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The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) guarantee certain rights to union
members and imposes certain responsibilities on union officers. The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) enforces many
LMRDA provisions while other provisions, such as the bill of rights, may only be enforced by union members through private
suit in Federal court.
- Union Member Rights -
Bill of Rights - Union Members Have:
to participate in union activities
freedom of speech and assembly
voice in setting rates of dues, fees,
protection of the right to sue
safeguards against improper discipline
of Collective Bargaining Agreements: Union members and nonunion employees have the right to receive or inspect copies of collective
Reports: Unions are required to file an initial information report (Form LM-1), copies of
constitutions and bylaws, and an annual financial report (Form LM-2/3/4) with OLMS. Unions must make the reports available
to members and permit members to examine supporting records for just cause. The reports are public information and copies
are available from OLMS.
Officer Elections - Union Members Have The Right To:
nominate candidates for office
run for office
cast a secret ballot
protest the conduct of an election
Local union members have the right to an adequate procedure for the removal of an elected officer guilty of serious misconduct.
Trusteeships: Unions may only be placed in trusteeship by a parent body for the reasons specified in the LMRDA.
Prohibition Against Certain Discipline: A union or any of its officials may not fine, expel, or otherwise discipline a
member for exercising any LMRDA right.
Prohibition Against Violence: No one may use or threaten to use force or violence
to interfere with a union member in the exercise of LMRDA rights.
- Union Officer Responsibilities -
Safeguards: Union officers have a duty to manage the funds and property of the union solely for the benefit of the union and
its members in accordance with the union's constitution and bylaws. Union officers or employees who embezzle or steal union
funds or other assets commit a Federal crime punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.
Bonding: Union officers or
employees who handle union funds or property must be bonded to provide protection against losses if their union has property
and annual financial receipts which exceed $5,000.
Labor Organization Reports: Union Officers Must:
an initial information report (Form LM- 1) and annual financial reports (Forms LM-2/3/4) with OLMS.
Retain the records
necessary to verify the reports for at least five years.
Officer Reports: Union officers and employees must file
reports concerning any loans and benefits received from, or certain financial interests in, employers whose employees their
unions represent and businesses that deal with their unions.
Officer Elections: Unions Must
of officers of local unions by secret ballot at least every three years.
conduct regular elections in accordance
with their constitution and bylaws and preserve all records for one year.
mail a notice of election to every member
at least 15 days prior to the election.
comply with a candidate's request to distribute campaign material.
not use union funds or resources to promote any candidate (nor may employer funds or resources be used).
candidates to inspect the union's membership list once within 30 days prior to the election.
permit candidates to
have election observers.
Restrictions on Holding Office: A person convicted of certain crimes may not serve as a
union officer, employee, or other representative of a union for up to 13 years.
Loans: A union may not have outstanding
loans to any one officer or employee that in total exceeds $2,000 at any time.
Fines: A union may not pay the fine
of any officer or employee convicted of any willful violation of the LMRDA.
Information about OLMS, including key
personnel and telephone numbers, how to obtain LM reports, compliance assistance materials, the text of the LMDRA, and related
Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) documents, is also available by writing or calling:
The above is
only a summary of the LMRDA. Full text of the Act, which comprises Sections 401-531 of Title 29 of the United States Code,
may be found in many public libraries, or by writing the U. S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards,
200 Constitution Ave., NW, Room N-5616, Washington, DC 20210, or on the internet at www.dol.gov.
Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Washington, DC 20210