U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Division of Enforcement
Washington, DC 20210
(202) 693-0143 Fax: (202) 693-1343
June 8, 2011
This Statement of Reasons is in response to your October 18, 2010 complaint filed with
the United States Department of Labor alleging that violations of Title IV of the Labor-
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. §§
481 – 484, occurred in connection with the June 28, 2010 run-off election of union
officers held by Local Union 131 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
The Department of Labor conducted an investigation of each of your allegations. As a
result of the investigation, the Department concluded that no violation of the LMRDA
that may have affected the outcome of the June 28, 2010 run-off election occurred.
You alleged that the incumbent business manager of Local 131, used his
union cell phone and possibly the union’s telephone list to campaign. Section 401(g) of
the LMRDA prohibits the use of union or employer resources to promote the candidacy
of any person.
The Department’s investigation reviewed ’s union and personal records and
found no evidence that he used his union-paid cell phone, Local 131’s office phone, or
Local 131’s membership list to make campaign calls.
You also alleged that included his union email address, which is provided for
his use as Local 131’s business manager, on his campaign letters. The Department’s
investigation confirmed that included his union email address and phone
number on his campaign letter. However, the investigation did not indicate that this
information was used to promote his campaign. Section 402(c) of the LMRDA provides
that a union election will only be overturned where a violation of the Act may have
affected the outcome of the election. To the extent that s inclusion of his union
e-mail address and phone number on campaign material may have violated the
LMRDA, the investigation disclosed no evidence indicating that this information would
have influenced how any member voted, or otherwise had any effect on the outcome of
You alleged another violation of Section 401(g) of the LMRDA, that used his
position as business manager to access jobsites to campaign to members. The
Department’s investigation found that visited several job sites during the
election, but his visits were solely for union business. As the investigation showed that
Crabtree did not engage in any campaigning during the visits, there was no violation of
You alleged that the incumbent president, campaigned against you while
working for the union by stating that Local 131 would be merged with another local if
you were elected. The Department’s investigation did not corroborate your allegation
or find any evidence that campaigned during work hours. There was no violation
of Section 401(g) of the LMRDA.
You also alleged that a supervisor for the employer Moore Electrical Services told
workers to vote for the incumbent business manager, The Department’s
investigation revealed some evidence that that the supervisor reminded workers that it
was election day, but no evidence that he indicated how employees should vote. There
was no use of employer funds to promote any candidate and no violation of Section
401(g) of the LMRDA.
You further alleged that Crabtree campaigned within 50 feet of the polling site, which
violated the election rules. The Department’s investigation revealed that and
greeted members who came to vote, but neither candidate engaged in any
campaigning. There is no evidence of a violation of the LMRDA.
In addition to the aforementioned allegations, which were included in your written
protest to the union, the union also considered and resolved your later verbal protest
that ineligible members were allowed to vote in the June 28, 2010 election for business
manager/financial secretary. Section 401(e) of the LMRDA requires that elections be
conducted in accordance with a union’s constitution and bylaws. The IBEW
Constitution, Art. XV, Sec. 5, prohibits any member who is also an employer from
voting in any local election. The union determined that two employers were
improperly permitted to vote in the election. The Department’s investigation of the
voter eligibility list revealed that at least six ineligible employers voted in the June 28,
2010 election for business manager. As employers voted in the election in violation of the
IBEW Constitution, there was a violation of Section 401(e) of the LMRDA. However,
the violation had no effect on the outcome of the election because the incumbent
business manager Crabtree was elected by a margin of at least 34 votes.
For the reasons set forth above, the Department of Labor has concluded that no
violation of the LMRDA occurred that may have affected the outcome of the election.
Accordingly, the office has closed the file on this matter.
Chief, Division of Enforcement
Edwin D. Hill, International President
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
900 Seventh Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Michael Bearden, President
IBEW Local 131
3641 E. Cork Stree
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001
Beverly Dankowitz, Acting Associate Solicitor
Civil Rights and Labor-Management Division