U.S. Department of Labor Sues Local 848 over Election

December 14, 2012: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has filed suit against the officers of Los Angeles Local 848 to overturn the election held one year ago, and hold a new election conducted by the DOL.

The DOL suit slams the leadership for holding a hearing on bogus charges attacking the challengers, the Walt Johnson Slate. The charges were illegal since they found Johnson's slate guilty for the content of its literature and website, in violation of the free speech provisions of federal labor law. The officers then posted an official notice on union bulletin boards during the election period attacking the challengers.

In addition, the incumbents are charged with allowing 33 ineligible votes to be counted by changing the rules at the last minute.

Incumbent Eric Tate and his slate narrowly won the election over the Walt Johnson Slate on December 1, 2011. The 6,500-member local mostly represents Teamsters in the Southern California delivery, grocery and warehousing industries.

Nikko Hashimoto, who ran on the Johnson slate, filed a complaint with the DOL after Joint Council 42, headed by Randy Cammack, claimed the protest had no merit.

Tate was appointed secretary treasurer of the local in 2009 when his disgraced predecessor, Jim Santangelo, resigned office after Teamsters for a Democratic Union published the story of a half-million dollar payout of union funds to cover sexual harassment charges. That report is available here.

The DOL complaint filed in federal court is available here. According to the court docket, a reply by Local 848's law firm is due by today.

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