U.S. Dept. of Labor Files Suit Against Puerto Rican Union’s Misuse of Discipline to Quell Dissent

On Dec. 20, 2002, the Secy. of Labor filed suit to force a new election for officers of a Puerto Rican union, charging that the local hierarchy unfairly disqualified three challengers through a misuse of internal union discipline.

According to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for Puerto Rico, the Sindicato De Guardias De Seguridad conducted an election for officers on Dec. 18, 2001. Three challengers were disqualified from running or voting on the basis of disciplinary procedures in which no specific charges were brought, the three were not given enough time to prepare a defense and little, if any, evidence was presented at the hearing. According to the DOL, the Sindicato hierarchy violated the three challengers’ rights under the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959 [29 U.S.C., Sec. 411(a)(5)].

DOL attnys. are seeking a new election, supervised by DOL