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U.S. Department of Labor U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Union Officer Elections Under the Labor-Management Reporting.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Department of Labor U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Union Officer Elections Under the Labor-Management Reporting."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Department of Labor U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Union Officer Elections Under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA)

2 The OLMS Mission Administer the LMRDA Financial recordkeeping and reporting Ensuring union democracy Safeguarding union assets

3 Assets and Reporting LM reports (Title II) Bonding investigations (Title V) Audits (Titles II & V): – Recordkeeping – Reporting – Embezzlement

4 Union Democracy Investigate complaints: – Trusteeships (Title III) – Officer Elections (Title IV) Supervise elections when OLMS investigations find violations that may have affected outcome

5 LMRDA Title IV Section 401: – Sets minimum standards for regularly scheduled elections of officers, and – Incorporates unions constitutions as part of the standards. Section 402 covers procedures for filing election complaints with OLMS.

6 Frequency of Elections At Least … Local - Every 3 years Intermediate - Every 4 years National and International - Every 5 Years

7 Who Must Be Elected ? Officers named in union constitution Members of union executive board or similar governing body All who have policymaking or executive authority regardless of title Convention delegates who elect officers of a international or national union or intermediate body

8 Who Can Run for Office ? Any member in good standing Member in good standing usually means someone who is current in dues Subject to reasonable qualifications in the constitution and bylaws that are uniformly imposed Persons not barred from holding union office under Section 504 of the LMRDA

9 Examples of Officer Qualifications Minimum length of membership (not to exceed two years) Continuous good standing (not to exceed two years) Active membership status Working at the craft

10 More Examples: Officer Qualifications Completed apprenticeships Excluding employers Meeting attendance – What is the impact?

11 Nominations The nominations notice must reach all members within a reasonable time before nominations. Every union member must be given a reasonable opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choice.

12 Nomination Notice ***NOMINATIONS MEETING*** Nominations for: President, Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer (Candidates selected as President and Vice President will also serve as delegates to the International Union Convention held in St. Louis, Missouri in August 2005) When: November 18, 2004 at 7:00 pm Where: Local 1 Union Hall, 123 Main St., Gotham City How: Nominations will be taken from the floor at the meeting.

13 Examples of Notification Methods Mail to members homes Publish in union newspaper Post at work sites Combine with election notice – Must mail combined notice to members homes

14 Provisions for Accepting Nomination Determine nominee presence at meeting and if he or she accepts nomination. If formal nomination acceptance is required, an acceptance procedure with a reasonable deadline should be announced in advance. Any nominee unable to attend the nomination meeting should be allowed to submit a written acceptance.

15 Candidate Eligibility Letters

16 Every candidate must be given a reasonable opportunity to campaign.

17 Campaign Rules A union must distribute campaign literature for a bona fide candidate. Each candidate must be treated equally regarding distribution of literature. The union has an affirmative duty to comply with all reasonable requests to distribute campaign literature. The union may not censor the contents of campaign literature.

18 All Candidates Must Receive Equal Treatment Membership & employer lists Access to work sites

19 Do Not Use Office equipment and supplies Facilities (buildings, cars, etc.) Publications and correspondence Time (salaries, work hours) Cash Applies to direct and indirect expenditures Union or Employer Funds For Campaigning

20 Election Guarantees Members in good standing have the right to vote for candidate(s) of their choice. Elections for local union officers and delegates who elect officers must be conducted by secret ballot.

21 Election Notice Mailed to each member's home No later than 15 days before the election Election date, time and place Specific offices to be filled

22 Secret Ballot Election The act defines a secret ballot as...the expression by ballot, voting machine, or otherwise, but in no event by proxy, of a choice with respect to any election or vote…cast in such a manner that the person expressing such choice cannot be identified with the choice expressed.

23 Ballot Secrecy Voting booth Voting machine Double envelope mail ballot elections

24 Mail Ballot Put ballot in here Use 2 post office boxes: 1 for undelivered ballots 1 for voted ballots Secret Ballot U.S. Joe Smith 111 West Huron St. Auburn, IL Local 1 Election Committee P.O. Box 2 Gotham, IL

25 Holding Elections Provide adequate safeguards – Verify voter eligibility – Protect the ballots and voting process Count the votes of all members in good standing, unless challenged for legitimate reasons

26 Challenged Ballot

27 Observers Candidates observers allowed at polls and tally In mail ballot elections, observers allowed at: –Ballot mailing where envelopes are stuffed, labeled and mailed –Any visits to the post office to pick-up undeliverables and r ballot packages –Accompany election officials to pick up voted ballots, transport to tally, eligibility review

28 More Observer Requirements Observers must: Be given reasonable opportunities to observe, Not assist the election officials in conducting the election, and Not engage in partisan activities inside the polling place.

29 Tallying the Ballots Every vote on a valid ballot should be counted if the voters intent is clear. An entire ballot should not be voided unless it contains the voters name or other marks which identify the voter. Challenged ballots should be resolved early in the process. All ballots need to be accounted for, including those cast, unused, sample, challenged, spoiled and voided ballots.

30 Ballot Tally Certification

31 After the Election Announce and publish election results Retain election records for one year

32 Dear OLMS, I have an election complaint. Sincerely, I.M. Aggrieved LMRDA Title IV Section 401 sets election standards. Section 402 contains procedures for filing an election complaint with OLMS.

33 Protesting Elections Under Section 402 of the act, any member may file an election complaint with the Secretary of Labor. Prior to filing a complaint with the Secretary, the member must have either exhausted or attempted to exhaust the remedies available under the unions constitution and bylaws. Complaints to the Secretary should be in writing and filed with the nearest OLMS field office.

34 File a Complaint with OLMS Getting a final OR answer from the union on your protest Three (3) months after your initial union protest and no final response Within 1 Calendar Month of:

35 Include in Your Protest LMRDA violations Violations of constitution and bylaws Unreasonable application of election rules

36 OLMS Complaint Must be in writing Can fax, but give OLMS the original Attach copies of internal protest and union decisions Include your address and phone number Witnesses and other evidence

37 CSRA (Federal Unions) Complaints State the alleged violations Describe internal remedies taken Copy of the internal union protest Copy of the unions decision on your protest

38 OLMS Election Investigation Upon receipt of a valid election complaint, OLMS initiates an investigation. The investigation will include interviews with the complainant, union officials, and other witnesses. OLMS will also examine election records and other appropriate records as needed.

39 OLMS Election Investigation OLMS must determine: If violations occurred, and If violations may have affected the election outcome.

40 18 U.S.C If you provide false information to OLMS during an investigation you could be charged with a felony violation.

41 Six Most Common Complaints Use of union or employer funds, facilities, equipment, or supplies to support a candidate Non-uniform application of candidate eligibility requirements Failure to provide adequate safeguards to insure a fair election, including failure to safeguard ballots properly Denying eligible members the right to vote or permitting ineligible persons to vote Lack of secret ballot Failure to follow provisions of the unions constitution and bylaws

42 Violations Affecting the Election OLMS will seek an agreement with the union to voluntarily rerun the election under OLMS supervision.

43 If There Is No Agreement LMRDA: Suit in federal district court within 60 days of date complaint filed CSRA: Complaint with the ALJ

44 LMRDA Title IV Section 401 sets election standards. Section 402 contains procedures for filing a complaint with OLMS.

45 OLMS Election References LMRDA Electing Union Officers Conducting Local Union Officer Elections Checklist for Conducting Local Union Officer Elections Electing Local Union Officers by Mail Union Officer Elections: A Complainants Guide


47 OLMS Online

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