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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Shorts, 2021 ESD 58

OFFICE OF THE ELECTION SUPERVISOR

for the

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

 

IN RE: JOHN SHORTS,                             )           Protest Decision 2021 ESD 58

                                                                       )           Issued: February 19, 2021

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-053-011721-SO

____________________________________)

 

John Shorts, member of Local Union 767, 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 local union leadership failed intentionally to post notices required by the Rules.

 

Election Supervisor representatives Dolores Hall and Pat Dooner investigated this protest.

 

Findings of Fact and Analysis

 

Local Union 767 will elect nine delegates and five alternate delegates to the IBT convention.  The local union held its nominations meeting on January 9, 2021, at which two full slates of candidates were nominated.  The New Vision 767 for OZ slate (“New Vision”) includes the local union principal officer and some business agents.  The 767 Member Power 2021 slate (“767 Member Power”) includes protestor Shorts and other rank-and-file members.

 

Article II, Section 6(a) requires that the local union secretary-treasurer “shall post on all Union bulletin boards a list of all nominated candidates, by name (and slate affiliation, if known at the time).”  The posting must be made “[a]s soon as possible but in no event later than five (5) days following the nomination meeting.”

 

The OES provides a form to be used for posting the names and slate affiliations of candidates nominated at the nominations meeting.  To complete the form, the secretary-treasurer must fill in the local union number, the date the meeting was held, the numbers of delegate and alternate delegate candidates to be elected, and the name and slate affiliation of each candidate.  Where the election is contested, as it is in Local Union 767, the form must indicate that an election will be held.  Where the number of candidates exceeds the space provided on the form, as it did here, two copies of the form are to be used, with a full slate on each copy.  The OES form is straightforward and easy to complete. 

 

Notice of the nominations meeting results is important because it alerts the membership that the election will be contested and of the names and slate alignment of the candidates.  This information is the first communication to the membership to advise them to expect to receive ballots in the mail.  It is also the first information from the local union that campaign activity, including at worksite employee parking lots, can be expected in the period after the nomination meeting.  For this reason, the notice promotes participation in the election and an informed electorate.

 

The protest, filed January 17, 2021, alleged that local union secretary-treasurer Fernando Romo posted the notices with incomplete or misleading information and in a manner to advantage the New Vision slate.  Romo is not a candidate, but he is on the local union executive board with principal officer Reddell, who is a candidate on the New Vision slate.  Investigation substantiated the protest’s allegations.  It showed that the notices Romo prepared identified the slate affiliations for some candidates but not for others, even though the affiliations for all candidates were known at the time of the nominations meeting.  Further, the notices did not state the numbers of delegates and alternate delegates to be elected.  In addition, Romo had misspelled, then whited-out, then rewrote on the line below, the name of the last delegate candidate on the 767 Member Power slate, protestor Shorts’ slate.  This presentation gave the appearance that a candidate had dropped out of or been disqualified from the 767 Member Power slate.  Finally, the notices were not posted side-by-side on union bulletin boards.  Rather, the notice listing the candidates on the New Vision slate was posted at eye-level, a height at which the candidates’ names were easily readable.  In contrast, the notice listing the 767 Member Power candidates was posted high on bulletin boards, well above eye-level, and candidates’ names were difficult to read.   

 

Investigation further showed that at the time the nomination meeting results were posted the election plan summary, which must be maintained throughout the electoral period, had been removed from the bulletin boards.  Article II, Section 4(h)[1].  As the investigation continued, our representative found that the notice of election was not posted on any board, as required by Article II, Section 7(d)[2].  Romo told our investigator that he did not know the plan summary was to remain posted, so he had it removed when the notice of nominations meeting results was posted.  Romo further stated that he did not know the notice of election was to be posted on union bulletin boards.

 

The local union secretary-treasurer occupies an important role in local union administration of delegate and alternate delegate elections.  Romo must insure that required notices are prepared accurately and posted properly and that the postings remain for the periods required by the Rules.  Absent the filing of the protest in this case, Romo’s failings would have gone undetected and information about the progress of the delegate election—including an upcoming vote to select the delegates—would not have been properly disseminated.  These omissions are contrary to what the Rules require and a detriment to the goal of an informed electorate.

 

Through intervention by our representatives, the notices of nominations meeting results were completed correctly and were posted properly.  Further, the election plan summary was reposted, and the notice of election was posted.  On this basis, we deem this protest RESOLVED.  However, we caution Romo that he must familiarize himself with the requirements of the Rules and exercise the diligence they require.

 

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

            2021 ESD 58

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                     

     


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


John Shorts

Jshorts1@me.com

 

Teamsters Local Union 767

Andrew Reddell

Areddell@Local767.com

 

Fernando Romo

fromo@Local767.com

 

Dolores Hall

dhall@ibtvote.org

 

Patrick Dooner

patrickdooner@yahoo.com

 

Jeffrey Ellison

EllisonEsq@gmail.com


 

 

 



[1] The local union shall post the plan summary “and maintain such posting through the entire delegate nomination and election period.”

[2] “Each Local Union shall post the Notice of Election on all Union bulletin boards.”