News: IBEW Locals in 15 States and Provinces Have passed a Motion To Support The OMOV Proposal

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Author Topic: Protest of Election  (Read 3067 times)

Offline PSperanza

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Protest of Election
« on: July 22, 2011, 01:11:27 AM »
I filed the following with the IVP First District by email on July 20, 2011 and delivered a signed copy to the office today. The following is for your information.


July 20, 2011
Protest of Election
Mike Mahon
Local 353 Election Judge
Phil Flemming VP IBEW First District
Ed Hill
President IBEW
Dear Brother Mahon, Brother Flemming  and Brother Hill,
I wish to file a protest according to the IBEW Constitution, Local 353 Bylaws and the Local Union Election Guide under Protest of Election Page 11.
According to my letter dated June 14, 2011 I quote page 1 of the Local Union Election Guide that references Article XVI of the IBEW Constitution and Article III of our local union Bylaws. “All candidates must be treated equally and there can be no variation in you interpretation of the rules”
Under Campaigning on page 4. I quote, “ It is the duty of the union and it’s officers to comply with all reasonable requests of any candidate to distribute campaign literature to the membership at the candidate’s expense.” also “It is advised that that a local union inform all candidates in advance of the conditions under which distribution will be made and promptly advise them of any changes in those conditions” and “ A local union must also honor requests for distribution of literature to only a portion of the membership if such distribution is practicable. Each candidate may choose his/her own way of campaigning for election according to his /her own ingenuity and resources.”
I chose to address local 353 members by email and requested that a message be sent to whatever email lists were in existence and under the authority of the local union (Business Manager Steven Martin and Executive Board) I was denied this request and was told by Steven Martin that there were no email lists that could be made available to me for that purpose. I challenge this statement as I understand that there are several lists of member’s emails and this was confirmed by Steven Martin when he told me he was aware of such.
I also requested that a list of the unemployed members be provided to me for a mailout and was denied by the election judge Mike Mahon. I believe that this request was “practicable” and reasonable. I was not able to use large amounts of money to send mailouts and so decided to use my “ingenuity and resources”. My reasonable requests were not allowed and therefore greatly disadvantaged me in the election.
On page 5 of the Local Union Election Guide it states and I quote, “Since local unions have an affirmative duty to comply with all reasonable requests of any candidate to distribute campaign literature at the candidate’s expense, a local union rule refusing all such distributions would not be proper, even though applied in a non discriminatory fashion” I believe the decisions of the Election Judge and the Business Manager violated this quoted clause and also the intent of the rules laid out in the Local Union Election Guide and disadvantaged me as a candidate wishing to reach the local 353 membership and therefore the Election Judge failed to carry out the affirmative duty of the local union as per the Local Union Election Guide.
Election Judge Mike Mahon told me that he did not intent to respond to my letter sent June 14, 2011. Brother Mahon did in fact communicate a reply by way of email of June 16, 2011 at 2pm. Brother Mahon sent this email to me at a time when he could have handed me the letter in person because I was at the union hall greeting voters that day (Election Day). He should have understood that I would not be at home to receive his email and taken the opportunity to inform me in person as we had several occasions to speak. Sending me his response in this manner without alerting me gave me no opportunity to address it properly prior to the election. This tactic employed by Brother Mahon was unfair and therefore conflicts with the description of his duties according to the Local Union Election Guide (page 1) Allow me to include his response to me for your information and my letter to him and IBEW IVP Phil Flemming and IBEW IP Ed Hill dated June 14, 2011…
Re: Local 353 Bylaws and Issues re Local 353 Election
Election Judge Local 353 2011
To George Smith, Phil Flemming, Ed Hill, Perry Speranza
Brother Speranza
You have repeatedly asserted there is an official list of email addresses maintained by Local Union 353, and that you should be given access to said list. There is no list of email addresses maintained by Local 353.  You have been asked to provide proof such a list exists, to which your response has been "prove one doesn't exist"
I remind you, that you arrived to see me on Thursday June 9th at 2:00 pm to review the eligible voters list, at which point you inquired about the possibility of a mail out to a portion of the membership. After speaking with the office manager I was able to confirm a partial mailing was possible and outlined the terms under which a mailing could take place. You the expressed an interest in mailing out your literature but would determine the number the next day.
You arrived the next morning (Friday June 10, at 10:00 am) with your printed material but no envelopes. After you obtained envelopes your mailing was stuffed and addressed for mailing.
I have provided you with every opportunity to distribute your material in accordance with the Local Union Election Guide.
I repeat again, there is no list of email addresses under the administration of the local union office, and you have had every opportunity to distribute your materials, as been extended equally to all candidates in this election.
Michael Mahon
Election Judge

IBEW Local 353 Quoting Perry Speranza :
June 14, 2011
Dear Brothers,
After speaking with Local 353 Election Judge Mike Mahon today and being informed that he did not intend to respond to my letter, I want to take the opportunity to resend this letter and also address it directly to each of you in the hopes that the issue will be addressed immediately.
Mike Mahon
Local 353 Election Judge
George Smith/Local 353 Executive Board/Steven Martin Local 353 Business Manager
Phil Flemming First District IVP
Edwin D. Hill IP
It has come to my attention that an unapproved revised version of the Local 353 Bylaws is in existence and it is my intention to get clarification from the you which version of the local 353 bylaws you are using as a reference in your elected position as local 353 election judge. In our conversation on June 13, 2011 you did not provide me with clarification on this point. When you questioned the relevance of my inquiry to the election I attempted to point out how the new unapproved version of the local 353 bylaws could have an implication on how an election judge made decisions and started to give you an example by relating it to the issue we had prior to the election regarding whether a candidate for BM/FS/International Convention Delegate should be able to also run for the position of International Convention Delegate as per the IBEW Constitution. It was my contention that the Local Union Election Guide was neither a part of the IBEW Constitution or the local 353 Bylaws. At this time you warned me that I was to stop my discussion and that you had been personally told by IBEW President Ed Hill that if I persisted in wanting to discuss the issue that you should take me off the ballot. You stated to me that if I did not stop immediately you would need to comply with Ed Hill’s direction and remove me from the ballot.
The inserted clause in the improper unapproved version of the local 353 bylaws being circulated by Local 353 officers reads as follows…
(d) The local union shall comply with all reasonable requests of any bona fide candidate for local union office to distribute his/her campaign literature to the membership at the candidate’s expense. In handling all such requests, the local union shall comply with the IBEW local election guide.
In the context of this illegal version of the Local 353 Bylaws my concerns are justified and in fact while complying with the ruling I maintain my position that a candidate for either BM/FS/I.C.D. President/I.C.D. should have either been allowed to also run for the separate offices of I.C.D. and BM/FS or President as per the IBEW Constitution and if not as per Article 3. Section 10 then his votes for I.C.D. should be counted and if they total enough to place in the top 11 be declared elected I.C.D.
According to Article 16 Section 20.  No officer of a L.U., Railroad Council or System Council shall improperly use, or allow anyone to improperly use, the mailing list of members to communicate with them regarding union politics or candidates for union office. Any officer having such a list shall be held personally liable for its misuse.
Article 25 Section 1 (m) Willfully committing fraud in connection with voting for candidates for L.U. office, or for delegates to conventions.
I have requested that email address in possession of the local be made available to me so that I can send out an email communication to members re our local union elections about my candidacy as per the IBEW Constitution. You have denied me. Steven Martin stated that there were no email lists in existence and therefore could not be made available to me for such a purpose.
The following is the definition of fraud from Blacks law dictionary- a knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment.
Fraud is usually a tort but in some cases (especially when conduct is willful) it may be a crime.
As per our conversations you have confirmed that there are no email lists in existence for the membership and therefore not available to any candidate. If email lists do exist you have an affirmative duty to provide them for any candidate that requests so. Therefore I am attaching my campaign literature for the purpose of transmission my email to members of local 353 as soon as possible.
Allow me at this time to also include a request that all blank ballots and leftover ballots be counted verified by candidates and recorded on election day and be scrutinized by candidates. Also I request that the invoice from the printer contain information about how many ballots were printed should be made available for candidates.
In Brotherhood
Perry Speranza
Card# D-624320

Please understand that all candidates are not equal in the amount of money they can spend on an election campaign and therefore I was unable to do a complete membership mailout at a cost of about $6000.00 but chose to do a partial mailout. When I arrived at my scheduled time at the local union hall I was met with several delays when staff were not immediately available to work on the mailout and several equipment problems took place. The mailout was not ready to go till the very end of the day that left no time for dealing with the issues created by the office manager and the staff. Over the past weeks (after the post office lockout of CUPW union member employees) I have received hundreds of my literature mailout letters back in the mail without proper postage being applied by the local union office. This circumstance also compromises the fairness of the election and my ability to communicate with the members according to the Local Union Election Guide and the IBEW Constitution. Also many letters were returned to my return address because the members had moved. There is no practical way for member to determine whether the list that is being mailed out to is the same as the list that I was allowed to view and I have stated this in the past that the election judge should be able to provide a computer verification method. I suggested this to Election Judge Mike Mahon and he dismissed my suggestion and said it was impractical. In view of the issue I would suggest that it is necessary and reasonable.

Allow me to call to your attention Article 2 Section 10. And contend that I was not given a fair chance to be elected as a delegate to the IBEW Convention that is in violation of that Article and a very serious issue that affects the whole IBEW in my opinion.
Also please allow me to point out that Article XXV Section (m) allows that I may proceed with further charges upon officers and members regarding “Willfully committing fraud in connection with voting for candidates for L.U. or for delegates to conventions.”
I hope that IVP Flemming and IP Hill will use wisdom and authority to address the issues in this protest and allow for fair election for local union officers and delegates to the IBEW Convention according to the rules and intent of the Local Union Election Guide and the IBEW Constitution and local 353 Bylaws.

Thank you all for your attention.

In Brotherhood,
Perry Speranza
Local 353 Card #D-624320

« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 01:22:10 AM by PSperanza »
I love our local 353, SOLIDARITY and SUCCESS to the members in Alberta!

Offline PSperanza

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Re: Protest of Election
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 07:39:02 AM »
I emailed this protest to the parties addressed on July 20, 2011 at around 6:30 am. I approached Election judge Mike Mahon at the local 353 union meeting on July 21, 2011 and asked him if he had received my email and he said he had not checked his email in the last two days. I told him that I had a protest that addressed some issues I had and asked him if I could give it to him as the rules direct. He was reluctant to even look at it but when I took it out of my bag and handed it to him he took it, looked at the front page and said I will not accept this because I can immediately see by the date that it is "out of time". I stated to him that as per the rule in the local Union Election Guide a protest can be filed by any member or candidate within 30 days after the certification of the election. I was handed a letter by George Smith on June 21, 2011 dated June 21, 2011 that read as follows...

George Smith/Recording Secretary
IBEW353 Toronto
1377 Lawrence Ave. East
Toronto, Ontario
M3A 3P8

Dear Sir and Brother,

I hereby acknowledge that the IBEW Local Union 353 Election for Business Manger/Financial Secretary and Delegate to the International Convention is declared to Brother Steven martin and the election for Business manager/Financial Secretary is closed.


Mike Mahon
IBEW Local 353
Election Judge

cc Steven Martin
    Perry Speranza
    Bill Daniels 1st District

Later in the meeting Brother Mahon rose in New Business and declared that the election had no protest that had been made in proper time. I rose on a point of information and recited the clause in the Local Union Election Guide defining the procedure for a protest. The President Robert White said that he had a copy and was checking it as I spoke. He acknowledged that I was apparently correct. Mike Mahon came back to the microphone and stated that he had in fact declared the election certified on June 17, 2011 at 9:00 am.

I wonder then what the purpose of his letter dated June 21, 2011 was?

In any event the President correctly stated that it was now in the hands of I.O. (where have you heard that before. ::)

Although I had addressed IVP Flemming, IP Ed Hill, and Local 353 Recording Secretary George Smith as well as Mike Mahon  apparently none of these officers conferred with him about the matter. He said had no knowledge of this till I showed it to him the evening of July 20, 2011. He wasn't even curious to see what it contained and immediately refused to accept it as he apparently did a lightning fast calculation as his eyes barely glimpsed the front page before he quickly pushed it back to me. Like a hot potato.

Let's now wait while the extremely busy 1st District Office deals with the matter.

By the way, I'm still waiting to hear about my appeal regarding a very questionable decision by the local 353 Trial Board that resulted in my having to serve a penalty of "Not being allowed to speak at the next 3 meetings he attends". I was later denied entry to my local union meeting by acting president Robert White when he informed me that I had been banned by then president Barry Stevens for 12 meetings. I was not charged nor was there a trial but the ban was imposed for two meetings before the very busy Phil Flemming could find the time to defend my right to enter my local union meeting.

No word yet about the paperwork filed related to these issues or the charges filed against officers related to the April 2010 Lowrise Ratification Meeting and the subsequent local 353 meeting where minutes were improperly reported that did not reflect the actions taken at the Lowrise Meeting.

I was banned for protesting the improper action of the Barry Stevens when he denied my right to speak and refused a challenge to the chair and the members the right to support me and allowing me my right to speak.

Ed Hill reasonably should be aware of all these issues because he has been copied from the beginning by me and kept abreast as these disgraceful actions.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 06:52:21 PM by PSperanza »
I love our local 353, SOLIDARITY and SUCCESS to the members in Alberta!

Offline Jim Upper

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Re: Protest of Election
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 09:36:00 PM »
I take it you didn't get one of these then:
Your message

   To: Hill, Edwin D.
   Subject: RE: Meeting
   Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 8:53:02 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

 was deleted without being read on Monday, May 30, 2011 6:40:17 AM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).
Threats and lies are the work of the desperate people that attack me.  Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth~Albert Einstein  RIP

Offline PSperanza

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Re: Protest of Election
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2011, 12:04:49 PM »
Hundreds of my limited mailout to members returned with no postage attached by the local union.
I love our local 353, SOLIDARITY and SUCCESS to the members in Alberta!