Local 5 Statement on Election of Union Officers
After lengthy consideration, Local 5 has signed off on a settlement agreement with the Department of Labor regarding the pending objections to our elections of union officers. Based on the facts, we could have continued to refuse settlement and likely prevailed in court or at least delayed finality for an additional six months or more. However, that path would have resulted in significant legal cost to the union and would have prolonged the uncertainty that has plagued our union for the last eighteen months.
After its thorough investigation of more than fifty objections, the DOL found no violations that were attributable to any Local 5 staff members. We ran a clean and proper election as we always do. The DOL did find one violation committed by staff of the International Union. While we continue to contend that the violation was minor and did not impact the outcome of the election, the government insists that a remedy must be provided. The only remedy available is an election supervised by the DOL.
The agreement calls for Local 5 to conduct a complete nomination and election process, including the petition requirement for President, Secretary-Treasurer and Recorder, pursuant to our Bylaws and the UFCW Constitution. This will be a new election, not a re-run. All candidates will be required to meet current membership eligibility requirements. This process will take place next year and will be completed by the end of June. Newly elected officers will serve a complete three-year term commencing December 1, 2014 and ending at the end of 2017. More complete details will be worked out at a special meeting conducted by the DOL in February.
While this outcome is unfortunate and arguably unfair, I strongly believe that moving forward in this manner is in the best interest of Local 5 and our members.
Ronald J. Lind