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Question of the Month

From the Catherwood Library reference librarians

November-December 2006

PLEASE NOTE: The Reference Question of the Month is kept current only during the month for which it was written. Archived questions will not be updated, and over time may contain inaccurate information or broken web links. We provide archived questions as a service, since much of the information will remain accurate and of continued interest to the ILR community.

Question: How many unions are there in the United States? How many of these unions are for relatively small labor organizations of, say, 200 or fewer members? Has this changed over time?

Answer: Provided by the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS),
Electronic Labor Organization Reporting System (eLORS)
http://erds.dol-esa.gov/query/getorgqry.do

An explanation is available at: http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/olms/rrlo/lmrda.htm

The following data were extracted on 2 November 2006 by
George Studds, Computer/IT Specialist, DOL/ESA/OLMS/DPMT,
202.693.1245 ph, 202.693.1338 fax,
e-mail: StuddsJr.George@dol.gov

• 1999
Reporting unions 1999 = 30,703
Reporting unions 1999 = 20,242 with membership of 200 or less

• 2006
Reporting unions 2006 = 25,351
Reporting unions 2006 = 15,269 with membership of 200 or less

Reporting Requirements & Definition of
LABOR ORGANIZATIONS

General Reporting Requirements
http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/olms/rrlo/repreq.htm

The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) require certain reports to be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.


Who Must Report The reporting requirements apply to labor organizations, except state or local central bodies and unions representing only public employees whose employer is any state or political subdivision of a state, such as a county or municipality. An intermediate body that is subordinate to a national or international labor organization covered by the LMRDA, however, is subject to the reporting requirements even if it does not represent any private sector employees. In addition, these requirements also apply to

officers and employees of such unions,
employers,
labor relations consultants, and

DEFINITION of LABOR ORGANIZATION
http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/esa/Title_29/Part_401/toc.htm
and specifically
http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/esa/Title_29/Part_401/29CFR401.9.htm

 Labor organization means a labor organization engaged in an industry affecting commerce and includes any organization of any kind, any agency, or employee representation committee, group, association, or
plan so engaged in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours, or other terms or conditions of employment, and any conference, general committee,
joint or system board, or joint council so engaged which is subordinate to a national or international labor organization, other than a State or local central body.

DEFINITION--Labor organization engaged in an industry affecting commerce
http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/esa/Title_29/Part_401/29CFR401.10.htm

 A labor organization shall be deemed to be engaged in an industry affecting commerce if it:
(a) Is the certified representative of employees under the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, or the Railway Labor Act, as amended; or
(b) Although not certified, is a national or international labor organization or a local labor organization recognized or acting as the representative of employees of an employer or employers engaged in an industry affecting commerce; or
(c) Has chartered a local labor organization or subsidiary body which is representing or actively seeking to represent employees of employers within the meaning of paragraph (a) or (b) of this section; or 
   (d) Has been chartered by a labor organization representing or actively seeking to represent employees within the meaning of paragraph (a) or (b) of this section as the local or subordinate body through which such employees may enjoy membership or become affiliated with such labor organization; or
(e) Is a conference, general committee, joint or system board, or joint council, subordinate to a national or international labor organization, which includes a labor organization engaged in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of any of the preceding paragraphs
of this section, other than a State or local central body.

— Researched by Stuart Basefsky