IBEW Local 45
6350 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Ste. 350
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Phone: 323.851.5515
Fax: 323.466.1793

About Us: Bill of Rights (LMRDA)

Union Member's Bill Of Rights...What is the LMRDA?

The LMRDA, or the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, is the federal law which governs the proper administration and standards for the operation of labor unions. The law defines the standards of conduct each labor organization must meet, and sets penalties for abuses of the standards.[1]

What is the Union Member's Bill of Rights?

Title I of the LMRDA sets forth the protections individual union members enjoy by law. The Sections of the LMRDA are as follows:

  • Section 101 (a) (1) - Equal rights - Each member of a Union shall have equal rights and privileges within the Union to nominate candidates, to vote in elections or referendums, to attend meetings, and to participate in the deliberations and voting upon the business of such meetings.
  • Section 101 (a) (2) - Freedom of Speech and Assembly - Each member of a Union shall have the right to meet and assemble freely with other members; and to express any views, arguments, or opinions; and to express at union meetings his views upon candidates or upon any business properly before the meeting.
  • Section 101 (a) (3) - Dues, Initiation Fees, and Assessments - The rates of dues and initiation fees payable by members of a Union shall not be increased, and no special assessment shall be levied upon members except by a majority vote by secret ballot of the members in good standing voting at a regular or special membership meeting, after reasonable notice of the intention to vote upon such question.
  • Section 101 (a) (4) - Protection of the Right to Sue - No Union shall limit the right of any member to institute an action in any court, or in a proceeding before an administrative agency. The member may be required to exhaust reasonable procedures not exceeding a four month period of time.
  • Section 101 (a) (5) - Safeguards Against Improper Disciplinary Action - No member of any Union may be fined, suspended, expelled, or otherwise disciplined except for non payment of dues (where applicable[2]) unless the member is served with written specific charges, given a reasonable time to prepare his defense, and afforded a full and fair hearing.
  • Section 101 (b) - Any provision of the constitution and by-laws of any union which is inconsistent with the provision of this Section shall be of no force and effect.

Are there penalties for violation of the LMRDA by a Union or its Officials?

Yes. Section 102 of the LMRDA states that any person whose rights under the LMRDA have been violated may bring a civil action in District Court of the United States for relief. Penalties range from fines to imprisonment for five years for anyone convicted of committing a violation of the LMRDA.[3]

Are there any other rights that Union Members enjoy under the LMRDA?

Yes. The LMRDA provides that:

  • Members are entitled to a copy of their contract;[4]
  • Members are entitled to copies of the Union's Constitution and By-laws;[5]
  • Members are entitled to full financial disclosure of the International Union's income and expenditures;[6]
  • Members are entitled to know the salaries and expenses of their Local Union and International Officers, and vote on any salary change;[7]
  • Members are entitled to full financial disclosure of the Local Union's income and expenditures;[8]

Where can I get independent answers about the LMRDA?

Check your phone book for the nearest Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards Office near you. The listing is under U.S. Government. They can answer any questions you may have about the protections Union members enjoy under the LMRDA.

Unions operate much more openly than Employers do.

  1. Source - Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as Amended. Copies of this act are available from any U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards Office.
  2. Some provisions of the LMRDA concerning non-payment of dues have been modified by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Where applicable, the provisions of the NLRA would apply, such as for agency fee payers, religious objectors, etc. 
  3. Source: Section 504, LMRDA
  4. Source: Section 104, LMRDA 
  5. Source: Sections 201(a), Section 205 (a), LMRDA
  6. Source: Section 201 (b), LMRDA
  7. Source: Section 201 (b) (3), LMRDA
  8. Source: Section 201 (c) LMRDA

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