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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Teamster Power, 2020 ESD 17

OFFICE OF THE ELECTION SUPERVISOR

for the

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

 

IN RE: TEAMSTER POWER,                   )           Protest Decision 2020 ESD 17

                                                                        )           Issued: September 2, 2020

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-024-082520-NE

____________________________________)

 

Teamster Power , 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 O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 impermissibly used employer resources to support its campaign where a campaign sticker was affixed to an employer’s truck.

 

Election Supervisor representative Peter Marks investigated this protest.

 

Findings of Fact and Analysis

 

The protest alleged that an O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 campaign sticker was affixed to the rear of a fuel truck operated by Brewer Petroleum Service.  A photo submitted with the protest showed a round O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 sticker, in blue, yellow, and white, posted above the rear bumper of the truck.

 

Brewer Petroleum is an employer under the jurisdiction of Local Union 25.  Sean O’Brien, candidate for IBT General President on the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate, is principal officer of Local Union 25.  Our investigator contacted Local Union 25 and directed that the sticker – and any others that may be present on employer property at that employer – be removed.  Local Union 25 secretary-treasurer Tom Mari submitted photos and a video to our investigator on August 28 documenting that the only sticker found at Brewer had been removed.  A comparison of the photo submitted with the protest and the photos received from Mari demonstrate that the same truck was the subject of both photos.

 

As we held in Teamster Power, 2020 ESD 3 (July 3, 2020), posting of campaign material on employer property violates the Rules on two bases.  First, it uses employer resources to support a candidate.  Second, it gives the false impression that the employer endorses a particular candidate. 

 

In establishing the remedy for the violation found in Teamster Power, we noted that the stickers at issue there were removed after the protest was filed and before the decision issued.  We directed the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate to take steps to avert further violations of this type.  We wrote the following:

 

[S]hould we find, going forward, that O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021 supporters have impermissibly posted campaign stickers on employer or union property despite the warning this decision gives, the investigation will assess the steps O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021 took to inform supporters regarding the proper and improper use of campaign stickers.  A more comprehensive remedy for such future violation, possibly including an assessment of remedial costs, will depend on whether the campaign took reasonable steps to avert the violation.

 

Our investigator here sought information from O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 with respect to the steps the slate took to avert further violations of this type.  Evidence produced in response to this inquiry showed that counsel for the slate gave written advice to slate members on June 29 (before the decision in Teamster Power issued) that campaigners should advise employees not to place stickers on employer property or equipment.  This point was repeated in a slate conference call held after Teamster Power issued.  In the time since slate members received these communications, the instant protest involving an isolated sticker is the only information we have of further violation of the rule. 

 

            We conclude that O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 has taken reasonable steps to curb placement of campaign stickers on employer property and equipment.  We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these steps as the electoral period advances.

 

            For the reasons stated, we GRANT the protest.  As remedy, we adhere to the remedy ordered in Teamster Power and direct O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 to continue to implement steps reasonably necessary to prevent impermissible use of employer resources to campaign.  We order no further remedy for this violation.

 

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 17

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                     

     


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


Teamsters Local Union 25

Sobrien@teamsterslocal25.com

 

Tom Mari, Local Union 25

tmari@teamsterslocal25.com

 

Brewer Petroleum Service, Inc.

Fax: (781) 289-6984

 

Peter Marks

pmarks@ibtvote.org

 

Jeffrey Ellison

EllisonEsq@gmail.com