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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Adams 2021 ESD 116


for the



IN RE: RYAN ADAMS,                              )           Protest Decision 2021 ESD 116

                                                                       )           Issued: May 20, 2021

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-139-050621-CA



Ryan Adams, member of Local Union 362, filed a post-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 3(a) of the Rules for the 2020-2021 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest alleged that three persons elected to Local Union 362’s delegation to the IBT convention should be disqualified from those positions.


Election Supervisor representative Jack Sullens investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


            Local Union 362 elected 8 delegates and 3 alternate delegates to the IBT convention.  The election occurred by white ballot, as the number of candidates nominated at the January 2021 nominations meetings did not exceed the number to be elected in each category.


            Protestor Adams filed the instant protest post-election, alleging that two elected delegates were ineligible to serve because each had retired after being elected and were no longer members.  He also alleged that a third member elected as alternate delegate was disqualified for that position because he served on the election committee at the time of his nomination.


            To sit as a delegate at the IBT convention, Article III, Section 6 of the IBT constitution requires each delegate to the convention to “present evidence establishing that he is a member in good standing and entitled to a seat in the Convention.”  The term “member in good standing” is defined as “a member who has paid his/her dues through the month prior to the month in question.”  Rules, definition 34.  Reading these two provisions together, once elected, delegates and alternate delegates must maintain their membership in good standing in the local union in order to serve in their elected positions.  For purposes of the IBT convention to be held in June 2021, this requires that each elected person remain a member of the local union he/she represents, with dues paid in full through the month prior to month in which the convention is held, i.e., May 2021.  Any elected delegate or alternate delegate who is not in good standing at the time the convention commences because of retirement, transfer, or withdrawal is rendered ineligible to serve.  However, an elected delegate is not required to remain employed at the craft under the local union’s jurisdiction, provided he/she is actively seeking employment and fulfills the dues obligation for membership.


            Investigation showed that Ken Krawchenko, an elected delegate, is actively employed as a local union business agent.  His dues are paid by check-off authorization and are current.  The protest’s allegation that he retired and is therefore no longer a member in good standing of Local Union 362 has no merit.


With respect to Harold Prouty, another elected delegate, investigation showed he left employment as a local union business agent in February 2021.  He remains a member in good standing, however, and is on the construction referral list maintained by the local union, seeking full-time employment at the craft.  He has paid the dues required for maintenance on the referral list and is current in that obligation.  Although temporarily unemployed while awaiting referral, Prouty remains a member in good standing of Local Union 362 and is not disqualified for service as an elected delegate.  Further, he is not subject to mandatory placement on honorable withdrawal status under Article XVIII, Section 6(a) of the IBT constitution because his period of unemployment has not exceeded 6 months.  The protest’s assertion that Prouty has severed ties with the local union by temporarily ceasing employment under the craft is without merit.


Finally, the protest alleged that Lucas Eichel-Fominov, an elected alternate delegate, was ineligible for election to that position because he served on the election committee appointed to administer the local union’s delegates and alternate delegates election.  Investigation showed that, although a member of the committee, Eichel-Fominov did not conduct the nominations meeting nor perform any official function during it.  Instead, two other committee members conducted the meeting, accepting nominations for delegate first, followed by those for alternate delegate.  As the period drew to a close for nomination of candidates for alternate delegate, and it appeared that the nominations would result in an uncontested election, Eichel-Fominov consented to having his name placed in nomination for alternate delegate.  It was, the nominations were closed, and all candidates – those for delegate as well as alternate delegate – were deemed elected for lack of opposition. 


On August 13, 2020, we published an Advisory Barring Candidates from Conducting Any Aspect of Delegate Elections.  The Advisory stated in part that “no local officer or member running as a delegate or alternate delegate candidate should conduct any part of the delegate or alternate delegate nomination or election process.”  The Advisory explained that “[p]rohibiting candidates from conducting any part of that election process is essential to having an election process that is fair and impartial, that treats all candidates equally, and avoids favoritism or the appearance of favoritism.”  While Eichel-Fominov was a member of the local union election committee, he did not “conduct any part” of the nominations meeting.  The committee’s first action with respect to the delegates and alternate delegates election was the nominations meeting held in January 2021, and that function was conducted by two other members of the committee.  On these facts, we find no violation of our Advisory.  The conflict-of-interest principles underlying our Advisory were not implicated by Eichel-Fominov’s acceptance of nomination while a member of the election committee but performing no committee function.  For these reasons, we conclude that Eichel-Fominov’s nomination was valid, and he was not disqualified under our Advisory. 


We would have a different view if Eichel-Fominov had conducted the nominations meeting.  In that circumstance, the potential would have been unacceptably high that a candidate functioning as the presiding official could influence the nominations presented or accepted to the disadvantage of other candidates, whether that influence was brought to bear innocently or with ill intent.  Further, if the nominations process resulted in a contested election – which it did not here – we would not tolerate the participation of a candidate in election administration because it would impermissibly inject the appearance of bias into what must be maintained as a fair process.  Because these scenarios were not presented, we find that Eichel-Fominov’s nomination was not improper.


An independent basis for denying this aspect of the protest is that it was untimely filed.  The nominations meeting at which Eichel-Fominov was nominated occurred January 6, 2021.  The notice of nominations meeting results was timely posted January 9, 2021.  The protest was not filed until May 6, 2021, nearly four months later.  Protestor Adams previously had protested the local union’s failure to post a notice of submission of the local union election plan.  That protest prompted the posting of the delinquent notice.  Adams, 2020 ESD 33 (November 25, 2020).  Adams told our investigator he obtained and reviewed the proposed plan, noting that Eichel-Fominov was a member of the election committee.  He further told our investigator that, although the notice of nominations meeting results was posted timely, he did not review it until early May 2021.  Article XIII, Section 2(b) requires that protests be filed within 2 working days “of the day when the protestor becomes aware or reasonably should have become aware of the action protested or such protests shall be waived.”  Especially given his interest in the delegates and alternate delegates election, as his previous protest demonstrated, Adams has presented no reasonable basis for failing to timely file the instant protest against the nomination of Eichel-Fominov.


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 116









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

Ryan Adams


Teamsters Local Union 362

Lucas Eichel-Fominov


Richard Prouty


Jack Sullens


Jeffrey Ellison