Legal Rights--> Section 105
your union in compliance with Section 105 of the LMRDA?
Unions covered by the Labor
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) are required to notify
members of their rights under the law. Section 105 of the LMRDA states:
"Every labor organization shall inform its members concerning the
provisions of this Act." AUD
has been working with union members to make this provision a reality.
This page reports on some of our progress.
to the Labor Department: Enforce section 105 for federal employees.
AUD has initiated
a petition for federal employees asking the Department of Labor to enforce
Section 105 of the LMRDA, requiring unions to notify members of their
rights under the LMRDA... SUCCESS!
-- The Department of Labor issued a new rule requiring Federal Employee
unions to notify members of their rights. See the text
of the rule. Congratulations to all who circulated and signed this
The text of the petition:
"Whereas public policy as embodied
in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act requires unions
to provide basic democratic rights to their members; and in that connection,
LMRDA section 105 requires unions to inform their members of the provisions
of the act, and
"Whereas a federal appeals
court has ruled that unions have a continuing responsibility to comply
with section 105, and
"Whereas the Civil Service
Reform Act affords the same general rights to members of unions of federal
government employee unions, and
"Whereas the U.S. Labor Department
is endowed with the authority and the responsibility for enforcing the
relevant section of the Civil Service Reform Act, and
"Whereas the Labor Department
has already promulgated regulations which, by analogy, incorporate virtually
all provisions of the LMRDA for application to unions of federal employees,
with the unexplained exception of section 105,
"Therefore the undersigned
petition the Labor Department to promptly take steps to issue a regulation
which, like section 105, requires unions of federal employees to inform
their members of the provisions of the act and which specifies measures
by which the Labor Department will enforce that section."
IBT member complaints
followed by 105 posting.
time ago, the Teamster who sent this letter to James Hoffa had asked him
to comply with LMRDA Section 105. He was told to await the union's new
website. Came the new site, but nothing there. And so, after consulting
AUD, he wrote again:
My name is Eric
A. King and I'm a 19-year member of Local 767 in Forest Hill, Tx...
Section 105 of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act requires
that labor unions inform their members of the provisions of that Bill...
Several other labor unions including the United Auto Workers and International
Association of Machinists put their LMRDA notices in a link located
on their respective home pages. (The Teamsters did have an outdated
DOL link to LMRDA rights on the old Legal Dept. Page, but that page
was never accessible through a direct link like most other departments
were.) It's pointless to have a "notice" on your site if you
can't link to it within the site. The new Teamsters site doesn't even
list Teamster departments, and I can't find an LMRDA notice anywhere.
Mr. Hoffa, I know you care about me and my fellow 1.4 million Teamsters.
Show that you care by following the law, and put the LMRDA notice on
your website as federal law requires you."
website now includes a notice (as of 4/13/05). Posting the notice
does not guarantee that the union officers will obey the law (see the
many articles on the struggle for democracy in the IBT on this website),
but it should help members who visit the Teamster site learn about their
legal rights as union members.
105 Compliance Scorecard:
When the LMRDA was first
adopted in 1959, a few unions --- very few --- took a limited one-time
step to comply. Forty years pass. An old generation of unionists is replaced
by a new one. Unions ignore the law. With one minor exception, there is
no compliance until September 2000 when two machinists are successful
in their federal lawsuit to compel their union to comply.
On this scoreboard, to be
updated from time to time, AUD will record the story of Section 105 compliance
--- or evasion. To get your own national or international union on the
list, you must begin by formally requesting it to comply. For further
information, contact AUD. We are currently
assisting members of a number of unions with Section 105 cases.
- MMP. Masters,
Mates, and Pilots: An exceptional case. Several years ago, when Arthur
Holdeman was MMP vice president for the Gulf, he reprinted the Act and
distributed copies to all licensed deck officers in his constituency
at his own expense. Some years later, even before the court's decision
in the IAM case, the MMP national office published a summary of the
Act in its newsletter.
- IAMAW. International
Association of Machinists: After losing a lawsuit in federal court,
the union agreed to permanently post a summary of the Act on its website,
to distribute a copy to new members, and to publish it in the IAM Journal
in the years 2000, 2004, and 2008.
- UAW. United Auto
Workers: In December 2002, seemingly on its own in initiative, it posted
the full text of the Act on its website with a prominent paragraph on
its home page directing readers to it. No publication or other distribution
of the summary, however.
- UA. United Association
of Plumbers and Pipefitters: Faced with a lawsuit filed by two members,
the UA agreed to publish a summary of the Act in its Journal in 2001,
2004, and 2008 and to distribute the summary to new members. When the
district court ruled that these actions constituted sufficient compliance,
attorney Arthur Fox appealed and asked the Federal Circuit Court to
go beyond the Machinist standard and require the UA to append the summary
at the rear of its constitution booklet as well as to post it on its
- IBEW. A member
writes, "After only one letter to International President Edwin
D. Hill we have [a link to] the text of the LMRDA on the IBEW website."
But, it's not obvious. You have to go to "links" then find
the 14th bullet point down "Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure
Act" -- no description of what it is about or why it might concern
members.. The link leads you to Cornell University Library's online
edition of the Act. No publication or other distribution of the easier-to-use
- HERE. Hotel Employees
and Restaurant Employees: In a February, 2002 letter to Arthur Fox,
HERE President John Wilhelm promised to publish the full text of the
Act in its magazine once every year in order to avoid a threatened lawsuit.
Members: has this promise been kept?
- SIU. Seafarers'
International Union: In response to a threatened lawsuit, SIU twice
published a summary of the Act as part of the President's "Know
Your Rights" column in the union newspaper. SIU's website also
includes the summary of the LMRDA. Members say new members are not provided
the summary and that it has not reappeared in the newspaper.
and Evasive Compliance:
- Ironworkers Union:
After being threatened with a lawsuit, it published the summary in the
June, 2001 issue of the Iron Worker magazine. Nothing More.
- UTU. United Transportation
Union: After being threatened with a lawsuit, it promised to abide by
the Machinist decision and promptly posted the summary on its website
and published it once in its magazine. However, it subsequently removed
the website notice, thereby casting doubt on its readiness to remain
in continuing compliance.
- UBCJ. United Brotherhood
of Carpenters: In an apparent effort to forestall a threatened lawsuit,
it printed a summary of the Act in an issue of its Journal on dark blue
paper which cannot be photocopied. Nothing more.
- NALC. National
Association of Letter Carriers: In response to a member's demand and
a threatened lawsuit, it published a summary of the Act in the February,
2002 Postal Record. Nothing more.
- IATSE. International
Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees: At its 2001 convention,
a group of delegates introduced a motion to require the union to post
a summary of the Act on its website. Motion defeated.
- NTEU. National
Treasury Employees Union: In rejecting a member's demand in 2001, NTEU
President Colleen Kelley asserted that because her union represented
government employees, it was exempt from any duty to inform its members
about their statutory, democratic protections.
- US DOL. United
States Department of Labor: it does not have authority to compel unions
to comply with Section 105, one reason unions have been able to ignore
their duty to inform members about their rights under the LMRDA for
the past 40-plus years. (A bill is pending in Congress to give the DOL
enforcement authority.) However, the DOL does have responsibility under
the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 for protecting the rights of federal
unionists, rights that parallel those in the LMRDA. And, for the past
25 years, the DOL has failed to compel federal unions (including NTEU)
to inform their members about their democratic rights. In the Spring
of 2002, AUD petitioned the DOL to promulgate a new rule that would
mimic Section 105 and require unions representing federal workers to
inform their members about their rights (see below). DOL has not responded
to the petition.
here to check your union's homepage.
here for link to the IAM home page (www.iamaw.org)
here for link to UDR article on the Thomas v. IAM case.
Other articles on
LMRDA Section 105:
employees can help enforce members' right to know
of CSRA rights for Federal employees: text of regulation
Still Subverting Union Democracy in 2005
Federal unions must let their members know
105 Update: Obeying union democracy law, belatedly
points in battle for democracy
Some unions hate to say, "you
have legal rights."
Court to IAM: Inform
members of their rights
Is your union in compliance with Section 105
of the LMRDA?
Text of LMRDA Section 105
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