Officer's application to install the newly-elected officers prior to the election certification. In support of this application, the Election Officer contends that this exercise of authority is appropriate in order to enable the "IBT to install the full complement of newly elected officers," and to avoid a delay of many weeks before these officers may assume their duties. (Quindel Memo at 4-5, 7.)
In its submission in support of this application, the Government asserts that "installation prior to certification is consistent with the Consent Decree and will further the orderly transition of authority to the newly elected [IBT] officers." (Govt. Letter at 1.) Likewise, the IBT maintains that "it is important that the results of this democratic membership election be effected without further delay . . . [which will] end any uncertainty amongst members or employers about the status of the leadership of the IBT." (IBT Resp. at 3.) The IBT further claims that, by installing the new officers prior to certification, "the [IBT] membership can have the benefit of leadership and action by its new officers . . . and those officers . . . can meet the responsibilities, including those under the Consent Decree, and challenges facing the IBT." Id.
As an initial matter, this Court notes that the Consent Decree and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA"), 29 U.S.C. § 401 et seq., which was enacted for the purpose of assuring full and active participation by rank-and-file members in the democratic affairs of their union, American Fed'n of Musicians v. Wittstein, 379 U.S. 171, 182, 85 S. Ct. 300, 306, 13 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1964), both favor the speedy resolution of union elections. The Consent Decree provides that the Election Officer shall "supervise the balloting process and certify the election results for each of these elections as promptly as possible after balloting." (Consent Decree, P 12(D) (emphasis added).) Similarly, Section 482(c) of the LMRDA, which addresses elections supervised by the United States Department of Labor, provides that the Secretary of Labor shall "promptly certify to the Court names of the persons elected, and the Court shall thereupon enter an decree declaring such persons to be the officers of the labor organization." 29 U.S.C. § 482(c) (emphasis added).
Despite their unequivocal mandate regarding prompt election certifications, neither the Consent Decree nor the LMRDA speaks to the timing of the installation of newly-elected union officers in relation to the election certification. This is an issue of first impression for this Court with respect to the Consent Decree. Moreover, a survey of other courts which have considered the issue of whether to permit the installation of newly-elected officers prior to election certification further complicates matters by revealing inconsistent outcomes. Compare Donovan v. Local 299, Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 515 F. Supp. 1274 (E.D. Mich. 1986) (installation permitted prior to certification) with Donovan v. Millwrights Local 1914, 110 L.R.R.M. 3221, 94 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P13,624, No. 79-837, 1982 WL 2177 (D. Ariz. May 17, 1982) (installation after certification).
Despite the lack of clear authority addressing the timing of installation in relation to certification under the LMRDA, it is apparent that the LMRDA requires the prompt implementation of union election results. In Singleton v. Cory, 465 F. Supp. 14 (S.D.N.Y. 1978), for example, an incumbent union officer who had lost a reelection bid sought a preliminary injunction to keep him in office and to prevent the newly-elected challenger from taking office, pending the resolution of the incumbent's election challenges. Id. at 15. In denying the plaintiff incumbent's preliminary injunction, then-Judge (now Chief Judge) Griesa relied in part upon the legislative purpose behind Section 482(a) of the LMRDA. Id. at 21. Judge Griesa first observed that "the statute does appear to indicate a Congressional purpose, in a general way, to have the results of a labor union election carried out promptly without being delayed by a court proceeding. Id. Based upon that observation, and the fact that the union election, at the time of his decision, favored the defendant despite challenges, the defendant's "installation should not be delayed further pending the outcome of the present case." Id.
This Court finds that Singleton's construction of the legislative purpose of Section 482 of the LMRDA applies equally to the Consent Decree. As noted above, paragraph 12(D) of the Consent Decree provides that the Election Officer shall "supervise the balloting process and certify the election results for each of these elections as promptly as possible after balloting." (Consent Decree P 12(D).) Like that of the LMRDA, the clear purpose of this language is to direct the Election Officer to implement the results of the IBT's democratic process forthwith. Accordingly, inherent in the Election Officer's expansive oversight authority is the power to install newly elected IBT officers prior to certification. As a result, this Court finds that the instant application should be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Election Officer Application VII for an order permitting the installation of officers prior to certification is GRANTED.
Dated: New York, New York
March 11, 1997
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