edward Gleason


Patrick Szymanski


Will Bloom


Tom Geoghegan


Rob Colone


Barbara Harvey


Kevin Moore


F.C. “Chris” Silvera


Fred Zuckerman


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

Sam Bucalo


Teamsters Local Union 100


Dan Walsh


Jeffrey Ellison

[1] For example, monthly dues Bucalo paid in January, February, March, and April 2017 were refunded to him by the local union on May 3, 2017, reverting his paid-through date from May 2017 to December 2016.  On the same date the dues refund was entered into the TITAN system, the local union placed Bucalo on honorable withdrawal status.  Following that date, Bucalo and the local union engaged in a years-long back-and-forth over payment of his dues, with Bucalo paying dues, the local union accepting them and then issuing refund checks, and Bucalo returning the refund checks marked “void.”