A: Union members have broad free speech rights in the union. You are free to criticize union officials and policies in any medium, including online. In addition, recent legislation on internet communications adds further protection to speech on web sites. Any attempt by the union to discipline members in retaliation for their free speech, or threats made to that effect, would be illegal. The law that protects your free speech rights in the union is the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), Title I.
If a provision of the union constitution openly restricts free speech, or is used to squelch free speech, that provision would be unenforceable in court.
The first thing you should do is call AUD. The best protection in this case is to let the members know what is happening: put it on the web site, get out a flyer. Free speech is unpopular with the officers? Time for more free speech! Remember, it is best if you act as an organized group of members: a committee or caucus in the union. AUD can help you learn how to do that, and offer advice. You may also need legal help.
Contact us: 718-564-1114 .