Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Division of Enforcement
Washington, DC 20210
(202) 693-0143 Fax: (202) 693-1343
June 9, 2011
This Statement of Reasons is in response to your complaint filed with the Department of
Labor on February 4, 2011, alleging that a violation of Title IV of the Labor-Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act (Act) occurred in connection with the election of
delegates conducted by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), Local 804 on
March 18, 2011.
The Department of Labor (Department) conducted an investigation of your allegations.
As a result of the investigation, the Department has concluded, with respect to the
specific allegations, that there was no violation of the Act. Following is an explanation
of this conclusion.
You alleged that the union improperly ruled you ineligible to run as a Local 804
delegate to the IBT Convention. Section 401(e) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. § 481(e), provides
that every member in good standing shall be eligible to be a candidate and to hold
office subject to reasonable qualifications uniformly imposed . Section 401(e)
recognizes that labor organizations may have a legal interest in prescribing standards
for candidacy and office holding. Article VI of the Rules for the 2010-2011 IBT
International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Election Rules) prescribes such
standards. Pursuant to Article VI of the Election Rules, a member must have been in
continuous good standing with dues paid to the local union for a period of twenty-four
consecutive months prior to the month of nominations to be eligible for candidacy.
Pursuant to Article X, section 5 of the IBT constitution, dues must be paid no later than
the last business day of the month in which they become due. Any member failing to
pay dues at that time loses good standing status for the month in which the dues are
delinquent. The IBT constitution provides that the payment of dues after their due date
will not restore good standing status for purposes of computing the twenty-four month
qualifying period for candidacy.
The Department’s investigation disclosed that nominations were conducted January 9,
2011, making the qualifying period for candidacy from January 2009 to December 2010.
Pertinent here, the investigation disclosed that you stopped working in September 2009
and returned to work on July 1, 2010. While you were not working, you did not timely
pay dues for the months of February and March 2010. In order to have remained in
continuous good standing during the qualifying period, you were required to pay the
February and March dues no later than the last business day of each respective month.
The investigation disclosed that you did not pay these dues until May 2010. As a result,
you lost your continuous good standing status, making you ineligible for candidacy.
The fact that you paid the delinquent dues in May 2010 did not restore the continuous
good standing status for purposes of computing the twenty-four month qualifying
period for candidacy. Inasmuch as you failed to meet the continuous good standing
requirement during the qualifying period, January 2009 to December 2010, for failure to
make punctual payment of the February and March 2010 dues, you were not eligible to
be a candidate in Local 804’s election for delegate to the IBT International convention.
The Act was not violated.
In addition, you alleged that the union was required to inform you of the dues
delinquencies. There is no such requirement in the Act. The IBT constitution requires
such notification only when a member is on dues check-off, has sufficient earnings from
which dues may be deducted, and there was a delay or a default in the employer’s
payment of such dues. You had no earnings for February 2010 and March 2010 from
which dues could have been deducted. Therefore, the union was not obligated to notify
you of the dues delinquencies.
You also contended that local officers, whose names you did not provide to the
Department, told you not to worry about your dues payments during your illness.
Even if true, local officers have no authority to waive an IBT Election Rule or
international constitutional provision. Further, although you stated that you were not
able to physically go to the union hall and pay your dues, such payments could have
been made by mail or made directly at the union hall by another person on your behalf.
Finally, you alleged that dues deductions should have been made from your disability
insurance checks. However, the voluntary dues authorization that you signed is
provided for in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and permits the employer to
deduct dues only from your earnings. The payments you received from the insurance
company for your disability do not constitute earnings and, thus, the employer was not
obligated or authorized to withhold dues from such payments, pursuant to the CBA.
The Act was not violated.
For the reasons set forth above, it is concluded that there was no violation of the Act
and I have closed the file on this matter.
Chief, Division of Enforcement
cc: Mr. James Hoffa, General President
25 Louisiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Mr. Timothy S. Sylvester, President
IBT Local 804
34-21 Review Avenue
Long Island City, New York 11101
Mr. Richard W. Mark, Election Supervisor
1801 K Street, NW, Suite 421L
Washington, DC 20006
Beverly Dankowitz, Acting Associate Solicitor for Civil Rights