Local 986 also asserts that the Election Officer erred by
relying upon unsworn statements of the Protestors. Local 986 Br.
at 22. Again, Local 986's argument is untenable. Even without
being placed under oath, the Protestors were under an obligation
to provide truthful information to the Election Officer. IBT
members who fail to cooperate with the Election Officer face
disciplinary action by the union, and members who provide false
statements to the Election Officer face possible criminal
sanctions. See 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The Protestors, therefore, had
every incentive to provide truthful information despite not being
placed under oath. Thus, Local 986's argument must be rejected.
IV. The Remedy Imposed
As previously mentioned, the Election Officer directed that
Local 986's officers, staff, and business agents "cease and
desist" from discriminating or retaliating against the
Protestors, from disseminating letters and memoranda critical of
the Protestors to the staff, and from referring to the Protestors
as "liars" (and other similar references) in connection with the
Protestors' testimony given to the IRB or the Election Officer.
EO Decision at 12. The Election Officer further ordered Riley to
expunge certain reprimands and related documents from the
Protestors' personnel files and to sign and post a notice at
Local 986 announcing the substance of the Election Officer's
findings and remedy. Id.
Local 986 argues that the imposed remedy was not supported by
the record and exceeded the Election Officer's authority. Local
986 Br. at 22. Local 986 asserts that the Election Officer's
remedy effectively grants "immunity" to the Protestors as to
future disciplinary action that may be necessary. Id. at 23.
Moreover, Local 986 contends that the Election Officer had no
authority to prohibit "rank and file members of Local 986 from
commenting on or criticizing the testimony of the Protestors that
was given to the IRB." Id.
This Court will not overturn the choice of remedy of the
Election Officer or Election Appeals Master unless it finds the
remedy "unwarranted in law or without justification in fact."
United States v. IBT ("Carey Disqualification"), 156 F.3d 354,
366 (2d Cir. 1998). Where the Election Officer uncovers abuses
that threaten the Election process, he is empowered to "take
whatever remedial action is appropriate" in order to protect the
integrity of and promote the IBT's democratic processes. Election
Rules, Art. XIV § 4.
Here, the Election Officer acted well within his discretion and
broad authority when he imposed a rational and calculated remedy
in response to the retaliatory conduct he found. Nothing in the
EO Decision supports Local 986's contention that the Protestors
will be immune from future disciplinary action should it be
appropriate. The Election Officer merely directed Local 986 to
"cease and desist" from taking disciplinary action in a
discriminatory manner and from retaliating against the
Protestors. EO Decision at 12. In addition, his order that Local
986 expunge certain documents from the Protestors' personnel
files is appropriate given his finding that Local 986 had taken
unwarranted disciplinary action against them.
Furthermore, the Election Officer's remedial order, contrary to
Local 986's suggestion, does not broadly prohibit comments by all
"members" of the local union. Instead, the Election Officer's
remedy applies only to the "officers, staff, and business agents"
of the local union. EO Decision at 12. The order prohibits those
individuals from "referring to any of the Protestors as liars,
saboteurs or any other similar language" only with respect to
the Protestors' testimony before the IRB and the Election
Officer. Id. This order is narrowly tailored to address the
specific abuses the Election Officer found that promoted an
atmosphere of retaliation and abuse within
the local union. Accordingly, the Election Appeals Master was
correct in finding that the imposed remedy was "well considered
and justified." EAM Decision at 4.
Finally, it has come to this Court's attention that further
clarification of the Election Officer's order is necessary to
ensure that the remedial measures the Election Officer prescribed
have their desired impact. This Court finds that, inter alia,
the Election Officer's "cease and desist" order requires that
Local 986 restore the Protestors' positions, work load, and
assignments to what they were prior to the Protestors'
cooperation with the Election Officer and the IRB. Furthermore,
the Election Officer's order, that a "Notice to all Members and
Staff of Local Union 986" detailing the Election Officer's
decision shall be posted "on all bulletin boards inside the
union's offices and halls," has not been complied with if the
only posted notice is on a single bulletin board in the
interoffice of the local union's office space away from public
view. The purpose of the Election Officer's order, to inform the
members and staff of Local 986's inappropriate retaliation
against the Protestors, cannot be achieved unless it is easily
accessible to those working at the local union. Therefore, this
Court urges Local 986 to fulfill all of its obligations pursuant
to the EO Decision and to pay heed that the Election Officer's
remedies shall be enforceable upon pain of contempt.
For the forgoing reasons, the decision of the Election Appeals
Master is Affirmed in all respects.
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