– The Landrum-Griffin Act was passed in 1959 by the U.S. Congress to protect workers from corruption among union officials and employers.
– The Act came about as a the result of looting of union treasuries and the denials of fundamental rights of union workers, which led to Senate hearing to investigate unlawful and unethical practices among union leaders and employers.
– The Landrum-Griffin was enacted to provided stronger governmental regulation of internal union affairs.
Passed to protect union member rights and ensure union democracy
- Required secret-ballot elections of officers
- Required membership approval in setting dues and levying assessments
- Set federal financial reporting requirements
- Allowed neutral, secondary employers injured by unlawful union activities to sue unions
- Designed to protect union members and their participation in union affairs, allows the government to regulate union activities
Each union has a bill of rights to ensure minimum standards of internal union democracy
Each union must give their constitution to Department of Labor
Each union must report its financial activities and financial interests of leaders to Department of Labor
Union elections are regulated by government
Union leaders have fiduciary responsibility to use union money and property for the membership, not for own personal gain
Criticisms of the Landrum-Griffin Act
• Strengthening union reporting with requirements such as independent public accountants certification, generally accepted auditing standards, and generally accepted accounting principles.
• Expanded the Act to cover all unions. Currently, government employee unions are exempt. Recent embezzlement scandals in both types of union organizations warrant an expansion in Landrum-Griffins coverage.
• Term limits on union bosses. Limiting terms to three or five years would increase transparency in union records making embezzlement more difficult.