Union Member Rights (Introduced in the House)
HR ???? IH
H. R. ????
To ensure that union members have full political rights in union and federal elections.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Oct. ## 1998
Mr. FAWELL (for himself, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Ms. xxxx, Mr. xxxxx, Mr. xxxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx of Pennsylvania, Mr. xxx of Georgia, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxx, Mr. xxxx of Oklahoma, Mr. xxxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, Mrs. xxxx, Mrs. xxxx, Ms. xxxx, Mr. xxxx, and Mr. xxxx) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce
To ensure that workers have full political rights, promote union democracy, and protect employees' rights to organize, chose their own representatives, bargain collectively, and otherwise engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid or protection
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Worker Political Rights' Act'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) In many union elections, electoral challenges to incumbents are unduly hampered by the inability of challengers to communicate effectively with their fellow union members on political, social, economic and union related matters because members can not obtain a list of the of the union's current members for communication purposes.
(2) Not providing union members with a list of the union's members 60 days prior to any federal or union election deprives the membership of full political rights and gives incumbent officers an unfair electoral advantage,
(3) It is a fundamental tenet of this Nation that all men and women have a right to make individual and informed choices about the political, social, or charitable causes they support and that fundamental electoral fairness dictates that challengers to union office holders have the same access to lists of eligible voters as do incumbents.
SEC. 3. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all union members have full political rights to communicate with their fellow union members on political, social, economic , cultural and election issues 60 days prior to any federal and/or union election in which they are eligible to vote by adding the right of members to receive a copy, electronic and/or paper, of a list containing the names and last known addresses of all members of the labor organization .
SEC. 4. Copy of List of Union members
( a) IN GENERAL-
(1) AUTHORIZATION- A labor organization as defined by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, As Amended must provide to its members upon their written request 60 days prior to any federal or union election a copy of a list containing the names and last known addresses of all members of the labor organization to which the member pays dues. Every bona fide candidate to union office shall have the right , once within 120 days prior to an election of a labor organization in which the member is a candidate, to obtain both an electronic and paper copy of a list containing the names and last known addresses of eligible voters, such list to be furnished at the lowest possible cost and within 5 business days of receiving the member's written request..
(2) REQUIREMENTS- Such written requests for a list of the union's membership shall clearly state that list will not be used by any third party to promote the sale of any goods or services but will be used to communicate on political, economic, cultural, and/or social issues affecting the membership .
(b) CIVIL ACTION BY EMPLOYEES-
(1) LIABILITY- Any labor organization which violates this section shall be liable to the affected member--
(A) for damages equal to--
(i) One hundred dollars, ($100.00);per day for each day after 5 business days of duly receiving each written request ;and
(ii) the interest on the amount described in clause (i) calculated at the prevailing rate; and
(iii) an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to the sum of the amount described in clause (i) and the interest described in clause (ii); and
(B) for such equitable relief as may be appropriate.
(2) RIGHT OF ACTION- An action to recover the damages or equitable relief prescribed in paragraph (1) may be maintained against any labor organization in any Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more members for and in behalf of--
(A) the member ; or
(B) the member and other members similarly situated.
(3) FEES AND COSTS- The court in such action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff, allow a reasonable attorney's fee, reasonable expert witness fees, and other costs of the action to be paid by the defendant.
(4) LIMITATION- An action may be brought under this subsection not later than 1 year after the date the member knew or should have known that failure to furnish a copy of the membership list by the labor organization in response to a written request 60 days prior to any U.S. Federal and/or union election is in violation of this Act, except that such period shall be extended to 3 years in the case of a willful violation.
SEC. 5. NOTICE.
A labor organization shall be required to annually inform its membership in its normal communications to the membership of the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, As Amended .
SEC. 6. Right to Membership lists.
SEC. 7. REGULATIONS.
The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out the amendments made by section 6 not later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act and shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out the amendments made by section 6 not later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 8. EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICATION.
This Act shall be effective immediately upon enactment,