U.S. DOL Civil LMRDA Enforcement Actions

by

(Updated by NILRR Staff 11/07/2019)

( DOL updated 11/06/2019)

On October 21, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire approved a Stipulated Settlement Agreement to resolve the Department’s lawsuit against American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 230 (located in Manchester, N.H.).  The Stipulation of Settlement provides that the Department will supervise a new mail ballot election, including new nominations, to be completed no later than February 28, 2020.  The lawsuit sought to set aside the union’s March 2, 2019 election of officers because the OLMS investigation established that the union 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 investigation also found that the local 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 alleged 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 settlement follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

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.