On August 31 U.S. Attorney David Kelley submitted revised Rules to federal judge Loretta Preska for approval, with four changes from the Proposed Rules issued in May. All four were proposed by TDU and submitted to the U.S.
Attorney by TDU counsel Barbara Harvey.
These improvements are:
• Candidates will now have the right to distribute campaign materials by email, under guidelines to be established by the Election Supervisor. This means that Accredited Candidates can send materials to Teamsters using email addresses held by the union.
• Campaign literature from candidates that appears in the Teamster magazine, in the “battle pages” that TDU originally proposed and won in 1991, will now also appear on the Teamster website.
• Members will not have to sign their full social security or social insurance number on petitions and other forms, but only the last four digits, to protect members’ privacy. This victory was announced earlier.
• Election protests can be filed by email, as well as by fax or regular mail.
TDU’s submission, made on June 2, 2005, contained other proposals as well. Most notably TDU called for a debate between the candidates for General President, to be recorded on a DVD and mailed to all Teamsters. Hoffa successfully defeated this positive proposal, which would certainly increase the percentage of members who vote.
On September 1, TDU counsel Barbara Harvey requested Judge Preska to allow time for TDU to consider whether to submit comments to the court about additional changes to the Rules that would help level the playing field and involve more members in the democratic process.
TDU is proud that we have won improvements which make our union more democratic for all members, especially the right of candidates to provide campaign information to members via email addresses held by the union. We have fought long and hard to win improvements in the Rules, and have successfully done so in each Teamster election.
We urge all Teamsters to get informed, get involved, and participate in the upcoming democratic process that will shape the future of our union.