Charleston Local Defies Int’l Union, DOL Goes to Court to Force New Local Election

The Dep’t of Labor filed suit June 7 in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of S.C. against Int’l Longshoremen’s Ass’n Local 1422 in Charleston, S.C. DOL investigated the local’s Jan. 28, 2000 officer election and determined that the local violated ILA’s constitution by permitting members who fell within the category of individuals employed in supervisory positions to run for and hold the office of trustee. ILA has ordered Local 1422 to conduct a new election for the office of trustee, but Local 1422 failed to do so. DOL’s suit seeks to have the court order a new election under DOL supervision. [DOL 6/7/01]

In a related development, on Aug. 14, the court granted DOL’s motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Leonard Riley, Jr., and Charles Brave, winning candidates for trustee in Local 1422’s tainted Jan. 2000 election. The two bosses sought to enjoin ILA from requiring Local 1422 to conduct a new election. In addition to DOL’s June 7 suit, it intervened in the private civil action to protect the DOL’s exclusive jurisdiction over such federal labor law matters governed by the Labor Mgmt. Reporting & Disclosure Act of 1959. [DOL 8/14/01]

Court Orders Dallas Local to Rerun Tainted Election
On Apr. 26, U.S. Dist. Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn (N.D. Tex., Clinton) granted the Dep’t of Labor’s motion for summary judgment and ordered Local 311 of the Nat’l Postal Mail Handlers’ Union, a division of the Laborers’ Int’l Union of N. Am., to rerun their 1999 officer election under the supervision of DOL. DOL’s suit charged that the Dallas-based local improperly disqualified member Albertus Lewis, Jr., from running for local vice-president and Dallas Bulk Mail Center administrative vice president based on his failure to pay dues for single month, June 1998, during the 2-year period prior to nominations. However, DOL’s probe found that the member had earnings during the month in question and was subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the U.S. Postal Serv. and the local union which provided for dues check off. Lynn agreed with DOL’s position that, under the law, the failure of the U.S. Postal Serv. to deduct dues could not be used to declare the member ineligible to run for office. All of Lewis’ appeals to union bosses were denied. [DOL 4/26/01; Chao v. Local 311, Nat’l Postal Mail Handlers’ Union, No. 3:99-CV-2349-M, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5287, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 26, 2001)]