Feds clear Teamsters Local 399 of vote-tampering claims

The National Labor Relations Board has dismissed vote-tampering allegations by officials with Teamsters Local 399, the union representing location managers, casting directors, studio drivers and animal wranglers.

The labor relations board last year launched an investigation into claims that the union had violated federal labor law by conducting a “fraudulent membership ratification vote” for a new film and TV contract.

But in a Jan. 29 letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times, NLRB Regional Director Mori Rubin notified the union that the charge was dismissed because “there is insufficient evidence to establish a violation” of the law.

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“I’m pleased with the outcome,” said Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 399. “We knew this was the decision that we would get.”

The department’s investigation centered around a vote for a three-year contract that was overwhelmingly approved by union members last July.

Eugene Alford, a transportation coordinator who filed the complaint, was not immediately available for comment.

Alford had alleged that dozens of ballots collected by the union did not have the proper identification information to certify that the votes were valid. Dayan said at the time that the claims were “meritless” and were prompted by his political opponents.


“As we believed from the outset, we ran a fair ballots process for the ratification,” Dayan said Monday. “This validates the way we ran the process.”

The ruling, which can be appealed, is a vindication for Dayan, who was elected to head the union three years ago after a divisive contest to unseat Leo Reed, who ran Local 399 for nearly 25 years.

Dayan, a former business agent, had been fired from his job after he told his boss he wanted to run against Reed. Dayan had accused Reed of running the union like his personal fiefdom; he campaigned on bringing greater transparency to the organization.

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