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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Brown, 2021 ESD 114


for the



IN RE: STEVEN BROWN,                         )           Protest Decision 2021 ESD 114

                                                                        )           Issued: May 12, 2021

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-124-032521-MW



Steven Brown, member of Local Union 325, 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 principal officer Erik Calvert violated the Rules prohibiting use of union resources to support his candidacy.


Election Supervisor representative Joe Childers investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Local Union 325 elected 1 delegate and 1 alternate delegate to the IBT convention.  Two slates competed in the election:  the Calvert slate, comprised of Calvert and Daniel Bouchard; and the 325 Teamsters United slate, consisting of protestor Brown and Jeff Brinkmeyer.  Ballots were mailed March 23, 2021 and were counted April 16, 2021.


The protest arose from a post made to Local Union 325’s Facebook page on or about March 25, 2021.  The post, generated by the local union Facebook administrator, informed readers about a recent grievance settlement.  According to the post, business agents Calvert and Joe Adrian succeeded in reversing the discharge of a truck driver involved in a vehicular accident and gaining him reinstatement with no time off.  The post declared that “this has never been done before.  Great job!”


The Facebook page permitted comments to posts.  Several were made.  The first was from Andrew Drake, who wrote, “It’s disgraceful that you take credit for everything that you have or have not done in this case.  Meanwhile, not involving or informing the grievant or his Steward of any action taken by the local.  You are on a power trip…”  Jeremy Moreau added this comment: “Joe and Erik did nothing here[.  I]f you would like the actual facts ask me since Eric decided to post a member business all over Facebook trying to pat himself on the back for doing absolutely nothing…” 


Calvert, one of the business agents identified in the post, responded to these comments, writing, “Unfortunately no matter what Agents or the Executive Board do you same 3-5 guys will bash.  I doubt the members wanna read your hatred for your union over and over every time there is a post.  All we do is keep moral[e] high by notifying the membership…”[1]


This protest followed, making two allegations.  First, it alleged that Calvert posted his comment responding to the comments of Drake and Moreau during paid working hours.  Second, it alleged that Calvert’s comment constituted campaign activity because the Facebook name under which he commented was titled “Calvert Slate.”  Both allegations, according to the protestor, constituted impermissible use of union resources to campaign.


Shortly after the original post and the comments it generated were made, the local union’s Facebook page administrator removed them from the Facebook page.[2] 


Calvert admitted posting his comment.  He did so on what would normally be a workday for him, but he was off work on a paid sick day when he made the comment.  Accordingly, even if his comment constituted campaign activity – a finding we do not make – he would not have been prohibited from making it when he did because he was on paid time off within the meaning of Article VII, Section 12(a).


 Turning to the Facebook handle “Calvert Slate” from which he made the comment, Calvert stated he has several Facebook accounts, including Calvert Slate.  He created that page for a previous local union election, and he used it in the current local union delegate and alternate delegate election.  Calvert told our investigator he saw the comments Drake and Moreau made about the reinstated member while browsing Facebook from that page, and he replied to them.  He did not intend his reply to constitute campaigning.  Objectively, we conclude it was not campaigning.  The substance of Calvert’s comment responded to two negative comments posted by members about a grievance settlement; it did not refer to the election or any candidate in the election, and neither member to whose comment Calvert replied was a candidate in the election. 


The sole link to the election, a point pressed by the protestor, was the name of the page from which Calvert commented, “Calvert Slate.”  We find this page name too thin a reed to support the allegation that it rendered the comment that followed campaigning, where nothing in the text of the comment itself implicated the election. 


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

            2021 ESD 114









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

Steven Brown


Teamsters Local Union 325


Erik Calvert


Joe Childers


William C. Broberg


Jeffrey Ellison

[1] Jeff Brinkmeyer, a candidate for alternate delegate on the protestor’s slate, replied to Calvert’s comment.  Brinkmeyer wrote, “Wow, unfortunately that deal was done before you were involved.  You were a formality.”  Because Brinkmeyer’s comment came chronologically after Calvert’s comment, we conclude it is irrelevant to the determination of this protest.

[2] Each of the comments referenced in this decision stated more than what is quoted here.  However, Facebook’s display required the reader to click “See More” in order to view each comment in its entirety.  The protestor provided a screenshot of the original post and the truncated comments that included the “See More” verbiage.  He did not submit screenshots of the expanded comments.  When the local union Facebook administrator deleted the post, all the comments were irretrievably lost.  Accordingly, we are left examining the text of the truncated comments visible in the screenshot the protestor provided.