< Back to H.R. 4770 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the Democratic Rights for Union Members Act of 1998

This bill was introduced on October 9, 1998, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 9, 1998 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 4770 IH

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4770

To amend the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 9, 1998

Mr. FAWELL introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce


A BILL

To amend the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Democratic Rights for Union Members Act of 1998’.

    (b) REFERENCES- Whenever in this Act an amendment is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to that section or other provision of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (29 U.S.C. 401 et seq.).

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:

      (1) Authoritarian control of unions is contrary to the spirit, traditions, and principles that should guide the labor movement.

      (2) Union officers should recognize that unions belong to rank-and-file members and strive to respond to their wishes on issues of policymaking and decisionmaking.

      (3) The labor movement derives its strength from democracy and unions lacking true democracy at the intermediate and local level cannot serve in full measure their economic, social, and political function in a democratic society.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to strengthen the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 to protect and promote democratic processes and democratic rights of union members.

      (2) to ensure that labor organizations exist to express the will of the members; and

      (3) to further empower union members and make labor organizations tools by which workers truly govern themselves, rather than associations by which a few leaders empower themselves.

SEC. 4. TRUSTEESHIPS.

    (a) PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUSTEESHIP- Section 302 (29 U.S.C. 462) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ‘A trusteeship may be authorized only after a fair hearing either before the executive board or such other body as may be provided by the constitution and bylaws of the labor organization.’

    (b) ENFORCEMENT- Section 304(c) (29 U.S.C. 464(c)) is amended to read as follows: ‘Eighteen months after the authorization of a trusteeship, such trusteeship shall be presumed invalid in any proceeding pursuant to this section and its discontinuance shall be decreed unless the labor organization shall show by clear and convincing proof that the continuation of the trusteeship is necessary for a purpose allowable under section 302. In the latter event the court may dismiss the complaint or retain jurisdiction of the cause on such conditions and for such period as it deems appropriate.’

    (c) DISSOLUTION OF TRUSTEESHIP- Section 304 (29 U.S.C. 464) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(d) Upon dissolution of a trusteeship, the previously elected officers of the local union shall be reinstated or a new election promptly held in conformity with title IV. If the trusteeship is dissolved by order of a court pursuant to this title, and the court orders an election, such election shall be conducted under the supervision of the court.’.

SEC. 5. ELECTION OF DISTRICT COUNCIL OFFICERS.

    Section 401(d) (29 U.S.C. 481(d)) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(d) Officers of intermediate bodies, such as general committees, system boards, joint boards or joint councils who engage in negotiation, administration or enforcement of collective agreements, or exercise control over the finances or other major functions of local unions, shall be elected not less often than once every 4 years by secret ballot among members in good standing. Officers of other intermediate bodies may be elected by representatives of such members who have been elected by secret ballot.’.

SEC. 6. REGULATIONS.

    Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall review and revise all regulations promulgated before such date to implement the amendments made in this Act to the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.

SEC. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall take effect 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.