February 17, 2007: When Hoffa’s handpicked candidate in Georgia Local 528 lost an election in December, he tried to get around the will of the membership by extending the local’s trusteeship. Fast legal action has stopped this trick and struck a blow for membership rights.
Federal law states that unions must have compelling reasons to keep locals in trusteeship past a period of 18 months. Local 528 members first threatened legal action when the IBT let the 18 months pass without notice of an election.
In response the IBT held an election in December. Hoffa waived eligibility requirements for the trustee, International Rep Doug Norris, but Norris and his slate narrowly lost the election.
The notice of election stated that the new officers would be installed on Jan. 1, but that date came and went. Hoffa’s trustee filed election protests (after he ran the election), and intended to stay in office meanwhile.
This little trick, if allowed to stand, could extend 18-month trusteeships to periods of years. Election protest decisions can be appealed to the General Executive Board. With no time limits set for GEB decisions, a final ruling could take months or years. Meanwhile, the trusteeship would drag on.
Under the threat of imminent legal action, the election protests were dropped and an agreement reached to install the new officers in February.
Congratulations to Local 528 members for helping to protect the rights of all Teamster members.