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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

O'Connor & Campos for Vice President Campaign, 2021 ESD 183


for the



IN RE: BILL O’CONNOR and                 )           Protest Decision 2021 ESD 183

CAMPOS FOR VICE PRESIDENT         )           Issued: December 6, 2021

CAMPAIGN,                                               )           OES Case No. P-182-100821-MW


Protestors.                                        )



Bill O’Connor, member of Local Union 705, and the Juan Campos for IBT Vice President campaign 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 Pace Bus violated the Rules by barring parking lot campaign activity at a facility in Elgin IL where Teamster members are employed, and that a Local Union 330 business agent colluded with the employer to deny access.


Election Supervisor representatives Bruce Boyens and Jeffrey Ellison investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Investigation showed that protestor O’Connor and another member of Local Union 705, Sherry Siebold, campaigned on behalf of the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate at Pace Bus on October 8, 2021.  Pace Bus employs 40 to 50 members at its location in Elgin.  The parking lot where visitors and members park is unfenced and access to it is uncontrolled.  O’Connor and Siebold arrived at approximately 4:45 a.m. to canvass members arriving for work.  They did so without interference from management until approximately 5:50 a.m.  At that point, an employee of Pace Bus directed them to leave the premises and, when they did not, he called Elgin police to the scene.


O’Connor told our investigator that he had campaigned at the same site previously during this election cycle, and he was aware that other supporters of the O'Brien-Zuckerman 2021 had campaigned there a third time.  On the other occasion O’Connor was present to campaign, management summoned the police to have the campaigners removed.  O’Connor stated that on that occasion, the police left without removing the campaigners, relying on the federal court order that permitted campaigners to have limited campaign access to employer parking lots where members park their vehicles.  The police on that occasion directed the campaigners to take down and stow a canopy they used in their campaign effort, but the campaigners otherwise were permitted to campaign.


When the Pace Bus employee approached the campaigners on October 8 to direct them to leave, O’Connor told him that he had the right to be present to campaign, showed him a copy of the court order authorizing the campaigning, and told him the police previously permitted the campaign activity to continue.  Despite this, the employee called the police.


The police report indicated that the call came in at 5:50 a.m.  A single scout car carrying 2 officers responded to the scene, and the officers spoke with employee who called the police; they were shortly joined by James Barsano, the facility manager.  According to the police report, Barsano told the police the campaigners were not authorized to be on the premises, and he wanted them removed.


The police report stated that the responding officers spoke with protestor O’Connor, who asserted his right to be present to inform members who are employed there of the upcoming election and to urge them to vote.  The report stated that O’Connor produced the court order to the officers, informed them that he intended to remain only until 7 a.m., and that he would not return for the remainder of the year.


The report stated that one of the responding officers spoke with a supervisor by radio, explained the situation, and “we came to an agreement to have the Union members stay on the property.  After speaking with James [Barsano] about not being able to legally force William [O’Connor] off the property based on the information officers had, James requested to speak with a supervisor.”  The sergeant then came to the location to confer.


Upon the supervisor’s arrival, the report recounted an effort by law enforcement to broker a compromise between Barsano and O’Connor, which was unsuccessful.  The sergeant attempted to verify the court order but could not do so.  Given the hour of the day, the officers also could not reach any Teamsters Union official to corroborate the campaign access right. 


The report stated that officers then asked the campaigners to leave the property, but they refused.  The report further stated that O’Connor then received a phone call from a person not identified to the officers.  At the conclusion of the call, O’Connor requested the report number and stated that the “union would file an injunction against Pace Bus Garage management.”  The campaigners then left the premises.


Phil Nure, the Local Union 330 business agent with responsibility for Pace Bus, told our investigator that Barsano called him before he was awake on the morning of October 8.  Nure did not hear the phone and did not answer it.  After rising, he listened to Barsano’s message and returned the call.  Barsano told Nure that Teamsters who were not from Local Union 330 were at Pace Bus, and he wanted to know what was going on.  Nure told our investigator that he phoned Barsano and told him he did not know the answer to Barsano’s question but would stop by on his way to work, a route that carried him past the Pace Bus facility.  Nure said he pulled into the parking lot and was approached by Barsano and the officers.  The officers asked him what was going on with the campaigners.  Nure replied that he had no idea.  Nure explained to our investigator that he was appointed business agent in March 2020, had not been through an election while serving in that capacity, and did not know the rules pertaining to the election, although he subsequently learned them.


Nure told our investigator that he was on-site for only a brief period, perhaps 5 minutes, when the campaigners and the police left the scene.  He denied telling the police the campaigners had no right to be present there or encouraging their removal.  Nothing in the police report contradicts his denial or even documents his presence.


Video less than 1 minute in length documents a portion of the exchange between the officers and the campaigners.  The audio is difficult to decipher.  Protestor O’Connor told our investigator that the video depicts his explanation to the officers that the election was not merely in Local Union 330 but was union-wide, and the court order permitted members of any local union to campaign at any worksite where Teamsters were employed, regardless of their respective local union memberships.  The video was shot from behind O’Connor, presumably by Siebold.  It shows O’Connor’s right shoulder and the back of his head, as well as 3 police personnel.  The video has no timestamp.  It appears to have been shot during twilight just before sunrise.  The astronomical almanac for Elgin IL for October 8 shows that sunrise was 6:59 a.m., and civil twilight commenced at 6:30 a.m.  We place this video in the half hour before sunrise, nearly 2 hours after the campaigners arrived on premises and about an hour after the police were called, and shortly before the time the report said O’Connor had planned to leave.


Following the filing of this protest, OES made efforts to resolve it promptly so as to permit campaigners to return to the Pace Bus parking lot, where campaigning is permitted by Article VII, Section 12(e) of the Rules and federal court order.  Those efforts were unavailing.  Pace Bus refused to acknowledge the validity of the court order.  In addition, it refused to permit our investigator to speak with Barsano or the person who called the police.


On the facts presented, we find that O’Connor and Siebold were able to campaign without interference from the time of their arrival at 4:45 a.m. to 5:50 a.m.  We do not regard this period as substantial compliance on the part of Pace Bus with its obligation under the Rules and the court order to permit campaigning in the parking lot where members park their vehicles.  From the time the police arrived shortly after 5:50 a.m. until O’Connor and Siebold left before 7 a.m., we find substantial interference with their campaign rights.


We evaluate this protest under Article XIII, Section 2(f)(2) of the Rules, which permits us to treat it as a post-election protest filed under Article XIII, Section 3.  Post-election protests “shall only be considered and remedied if the alleged violation may have affected the outcome of the election.”[1]  We note that all of the candidates the protestors supported and campaigned on behalf of won their contests.  Accordingly, we find the conduct Pace Bus representatives engaged in here to be mooted by the election results.


With respect to the allegation against business agent Nure, we find no violation of the Rules.  No evidence was presented that Nure interfered with the campaigners’ right to be present or that he encouraged, abetted, or colluded with Pace Bus representatives in interfering with the campaigners’ rights. 


For the foregoing reasons, we find the allegation against Pace Bus to be MOOT.  We DENY the allegation against Nure.


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 183



Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters


Edward Gleason


Patrick Szymanski


Will Bloom


Tom Geoghegan


Rob Colone


Barbara Harvey


Fred Zuckerman


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union


Scott Jenkins

Teamsters Local Union 330

Dominic Romanazzi


Phil Nure



Christopher Lyons

James Barsano


Joe Childers


Bill Broberg


Bruce Boyens


Jeffrey Ellison

[1] Protests alleging improper threats, coercion, intimidation, violence, and retaliation are considered regardless of whether the conduct affected the outcome of the election.