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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Eligibilty of Winters, 2020 ESD 25

OFFICE OF THE ELECTION SUPERVISOR

for the

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

 

IN RE: ELIGIBILITY OF                           )

ANTHONY WINTERS,                               )           Protest Decision 2020 ESD 25

                                                                        )           Issued: October 4, 2020

Local Union 222.                               )           OES Case No. E-032-092720-GP

____________________________________)

 

Anthony Winters, member of Local Union 222, 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 the Office of Election Supervisor improperly concluded that he is ineligible for nomination for delegate because he has failed to maintain 24 months of continuous good standing.

 

Election Supervisor representative Margaret Sheridan investigated this protest.

 

Findings of Fact and Analysis

 

Article VI, Section 1(a) of the Rules provides that “to be eligible to run for any Convention delegate, alternate delegate or International Officer position, one must:  (1) be a member in continuous good standing of the Local Union, with one’s dues paid to the Local Union for a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months prior to the month of nomination for said position with no interruptions in active membership due to suspensions, expulsions, withdrawals, transfers or failure to pay fines or assessments; (2) be employed at the craft within the jurisdiction of the Local Union for a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months prior to the month of nomination; and (3) be eligible to hold office if elected.”

 

The nominations meeting for Local Union 222’s delegates and alternate delegates election will be held January 21, 2021.  Therefore, the 24-month period during which candidates must be in continuous good standing in order to be eligible for nomination runs from January 2019 through December 2020.  We note that this period has not yet concluded.  

 

To assess whether Winters has maintained continuous good standing thus far in the eligibility period, we reviewed TITAN records for dues payments, interviewed Winters, and interviewed the TITAN operator for Local Union 222. 

 

Winters’ TITAN record shows that he is employed by UPS and paid his dues timely by check-off authorization for the months January through July 2019, the first seven months of the eligibility period.  Winters told our investigator that he sustained an injury while on vacation in late July or August 2019 and was off work injured for several months extending into 2020.  During this period, he received insurance benefits in the form of short-term and long-term disability compensation from UPS’s insurance provider. 

 

On September 13, 2019, Winters contacted the local union and informed the dues department that he wanted to convert from a check-off dues payer to a cash dues payer while he recuperated from injury.  He stated he was off work because of that injury, and he wanted to retain membership in good standing during his convalescence.  Continuing to pay dues while on injury leave was one of two alternatives Winters had under these circumstances.  The other was to go on honorable withdrawal status, which is available to members in good standing who are temporarily out of work.  Such status would have excused Winters’ obligation to pay dues, but it would have constituted an interruption in his continuous good standing and made him ineligible for nomination.  Accordingly, Winters chose to continue paying dues by converting to cash-payer status.  Consistent with this change, Winters went to the local union hall on September 18, 2019 and paid his dues for August, September, and October 2019. 

 

We investigated the late payment of the August 2019 dues to determine whether it constituted an interruption in Winters’ continuous good standing.  Winters was a check-off dues payer for the entirety of August.  A member on dues check-off retains his good standing even if his dues were remitted late or not at all by the employer, provided he had signed a check-off authorization and had sufficient earnings or paid leave in the month from which dues could have been deducted.  IBT Constitution, Article X, Section 5(c); Eligibility of John Gerow, et al., 2006 ESD 121 (March 2, 2006); Eligibility of Thiel, 2010 ESD 16 (July 26, 2010), appeal withdrawn, 10 EAM 4 (August 6, 2010); Eligibility of Montes, 2011 ESD 114 (February 16, 2011).  Investigation showed that Winters received vacation pay from UPS that was attributed to several days at the beginning of August.  No dues were deducted from the vacation pay.  Because the vacation pay Winters received was sufficient to fund his dues obligation for that month, he did not suffer an interruption in continuous good standing because of UPS’s failure to deduct and remit dues for that month.  Eligibility of McCoy, 2016 ESD 69 (January 15, 2016).

 

Where an employer fails to make a dues deduction from the earnings of a member who has signed a check-off authorization, the local union’s remedy is to notify the member of the unpaid dues and request that the member pay the dues directly to the local union within 30 days of notification.  IBT constitution, Article X, Section 5(c).  Although Local Union 222 never notified him of the delinquent dues, Winters’ payment of the August dues on September 18 met the requirements of this constitutional provision.  Accordingly, Winters maintained his continuous good standing for August 2019.[1]

 

On the same date Winters paid the August 2019 dues, he paid dues for September and October 2019 as well, maintaining his continuous good standing for those months.  On October 22, 2019, Winters paid his dues for November and December 2019.

 

Winters did not pay dues in January 2020, however.  He explained this failure was an oversight, attributable in part to the transition from short-term to long-term disability benefits.  Winters contacted the local union on February 25 to pay dues for January and February.  The dues department took his debit card information over the phone.  After the call ended, a local union employee ran the charge, but the transaction was denied.  Thereafter, a local union staff member attempted to reach Winters several times to inform him of the denied charge, but the phone was busy each time.  A connection eventually was made, and the dues for the two months were paid.  Winters presented evidence that the charge was debited from his checking account on February 29, 2020.

 

The failure to pay January 2020 dues timely constitutes an interruption in Winters’ continuous good standing and serves to make him ineligible for nomination at any nominations meeting occurring within 24 months of that month.  Winters presents two arguments for avoiding this conclusion. 

 

The first is that the late payment should be excused because the local union did not notify him that he was delinquent.  This argument has no merit and is rejected.  For a cash dues payer as Winters was at the time, dues must be paid by the last business day of the month in order to be timely paid for that month.  IBT constitution, Article X, Section 5(c).  Failure to do so renders the member not in good standing for that month, and good standing for that month cannot be restored by subsequent payment of the delinquent dues.  Applying these provisions, Winters’ dues did not become delinquent until the moment it became too late to pay them timely, which was the close of business on the last business day of January 2020.  Accordingly, no notice of delinquency from the local union to Winters would have permitted him to pay his January dues timely.

 

Winters’ second argument is that he did not miss the full amount of January dues of $92; rather, he was short $23.50.  This argument traces to an overage shown on Winters’ dues payment history equal to $67.50.  The overage occurred because, when Winters was paying dues by check-off, UPS deducted one-quarter of monthly dues in each of the first four weeks of the month, in order to spread the monthly dues over several weeks while still paying full dues by month-end.  The overage represented three-quarters of Winters’ monthly dues obligation from a time when his monthly dues were $90.  He contends that the amount he was late in January, therefore, was $23.50.  This argument is of no benefit to Winters.  Timely payment of full dues is required, and any amount less the taxed dues rate is not full dues. 

 

For the foregoing reasons, we DENY the protest and hold that Winters is ineligible for nomination as delegate or alternate delegate from Local Union 222 because he has failed to maintain continuous good standing for the full 24 months prior to the month in which the nominations meeting will be held.

 

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 25

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                     

     


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

 

Rob Colone

rmcolone@hotmail.com

 

Barbara Harvey

blmharvey@sbcglobal.net

 

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


Anthony Winters

tonytheupsguy@gmail.com

 

Local Union 222

Spencer Hogue, Secretary-Treasurer

s.hogue@teamsterslocal222.org

 

Dale Varney

Dvarney3860@gmail.com

 

Margaret Sheridan

ltsmms2020@gmail.com

 

Jim Devine

jdevine@ibtvote.org

 

Jeffrey Ellison

EllisonEsq@gmail.com


 

 

 



[1] Because Winters was a check-off dues payer through August 2019, another provision of Article X, Section 5(c) of the IBT constitution does not apply to this situation.  That provision states that “[p]ayment of such dues after their due date shall not restore good standing status for such month or months in computing the continuous good standing status required by Article II, Section 4 of this Constitution as a condition of eligibility for office.”  The dues delinquency for August was attributable to UPS’s failure to deduct and remit dues from Winters’ vacation pay for days in that month.