Denver transit union TWU 1001 vote challenged in court by U.S. Labor secretary

Denver transit union TWU 1001 vote challenged in court by U.S. Labor secretary
By Monte Whaley
The Denver Post

RTD passengers wait for light rail and bus service at 16th and Stout in Denver. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file photo)
The U.S. secretary of labor wants the December 2013 election of officers for the Denver-basedTransit Union Local 1001 to be overturned because of election-law violations.

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Denver earlier this week, asking that a federal judge declare the election void and force a new election of officers.

The complaint alleges the union did not conduct the election by secret ballot, affecting the pick of top officials including the vice president and four chief stewards.

Specifically, the complaint says, union members were permitted to vote together at large tables, and they marked ballots while waiting in line to cast ballots at the election judge's table in plain view of the election judges.

Polling places also had one cardboard voting partition, which was inadequate to accommodate the large number of voters, and members were never instructed to use the cardboard as a partition for voting, according to the complaint.

Transit Union Local 1001 represents about 2,300 transit workers in the Denver area, including Regional Transportation District bus drivers, light-rail operators and mechanics, according to the union's website.

Bill Jones, attorney for the union, said Friday the organization has not been served with any complaint and had no comment.

The suit came after union member Allen Grove protested the Dec. 2, 2013, election.

Grove said Friday in a statement that leading officials in the union have not done a good job representing its members.

"It does not take 'much of a review' of the situation to discover this local union has failed its members," Grove said.

Monte Whaley: 720-929-0907, or