Under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, As Amended (LMRDA), labor organizations constitutions are not allowed to violate the LMRDA. If any union’s constitution violates the LMRDA, then those provisions are considered invalid and legally unenforceable. So, it is a good idea to know the LMRDA and read a union’s constitution.
For instance if you are “Member” or “member in good standing” of an LMRDA covered labor organization and you face internal union charges or expulsion from the the union, you should verify that “appropriate proceedings consistent with lawful provisions of the constitution and bylaws of such organization” were used. Otherwise, you may need to contact the U.S. Department of Labor and/or an attorney.
You may feel that union officials are keeping you out of union meetings and not letting you take part in in important matters. You do have rights under the LMDRDA that may not be in your union’s constitution:
SEC. 101. (a)(1) EQUAL RIGHTS.– Every member of a labor organization shall have equal rights and privileges within such organization to nominate candidates, to vote in elections or referendums of the labor organization, to attend membership meetings and to participate in the deliberations and voting upon the business of such meetings, subject to reasonable rules and regulations in such organization’s constitution and bylaws.LMRDA
With billions of dollars at stake, UAW members should become familiar with the LMRDA, LM reports, and the UAW’s constitution.