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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

2020 EAM 5 (re: ESD 25)

ELECTION APPEALS MASTER

FOR THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS

 

 

IN RE: ELIGIBILITY OF

ANTHONY WINTERS,

 

            Local Union 222.

                                                 

2020 EAM 5

ISSUED: October 15, 2020

APPEAL OF ELECTION SUPERVISOR      
PROTEST DECISION 2020 ESD 25

OES CASE NO. E-032-092720-GP

 

            Protest Decision 2020 ESD 25 (ESD 25), which addresses a protest filed by Anthony Winters, a member of Local 222, was issued on October 4, 2020 (OES Case No. E-032-092720-GP).  The protest alleged that the Office of Election Supervisor (“OES”) improperly concluded that Mr. Winters was ineligible to run as a delegate because he failed to maintain 24 months of continuous good standing in compliance with the Rules for the 2020-2021 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (the “Rules”). 

On October 4th, the Election Supervisor denied Mr. Winters’ protest and determined that he was ineligible to run because he did not timely pay his dues during the 24 month eligibility period.  On October 6, 2020, Mr. Winters appealed the decision.  On October 8, 2020, by Notice of Hearing, the Election Appeals Master scheduled a telephonic hearing for October 13, 2020.  On October 12, 2020, Mr. Winters and the Election Supervisor submitted supplemental written arguments in support of their positions.  (See Winters October 12th Letter and OES October 12th Letter).

A telephonic hearing was held on October 13, 2020.  The following individuals attended the hearing:  Jeffrey J. Ellison, Esq., and Margaret Sheridan, on behalf of the Election Supervisor; and Dale Varney and Olivia Harr, on behalf of Anthony Winters. 

For the reasons discussed below, we AFFIRM the Election Supervisor’s determination.

 

Decision of the Election Appeals Master

            Mr. Winters is a member of Local 222 and intended to run for a Convention delegate position in the local’s upcoming election scheduled for January 21, 2021.  According to the Rules, in order to be eligible to run in that election Mr. Winters must “…be a member in continuous good standing of the Local Union, with one’s dues paid to the Local Union for a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months prior to the month of nomination for said positon with no interruptions in active membership due to suspensions, expulsions, withdrawals, transfers or failure to pay fines or assessments[.]”  See Article VI, Section (1)(a) of the Rules; See also Article II, Section 4(a)(1) and Article X, Section 5(c) of the IBT Constitution.   According to these requirements, Mr. Winters must be a member in continuous good standing – with all dues timely paid – from January 2019 through December 2020 to be eligible to run.[1] 

An examination of the TITAN records revealed that from January 2019 through August 2019, Mr. Winters paid dues in compliance with the eligibility requirements cited above by check-off authorization.  From September 2019 through February 2020, evidence showed that Mr. Winters converted to “cash pay” status and elected to submit his dues payments directly to the union. 

Based on receipts and financial records submitted by the parties, it is clear that Mr. Winters missed the deadline to fully pay his January 2020 dues before the last business day of the month as required.[2]   See IBT Const., Article X, Section (5)(c).  Accordingly, Mr. Winters is ineligible for nomination because he did not maintain continuous good standing for a period of 24 months.  See Eligibility of Higgs, E-001 (August 4, 1995); Eligibility of Allen, E-098 (March 7, 1996). 

Mr. Winters’ contention that Local 222 should have notified him of his delinquency is not applicable given the facts here.  A local is only required to notify members of late payments when they elect to pay their dues by check-off authorization.  See Article X, Section 5(c).  As discussed above, Mr. Winters was on “cash pay” in January 2020.  Additionally, the record does not reflect that Mr. Winters was misled or was otherwise told that his dues were fully paid for January 2020.   However, even if this was accurate, as a cash paying dues member this claim would not remedy the interruption in his eligibility status.  See Eligibility of McKay, 2011 ESD 65 (January 8, 2011); Eligibility of DeVilbliss, 2011 ESD 102 (February 7, 2011).

While we recognize that Mr. Winters attempted to comply with the Rules in good faith and to the best of his ability, he did not do so.  These are strict requirements that must be applied consistently in order to maintain the integrity of the elections process.  Exceptions, like the kind argued by Mr. Winters, would only serve to introduce confusion into the eligibility rules.  For the foregoing reasons, the decision of the Election Supervisor is AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED,


Hon. Barbara S. Jones (Ret.)

Election Appeals Master

 

DATED:         October 15, 2020

               



[1] The period for Mr. Winters’ eligibility has not yet concluded.

 

[2] Mr. Winters submitted his January 2020 dues payment on February 28, 2020.  It was due on January 31, 2020.