May 7, 1998
The official overseeing the teamsters' union
election to fill out the term of its suspended president proposed
yesterday that the voting begin on Sept. 14.
The court-appointed election overseer, Michael
Cherkasky, suggested the schedule to Judge David N. Edelstein
of Federal District Court in Manhattan. If Judge Edelstein approves
the schedule, ballots will be mailed to the union's 1.4 million
members in July.
The election will see James P. Hoffa run
again for the office he narrowly lost last year to Ron Carey,
who has been barred from running again because of accusations
that he was involved in a scheme to siphon more than $850,000
in union money into his campaign coffers. In the rerun, Hoffa,
who is considered the favorite, is likely to face Ken Hall, who
is expected to be the candidate of the group that backed Carey.
Hall, 41, of Charleston, W.Va., played a
leading role in the union's successful strike against United Parcel
Service last summer.
The schedule proposed by Cherkasky calls
for delegates to the union's last convention to receive nominating
ballots on June 15. If 90 of those 1,800 delegates indicate that
they support Hall, he will be on the ballot.
The schedule calls for the nominating ballots
to be counted on June 29 and would allow the nominees to name
their slates for other positions on July 13. After that, an election
notice would be posted at all union work places on Aug. 27, as
well as being published in the teamsters' official magazine, the
Reuters news service reported. At the same time ballots would
Those ballots would be mailed on Sept. 14
for return by Oct. 14, when counting would begin.
Cherkasky ruled last week that Hoffa could
remain in the race despite having engaged in improprieties in
the 1996 campaign.
Cherkasky said that he was loath to disqualify
candidates because it limited union members' right to choose.
In another matter linked to the accusations
against the Carey campaign, The Associated Press reported that
the Congressman heading an investigation into accusations of labor
corruption yesterday urged the No. 2 official of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.
to resign for refusing to testify about the campaign.
The representative, Peter Hoekstra, Republican
of Michigan, told the official, Richard L. Trumka, in a letter
that he should step down for invoking his Fifth Amendment right
not to testify against himself in refusing to discuss with the
committee -- or even the federation's president, John Sweeney
-- accusations that the A.F.L.-C.I.O. had been used to launder
money for Carey's campaign.
"The Fifth Amendment does not mean that
the labor movement must see no evil or hear no evil merely because
an individual union official, to avoid giving testimony which
may send him to jail, refuses to answer questions before a public
body," Hoekstra said, citing an A.F.L.-C.I.O. ethics code.
"I encourage you to do what is best
for the entire labor movement and resign from your position as
secretary-treasurer or take a leave of absence until the cloud
surrounding your involvement in the illegalities associated with
the teamsters election dissipates," wrote Hoekstra, who heads
the House Education and the Workforce subcommittee on investigations.
Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company