Union Announces Election

Jan 16, 2009, 15:00 ET from AFSCME District Council 33

Note: The following release has been issued by AFSCME District Council 33. As per agreement with the Department of Labor, no other statements will be released and no other interviews on this matter will be granted.

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AFSCME District Council 33 President Pete Matthews has announced that the Union entered into an agreement today with the United States Department of Labor to hold a rerun election of officers, under the Department's supervision. The effect of the rerun election is to void the election conducted in May 2008. Following that election, the challengers filed a protest, which both the D.C. 33 Election Committee and the AFSCME International Judicial Panel heard and investigated. Both bodies denied the protest, which was then appealed to the U.S. Department of Labor, which conducted its own investigation.

The Union cooperated fully with the Department of Labor in its investigation. President Matthews decided to enter into the settlement agreement in order to avoid the tremendous expense and disruption which would be caused if there was lengthy litigation over the protest's allegations relating to the distribution of Union literature and a video during the election campaign. It is expected that such litigation could last well into 2010. The effects of protracted litigation over the election results, according to a letter being sent to the Union's members today, "would be extremely harmful to the Union's ability to present a united front to the City and represent you, our members, during this important time. It is the job of the Union's leadership to get for our members a fair contract from the City of Philadelphia in our upcoming contract negotiations."

President Matthews added, "The most important thing is that the Union must be able to work on all cylinders for the benefit of the members. . . . We are entering into important contract negotiations with the City which will determine the future benefits our members will be entitled to, and the members, frankly, deserve to have that done without these legal and election distractions hanging over anyone's head." President Matthews stated that while he does "not believe that we committed any violations, everyone at the Union wants to put these accusations behind us, and entering into this agreement now will put any questions anyone has about the election to rest."

By entering into the agreement, the Union is not admitting that it committed any violations of the law in connection with the election. Under the terms of the agreement, the rerun election will be completed before April 15, 2009.

SOURCE AFSCME District Council 33