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November 5, 2008    DOL Home > Find It! By Topic > Labor Relations   

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Labor Relations

The Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) within the Employment Standards Administration (ESA) is the federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). LMRDA directly affects millions of people throughout the United States. The law was enacted to ensure basic standards of democracy and fiscal responsibility in labor organizations representing employees in private industry.

The major provisions of LMRDA are: 1) A "bill of rights" for union members; 2) requirements for reporting and disclosure of financial information and administrative practices by labor unions; 3) requirements for reporting and disclosure by employers, labor relations consultants, union officers and employees, and surety companies, when they engage in certain activities; 4) rules for establishing and maintaining trusteeships; 5) standards for conducting fair elections of union officers; and 6) safeguards for protecting union funds and assets.

Other federal agencies listed below provide additional services outside the realm of OLMS in labor relations.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a federal agency that deals primarily with the private sector in administering the National Labor Relations Act by conducting elections to determine whether or not employees want union representation and investigating and remedying unfair labor practices by employers and unions.

National Mediation Board (NMB) is a government agency specifically providing guidance to the railway and airlines industries in regards to labor management. The NMB programs provide an integrated dispute resolution process to effectively meet the Railway Labor Act's objective of minimizing work stoppages in the airline and railroad industries.

Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) is responsible for providing leadership in establishing policies and guidance related to federal-sector labor management issues such as the resolution of disputes and ensuring compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service's (FMCS) primary responsibility is to mediate collective bargaining negotiations and to otherwise assist in development of improved workplace negotiations.

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