U.S. DOL Civil LMRDA Enforcement Actions

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On July 9, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, a Stipulation of Settlement and Order was entered to resolve the Department’s lawsuit against the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1408 (located in Jacksonville, Fla.).  The Stipulation of Settlement and Order provides that the Department will supervise new nominations and a new manual ballot election for the Local 1408 offices of president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary treasurer, business agent, and five executive board members, no later than December 31, 2019.  The law suit sought to set aside the union’s December 11, 2017, election after the Department’s investigation concluded that the union failed to have a reasonable candidate qualification requirement when the meeting attendance requirement contained no excuse provision and disqualified 93% of the membership from running for union office.  The settlement follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On June 17, 2019, in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, the Department filed suit against American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 230 (located in Manchester, N.H.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s March 2, 2019 election of the offices of president, executive vice-president, secretary-treasurer, clerk craft director, maintenance craft director, motor vehicle craft director, Nashua logistics and distribution center director, area business agent A, area business agent B, area business agent C, human resources director, and legislative director.  The complaint alleges that the union violated section 401(e) of the LMRDA when it denied members a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates by imposing an unreasonable candidacy qualification that had a restrictive effect on union democracy and was unduly burdensome.  The complaint also alleges that the union further violated section 401(e) when it denied members a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates by failing to provide a nominations notice reasonably calculated to inform all members of the offices to be filled in the election, as well as the time, place, and form for submitting nominations.  Finally, the complaint alleges that the union denied members a reasonable opportunity to vote by failing to mail an election notice to all members at their last known home address not less than 15 days prior to the election.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On April 18, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the Department filed suit against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), located in San Francisco, California.  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s September 6, 2018 election of the offices of president, vice president-mainland, secretary-treasurer, and international executive board-Panama.  The complaint alleges that ILWU violated section 401(e) of the LMRDA by denying its Panama Division members the opportunity to vote when ballots were not mailed in a manner that enabled each member to receive his or her ballot, mark the ballot, and return it by the ballot deadline.  The investigation found that ILWU denied members a reasonable opportunity to vote when the union learned that ballots from 1,078 eligible dockworkers union members had been returned in bulk, and failed to take reasonable steps in response to the situation, ultimately determining that none of the 1,078 ballots could be counted.  The complaint also alleges that ILWU violated section 401(c) by failing to provide its Panama Division members other safeguards to ensure a fair election by failing to provide adequate voting instructions at the outset of the election and throughout the voting period.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office.

On March 7, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, a Stipulation of Settlement and Order was entered to resolve the Department’s lawsuit against the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1940 (located in Lewistown, Pa.).  The Stipulation of Settlement and Order provides that the Department will supervise new nominations and a new manual ballot election for the Local 1940 offices of president, vice-president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer, inside guard, outside guard, guide, three trustees, and nine unit presidents and a run-off election, if necessary, no later than July 31, 2019.  The lawsuit sought to set aside the union’s April 23, 2018, election after the Department’s investigation concluded that the union failed to have a reasonable candidate qualification requirement when the union required candidates to have attended seven membership meetings of the local for the two year period prior to the election.  The meeting attendance requirement resulted in 98% of the membership being ineligible to be a candidate and hold office.  The settlement follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On November 5, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Department filed suit against the United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 1940 (located in Lewistown, Pa.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s April 23, 2018 regular election of officers.  The complaint alleges that the union violated section 401(e) of the LMRDA by failing to have a reasonable candidate qualification requirement when the union required candidates to have attended seven membership meetings of the local for the two year period prior to the election.  The meeting attendance requirement resulted in 98% of the membership being ineligible to be a candidate and hold office.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On September 28, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, the Department filed suit against the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 72 (located in Cleveland, Ohio).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s April 29, 2018 regular election of officers.  The complaint alleges that the union denied members the right to vote when it failed to make reasonable efforts to update the membership mailing list, obtain better addresses for undelivered ballots, respond timely to member requests for replacement ballots, and count ballots from members missing secret ballot envelopes.  The union also failed to maintain adequate safeguards when it provided inconsistent and inadequate notice regarding deadlines and the method of returning ballots.  Lastly, the union failed to elect by secret ballot vote when ballot numbers could be matched to an outer envelope and a voter list was maintained linking the ballot numbers to members.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.

On July 25, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the Department filed suit against the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1408 (located in Jacksonville, Fla.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s December 11, 2017 regular election of officers. The complaint alleges that Local 1408 violated section 401(e) of the LMRDA by failing to have a reasonable candidate qualification requirement when the union required candidates to have attended eight membership meetings of the Local for at least two years prior to nomination.  The constitution and bylaws contained no excuse provision for the eight-meeting requirement; the requirement resulted in 92.8% of the membership being ineligible to run for office.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On June 18, 2018, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the Department filed suit against National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 19 (located in New Haven, Conn.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the local’s December 20, 2017 election for the offices of president and two trustees.  The complaint alleges that the local failed to provide adequate security for voted ballots that were initially returned to a post office box that did not belong to the local and then left in an open bin accessible by Branch 19 members.  The union also allowed two stewards to campaign to members who were working.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On June 14, 2018, in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, the Department filed suit against the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7040 (located in Phoenix, Ariz.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s November 15, 2017 primary election for the offices of president, executive vice president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and area representative 1 and the December 15, 2017 runoff election for the offices of president and executive vice president.  The complaint alleges that Local 7040 violated section 401(e) of the LMRDA by failing to obtain updated addresses for undeliverable ballot packages and by failing to re-mail undeliverable ballot packages to members, even though forwarding addresses were provided by the U.S. Postal Service.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office

On May 29, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, the Department filed suit against the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 9003 (located in Burbank, Cali.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s October 27, 2017 election of president, executive vice president, secretary treasurer, vice president – AT&T, vice president – Verizon, two executive board members – Verizon, and five executive board members – AT&T.  The complaint alleges that Local 9003 violated section 401(e) of the LMRDA by failing to provide a nominations notice reasonably calculated to inform all members of the offices to be filled in the election, as well as the time, place, and form for submitting nominations.  The investigation found that the nominations notice was not posted at many work locations and few members were aware that the nominations notice was published on the union’s website.  In addition, the nominations notice was deficient in that it did not identify the offices to be filled in the election and did not inform members of all forms for submitting and accepting nominations.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

On May 18, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the Department filed suit against International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 41 (located in Kansas City, Missouri).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the local’s November 16, 2017 election for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and three Trustees.  The complaint alleges that the local used a ballot return envelope with the barcode on the back of the envelope, which delayed all the voted ballots mailed to the union and caused an unknown number of voted ballots to be returned to the member’s address.  Local 41 also left a number of voted ballots uncounted during the ballot tally because some members attempted to correct the envelope’s design flaw by crossing out the return name and address.  In addition, the complaint alleges that Local 41 allowed a member to campaign on behalf of incumbent officers on the local’s official Facebook webpage.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On April 27, 2018, in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston), the Department filed suit against the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 369, located in Braintree, Mass.  The suit seeks to nullify the union’s October 17, 2017 election of union officers for the offices of Business Agent District 2, four (4) Executive Board Vice Presidents (1, 7, 15, and 18), and the fifth Trustee-at-Large, and seeks a new election for these officer positions under the supervision of OLMS.  The complaint alleges that the union denied members the right to vote in the election when a group of members were not mailed ballots.  Additionally, as there were 50 different ballot types utilized in the election, the complaint alleges that various groups received the improper ballot in the mail.  Finally, the suit alleges that one member cast two ballots in the election while another’s was not counted for an unknown reason.  The filing of the suit follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On April 9, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, the Department filed suit against the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Local 286, located in Auburn, Wash.  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s August 9, 2017 election of union officers for the offices of president, vice  president, treasurer, business manager-financial secretary, recording-corresponding secretary, executive board district representatives (seven positions), executive board member at-large, and trustees (three positions) and seeks a new election for these officer positions under OLMS supervision.  The complaint alleges that the union denied members a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates of their choice by posting the nomination-election notice in the members-only section of the local website, where only 700 of the 3,310 members had access.  A second nomination-election notice was mailed to members, but lacked sufficient detail when the notice did not specify: that it was a notice of nominations, the officer positions to be filled, the proper method of making nominations, or the place for submitting nominations.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office.

On March 30, 2018, in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, the Department filed suit against Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400, located in Portsmouth, N.H.  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s October 4, 2017 election by acclamation for president, executive vice president, recording secretary, treasurer, and four district vice president positions and seeks a new election for these officer positions under OLMS supervision.  The complaint alleges that the union denied members a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates of their choice by restricting nominations to those made by self-obtained petition, a form of self-nomination.  The complaint further alleges that the union failed to uniformly apply the self-obtained petition requirement when it disqualified four otherwise eligible candidates for failing to submit petitions that were self-obtained.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On January 17, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Department filed suit against Transportation Workers Union (TWU) Local 101 (located in Brooklyn, N.Y.).  The lawsuit seeks to nullify the February 22, 2017 election by acclamation for president, and seeks a new election for president under OLMS supervision.  The lawsuit alleges that the union violated the LMRDA when it denied a member in good standing, who was otherwise qualified to be candidate for the office of president, the right to run for office because he failed to submit a signed acceptance of nomination form in accordance with the election rules.  The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.

Last Updated: 7/22/2019 by USDOL