This website uses cookies.
Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Bucalo, 2021 ESD 115


for the



IN RE: SAM BUCALO,                              )           Protest Decision 2021 ESD 115

                                                                        )           Issued: May 13, 2021

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-132-040321-ME



Sam Bucalo, 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 made a variety of allegations said to violate the Rules against Local Union 100, its principal officer, and others.


Election Supervisor representative Dan Walsh investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


This is the third protest Bucalo has filed on the same issue.  In the protest we decided in Bucalo, 2020 ESD 20 (September 18, 2020), Bucalo asserted that the local union violated the Rules by barring him from attending the September 2020 general membership meeting and using the membership list to check good standing status.  We denied the protest, finding that Bucalo did not have a Rules-based right to attend the meeting. 


In Bucalo, 2021 ESD 39 (January 7, 2021), we denied a protest raising similar issues with respect to the January 2021 general membership meeting.  Dissatisfied with our decision, Bucalo appealed it to the Election Appeals Master, who affirmed the decision for the reasons we cited.  Bucalo, 2021 EAM 7 (January 21, 2021).


In the instant protest, Bucalo complained about the April 2021 general membership meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 7 p.m.  Bucalo attempted to attend this meeting but was barred because he was not a member in good standing.  He claimed 1) that barring him from the meeting violated the Rules because the meeting notice did not specify that good standing status would be required for entry, 2) that the local union membership list was used improperly to check membership status, 3) that union officials glared at him as he sat in his car in the parking lot after being told he would not be admitted to the meeting, 4) that pizza purchased for the meeting was eaten by candidates on the slate comprised of union officials, thus constituting union support for that slate, and 5) that a campaign rally for the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 scheduled for the local union parking lot on April 17 did not limit attendance to members in good standing, in contrast to the local union membership meeting.


None of Bucalo’s allegations proves a Rules violation.  First, the local union meeting, although scheduled for April 1, did not take place because of a quorum.  Investigation showed that 14 members in good standing appeared for the meeting, and local union bylaws require a minimum of 15 in order to convene the meeting.  Accordingly, any contention that the meeting violated the Rules is mooted because the meeting did not proceed.


Second, the membership list was used to check membership status in the same manner as detailed in ESD 20 and 39, where we found its use did not violate the Rules.  Investigation showed that the list used on April 1 was locked up immediately after the meeting was called off for lack of quorum and was not used by or disseminated to any candidate or slate for use in the delegates and alternate delegates election that was ongoing at the time.  Further, Bucalo’s contention that a convicted felon who had access to the list on April 1 does not state a Rules violation, where no evidence was presented that the person had a conviction for offenses disqualifying him from union employment or office under LMRDA Section 504, 29 USC §504.  The disqualifying offenses include conviction of a general felony (this set includes violent felonies, theft, and narcotics offenses), or conviction of a union-related felony, or violations of LMRDA Title II or III, or conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses; and passage of less than 13 years after the conviction or the end of imprisonment, whichever is later.  No evidence was presented that the person Bucalo identified met any of these disqualifying criteria.


Third, Bucalo’s allegation that certain local union officials glared at him in the parking lot after he was barred from the meeting does not state a Rules violation.  Bucalo told our investigator that he sat in his car after he was told he could not attend the meeting and phoned another person who was not in good standing to tell him that the good standing requirement was being enforced.    During the few minutes the phone call took, Bucalo said he noticed 2 to 3 officers exit the building and glare at him.  Bucalo said he could not identify the men because they were too far away, and he saw them in his rearview mirror only.  He asserted that he had the right under the Rules to “congregate or campaign” in the parking lot of the union hall, and the men’s action interfered with that right.  Article VII, Section 12(a) grants members “the right to distribute campaign literature (and otherwise to solicit support for a member’s candidacy) outside a meeting hall before, during and after a Union meeting….”  Bucalo was not engaged in such activity – he was not distributing campaign literature or otherwise soliciting support for a member’s candidacy.  Further, even if the men were “glaring” at Bucalo – a finding we do not make – such action did not meaningfully interfere with Bucalo’s right to campaign because he was not engaged in such activity.


Fourth, we reject Bucalo’s contention that pizza and beverages ordered for the membership meeting constituted impermissible union support for the slate of candidates made up of local union officials and employees.  The local union’s practice is to provide these refreshments for members attending its in-person membership meetings.  The union followed this practice for the April 1 meeting, which was not convened when less than a quorum appeared.  However, the pizza and beverages had already been delivered and could not be returned when the meeting was called off.  As with any in-person meeting at which refreshments are provided, the pizza and beverages at the April 1 event were for members in good standing.  Those who appeared at the meeting and partook of the refreshments did so as members in good standing, even if some of them also were candidates in the local union’s delegates and alternate delegates election.  To accept Bucalo’s contention that only members in good standing who are not candidates could eat the pizza would discriminate against candidates, in violation of the Rules.


Finally, we reject Bucalo’s argument that the local union’s limiting of attendance at the membership meeting to members in good standing is invalid because the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate had invited Teamsters regardless of membership status to an outdoor campaign event in the local union’s parking lot on a different date.  The local union’s decision about whom to admit to membership meetings is predicated on its bylaws, not the Rules, as we have made clear in ESD 20 and 39.  In contrast, the decision of the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate concerning the persons it invites to its campaign event is not governed by Local Union 100’s bylaws. 


For the foregoing 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 115









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