Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
Civil Enforcement Actions 2016
On November 28, 2016, in the United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Department filed suit against the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) concerning a trusteeship imposed on AFGE Local 2002. The OLMS investigation concluded that AFGE imposed the trusteeship for an improper purpose when it took control of Local 2002 to prevent the local from disaffiliating from AFGE. The lawsuit asks for a judgment declaring the trusteeship void and directing AFGE to lift the trusteeship in order to restore democratic control to Local 2002. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.
On November 18, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, the Department filed suit against the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), located in Euless, Tex. The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s January 9, 2016 election of national president, national vice president, national secretary, and national treasurer. The complaint alleges that APFA used an electronic voting method that permitted voters to be linked to their votes, in violation of the ballot secrecy requirement of section 401(a) of the LMRDA. In addition, the electronic voting system used in the election did not permit an observer to verify that a vote was recorded and tallied accurately, in violation of section 401(c) of the LMRDA, which gives candidates the right to have an observer at the polls and at the counting of the ballots. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.
On October 24, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the Department filed suit against Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 435 (located in Rochester, N.Y.). The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s June 10, 2016 election of president, recording secretary, business manager/secretary treasurer, executive board member, delegate to the international convention, auditor, and sergeant-at-arms. The complaint alleges that while on union paid time, the local’s incumbent business manager/secretary treasurer used his union email account, laptop, and cell phone to review, revise, receive and transmit campaign materials to a printing and mailing service. In addition, a union member used an employer’s list of members to send a campaign letter to as many as 52 other members promoting the incumbent slate. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.
On September 23, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Department filed suit against the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 307 (located in Detroit, Mich.). The lawsuit seeks to nullify the mail ballot election of Local 307 officers that was completed on February 26, 2016, and to hold a new election for the contested positions under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor. The complaint alleges the union failed to provide adequate safeguards to ensure a fair election and denied members in good standing their right to vote when envelopes containing members’ voted ballots were diverted from the regular mail processing stream and not included in the tally of ballots. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.
On September 12, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a Stipulated Settlement Agreement to resolve the Department’s lawsuit against Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1181 (located in Valley Stream, N.Y.). The Stipulation of Settlement provides that the Department will supervise the next regularly scheduled election of officers of the local union, including new nominations. The lawsuit sought to set aside the union’s June 12, 2014 election of officers because the OLMS investigation established that Local 1181 failed to comply with a candidate’s reasonable request for distribution of campaign material to all members in good standing. The local also used an incomplete list of members in good standing to mail the candidate’s campaign literature, which resulted in a significant number of members not receiving it. Finally, the lawsuit alleged that the union violated the LMRDA when it denied members in good standing the right to vote by failing to count a significant number of voted ballots from eligible members. The settlement follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.
On August 29, 2016, the Department entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1001 (located in Westminster, Colo.), concerning its December 2, 2013 election of officers. The Department previously filed suit against Local 1001 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado on August 18, 2014, after OLMS determined that the union failed to conduct its election by secret ballot among the members in good standing. The District Court issued a Decision and Order on July 21, 2016 ratifying the parties agreement that an appropriate remedy for the violation was that a new election be conducted for the offices of Vice President, Recording Secretary/Correspondent, Financial Secretary-Treasurer/Assistant Business Agent and 2nd Convention Delegate, Chief Steward Platte Transportation Division, Chief Steward Platte Maintenance Division, Chief Steward Light Rail Transportation Division, and Chief Steward First Transit Denver. The supervised election will coincide with the union’s next regularly scheduled election for all officer positions occurring between December 1 and 25, 2016. The MOU follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.
On June 13, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Prince Georges County, the Department filed suit against Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689. The lawsuit seeks to nullify the local’s December 2, 2015 election for all contested offices and all offices that should have been contested but for the alleged violations. The lawsuit asks the court to order a new election under the Department’s supervision. The complaint alleges that Local 689 failed to mail notice of the election to all members; denied eligible members the right to be nominated and run for office; failed to apply candidacy qualifications in a uniform manner; permitted ineligible members to vote; and failed to count ballots of eligible members. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
On March 30, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Department’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit against Local 1700 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), located in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit, which sought to void the union’s January 2014 mail ballot election for president and alternate delegates, was filed after an OLMS investigation determined that the union denied members in good standing their right to vote when it failed to re-mail ballot packages that had been returned as undeliverable even though corrected forwarding addresses for the members were available. Additionally, the Court approved a stipulation and order of settlement that provides for the Department to supervise the next regular election of Local 1700 officers on or before December 30, 2016. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
On March 22, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico granted the Secretary’s motion for partial summary judgment against Branch 504 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) under Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 401 et seq. The opinion and order granted summary judgment to the Secretary on the following issues: (1) Branch 504 violated § 401(e) of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 481(e), by failing to provide notice of the election, and that violation may have affected the outcomes of the races for vice president, recording secretary, treasurer, sergeant at arms, and trustee (five positions); and (2) Branch 504 violated § 401(e) of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 481(e), by ruling an eligible candidate ineligible to run for office, and that violation may have affected the outcome of the race for president. The court voided the election for those races and ordered that the election be rerun under the supervision of the Department. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.
Last Updated: 12-9-16