H. R. 4770
October 9, 1998
introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on Education and the Workforce
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
(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.).
The Congress finds the following:
(1) Authoritarian control of unions is contrary
to the spirit, traditions, and principles that should guide the
(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
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
(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
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.