Contact Us

AUD is a small organization with limited staff and time resources. For this reason, it can take up to a week for us to respond to requests for help or information. Please be patient. We will respond to your message as soon as possible. Please understand that AUD cannot represent you in any way. That is the job of your union. If your union is refusing to represent you, AUD staff and volunteers can provide guidance and advice on what your options are. We are not, however, lawyers and cannot provide legal advice.

All communications with AUD are kept strictly confidential. We will never release your name to anyone outside the organization for any purpose, nor will we ever contact your union or employer regarding your conversations with AUD employees and volunteers.

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Definitions: 

Termination: Any unfair situation that led to you being fired or let go from your employment.

Elections: Questions or concerns regarding nominations, your rights as a candidate running for local or international office, or possible election violations.

Pension, healthcare, and benefits: Any issues regarding your union retirement or disability pension, healthcare coverage, or other benefits provided by your union to you as a member.

Retaliation or threats: Physical or verbal threats perpetrated on the job or in connection with your work or union done with the intent of preventing or punishing you for reporting unsafe work conditions, exercising your free speech right to criticize the union or employer, or running for office against the incumbent officers.

Hiring hall: Issues concerning to your union hiring hall, out of work list, job referral program, or other programs relating to employment.

Due process: Includes charges, trials, and unfair discipline. As a union member, you have the right to specific, written charges; the right to confront and cross-examine accusers; adequate time to prepare a defense and; the right to a full and fair hearing and a decision based on the evidence. All internal union charges and trials should abide by your individual union’s constitution or bylaws. Please note that while you may not be disciplined for exercising your protected rights, the following activities are not protected: participating in wildcat strikes, advocating decertification of the union, nonpayment of dues or agency fees, and other acts which interfere with the legal or contractual obligations of the union or which threaten the existence of the union as an institution, crossing picket lines.

Corruption: Misuse of union funds, including, but not limited to bribery, embezzlement, and fraud; nepotism may fall under this category.

Unfair labor practices: Any practices or behaviors by the union or employer that violate the tenets of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, employers are barred from behaving in a manner that prevents employees from joining or forming a labor union, punishes employees for engaging in protected union activity or filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), or refusing to bargain with the union. Unions are barred from behaving in a manner that causes an employer to discipline, discriminate against, or terminate an employee unjustly. They also cannot require excessive dues or refuse to bargain with the employer on behalf of members. For workers in the private sector, all unfair labor practice charges are handled by the NLRB.

Discrimination: Discrimination by the employer or union based on age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Discrimination cases are typically handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Free speech rights: The Union Member’s Bill of Rights in the LMRDA guarantees you the right to criticize union officials; express any viewpoint at union meetings (subject to reasonable rules of conduct); distribute literature outside the union hall or inside the hall if members cannot reasonably be reached from outside and; hold separate meetings without interference from union officials without threat of discipline. Calls for decertification are not protected free speech.

Bylaws: Union Constitutions and by-laws may grant rights, such as ratification of contracts or election of shop stewards, which are not required by law. Those documents are contracts between the union and the members, enforceable in state or federal court.

Trusteeship: A trusteeship (also called administratorship) imposed by an international union on a local or other subordinate body is presumed by the courts and the Department of Labor to be valid for the first eighteen months. The presumption of validity may be overcome by showing that the imposition of the trusteeship violated union procedures or that the trusteeship was imposed for improper purposes, such as punishing a dissident local leadership. After the first eighteen months, a trusteeship is presumed by the courts to be invalid.

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