395 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
Dear Chairman and Election Committee Members;
The Executive Committee of MACOUT (a New York Carpenter Retirees advocacy group) had
delivered, on its' behalf, 8600+ applications for Retirees mail-in ballots to the Election
Committee at the District Council offices
Friday October 8,1 999.
We have been advised, through a letter sent to one of our committee members that these
applications have been rejected by the election committee. The grounds given were that the
request for a ballot must come from the member personally.
We hereby formally object to that decision. Our protest stems not from any belief that we
have the authority to act as representatives of all Retirees, but rather from the position
that we were forced to act because the Retirees were not being treated fairly.
The proposed election rules were submitted by Judge Conboy on March 1.9, 1999. The Final
Rules were approved by Judge Haight on June 22, 1999. Why, with all this time available,
were the applications for mail-in ballots sent out so late?
It is our understanding that in considering whether or not to accept the ballot requests
submitted by Macout, that the Election Committee had been told that the District Council
had mailed the ballot applications on October 1, 1999. That cannot be the case however,
because while some members living nearby received the mailing on the 8th and 9th of
October, many others living out of the area (and due, in part, to the Holiday weekend) did
not receive notice until the 12th, 13th, and 14th. Members who live outside the United
States probably did not receive the notice until after the deadline had passed.
The applications were sent via presorted First class mail, complete with barcodes. It does
not seem possible they were sent on October 1st. They could not have been mailed before
the 6th and in all likelihood they were mailed on the 7th. Given the October 15th
deadline, this is not only unfair, it is disrespectful to our Retired Brothers and
In addition to the lateness, while the print on one side of the application is quite large
and easily readable, the
reverse side to be filled out by the member is small, making it very difficult for older
members to read.
Further, the instructions were somewhat ambiguous. We spoke to several retirees who
thought ALL THREE criteria had to be met in order to qualify for a ballot.
Brothers, the Committee of MACOUT took the action it did because we believed and we still
do believe that the Retirees are in danger of being disenfranchised. If we breached any
protocol, we apologize. But we ask what POSSIBLE harm could there be in providing a
mail-in ballot to every Retiree whether or not an application is received?
Brothers, we are all Union members. Our focus should not be on blind adherence to some
arbitrary set of rules imposed upon us by others outside our Union, but rather on what is
fair and just for the members of our Brotherhood.
(Continued on page 7)