September 19, 2008: It’s illegal to use union funds to promote a slate for union office. But it happens sometimes, and members have a right to file an election protest when it does.
Knowing that 2008 was an election year in their local, Local 439 officials in Stockton, Calif. used union funds to print T-shirts with the slogan, “Stronger Together.” Business agents were given boxes of T-shirts to distribute for free by Local 439 Secretary-Treasurer Sam Rosas.
This month, Rosas issued campaign T-shirts for his “Stronger Together Slate.”
Coincidence? Hardly, say Local 439 insiders who say that Rosas planned the T-shirts as a one-two campaign punch from the beginning.
An election protest has been filed citing the violation of using union funds and staff time for campaign purposes.