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UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

July 16, 1992

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN

 EDELSTEIN, District Judge :

 This opinion emanates from the voluntary settlement in the action commenced by the plaintiff United States of America (the "Government") against the defendants International Brotherhood of Teamsters (the "IBT") and the IBT's General Executive Board (the "GEB") embodied in the voluntary consent order entered March 14, 1989 (the "Consent Decree"). The Consent Decree provides for three Court-appointed officials: the Independent Administrator to oversee the Consent Decree's remedial provisions, the Investigations Officer to bring charges against corrupt IBT members, and the Election Officer to oversee the electoral process leading up to and including the 1991 election for International Officers (collectively, the "Court Officers").

 This application arises from a protest filed under the rules for the IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (the "Election Rules"). See July 10, 1991 Opinion & Order, 742 F. Supp. 94 (S.D.N.Y. 1990), aff'd, 931 F.2d 177 (2d Cir. 1991). Consolidated Freightways Corporation of Delaware ("Consolidated") has applied to this Court to "enforce" the Independent Administrator's October 22, 1991 decision in In Re: Darrell R. Walker, 91 - Elec. App. - 204 (SA) ("the Independent Administrator's October 22, 1991 decision"). For the reasons stated below, Consolidated's application is denied.

 The Election Officer is empowered to supervise the implementation of the Consent Decree's electoral provisions, which have already culminated in the first-ever direct rank and file election of IBT International officers. See Consent Decree, P12(D); October 18, 1989 Opinion & Order, 723 F. Supp. 203, 206-07 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 931 F.2d 177 (2d Cir. 1991). Pursuant to his supervisory authority, the Election Officer promulgated the Election Rules, which were approved as modified by this Court and the Court of Appeals. July 10, 1991 Opinion & order, 742 F. Supp. 94 (S.D.N.Y. 1990), aff'd, 931 F.2d 177 (2d Cir. 1991). The Election Rules are the linchpin of the Consent Decree's efforts to cleanse the IBT of La Cosa Nostra's corrupt influences. United States v. IBT, 954 F.2d 801, 804 (2d Cir. 1992); October 18, 1989 Opinion & Order, 723 F. Supp. at 206-07.

 A. Election Rules Violations

 The Election Rules protect, inter alia, the rights of IBT members to participate in union election campaign activities, see Election Rules, Art. VIII, § 10(a), and enable the Election Officer to respond to violations of the Election Rules, or any other conduct preventing a fair, honest, and open election, with a wide range of remedial measures. See id. at Art. XI, § 2. The Election Rules provide a procedure for filing protests for violations of the Election Rules with the Election Officer and for appealing the Election Officer's decisions to the Independent Administrator. See id. at Art. XI, § 1. A decision by the Independent Administrator on an Election Rules protest "must be followed unless it is stayed or overturned by the Court." Id. at Art. XI, § 1(a)(8).

 B. Walker's Election Rules Protest

 This matter involves the Election Rules protest of Darrell Walker ("Walker"), a member of IBT Local 722 in LaSalle, Illinois. Walker is a shop steward who was elected as a delegate to the June 1991 IBT International Union Convention on a slate supporting Ron Carey for General President. Walker supported candidates and slates that were opposed by the incumbent leadership of Local 722. In the delegate election, Walker and his slate defeated the incumbent slate, which included John Jacobs ("Jacobs"), Local 722's Business Agent.

 During this time, Walker was employed by Consolidated as a truck driver. On April 5, 1991, Walker was involved in an accident while driving his tractor-trailer on Interstate 94 near Osseo, Wisconsin. On September 4, 1991, Consolidated ruled that the accident was preventable and discharged Walker.

 Walker filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement between Consolidated and IBT Local 722. The Joint Grievance Committee ("JGC") that heard Walker's claims denied his grievance. Jacobs represented Walker in the grievance proceedings before the JGC.

 In Walker's protest before the Election Officer, he claimed that Consolidated, Jacobs, and the JGC that heard his claim retaliated against him for conduct protected by the Election Rules. Specifically, Walker alleged that: (1) Consolidated fired him in retaliation for his political activity; (2) Jacobs failed to represent him properly in the grievance proceeding before the JGC because Walker had opposed him in the delegate election; and (3) the JGC that heard his grievance ruled against him in retaliation for his political views. The Election Officer found that Walker failed to prove his claims and denied his protest. Walker appealed the Election Officer's decision to the Independent ...


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