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Office of Labor-Management Standards
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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)


U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Washington, DC 20210

 

May 22, 2009

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Dear ||| |||||:

This Statement of Reasons is in response to your complaint filed with the Department of Labor on December 18, 2008. In the complaint, you alleged that violations of Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (Act), 29 U.S.C. §§ 481-484, occurred in connection with the election of officers conducted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1505 (union), on June 17, 2008.

The Department of Labor conducted an investigation of your allegations. As a result of the investigation, the Department has concluded, with respect to each of your specific allegations, that there was no violation of the Act. Following is an explanation of that finding.

You alleged that the |||||| slate used the union hall to store their campaign signs and that a chief steward loaded those signs into the back of his truck while he was being paid by the employer. Section 401(g) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. § 481(g), prohibits use of union and employer funds to promote the candidacy of any person in an election. Thus, candidates may not use union facilities to assist them in campaigning unless such assistance is afforded to all candidates. Nor may members engage in campaign related activities while being paid by the employer. The investigation disclosed that the campaign signs that you are referring to were supportive of a candidate in a state senate election that had occurred earlier in the year. None of the signs were supportive of the incumbent slate or any other candidates in the challenged election. The investigation further disclosed that the steward removed the signs from the basement of the union hall and placed them in the back of his pick up truck after the incumbent business manager asked the steward to dispose of the signs. The Act was not violated.

Finally, you alleged that, on June 6, 2008, the incumbent business manager and the other executive board members received two hours of lost time payments from the union while they campaigned at a work facility. Section 401(g) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. § 481(g), prohibits use of union funds to promote the candidacy of any person in an election. Thus, candidates may not campaign while being paid by the union. The investigation disclosed that, although the incumbent business manager and other executive board members had received a stipend from the union for attending the June 6, 2008 executive board meeting, they were on personal time or unpaid leave from the employer when they campaigned at the employer facility. The Act was not violated.

For the reasons set forth above, it is concluded that no violation of the Act occurred. Therefore, I have closed the file on this matter.

Sincerely,

 

Patricia Fox
Acting Chief, Division of Enforcement

cc: Edwin D. Hill, International President
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
900 Seventh Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Betty LaPointe, President
IBEW Local 1505
2 Rainin Road
Woburn, Massachusetts 01801