U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 30, 2022

§ 452.23 - Frequency of elections.

The Act requires that all national and international labor organizations (other than federations of such labor organizations) elect their officers not less often than every five years. Officers of intermediate bodies, such as general committees, system boards, joint boards, joint councils, conferences, and certain districts, district councils and similar organizations, must be elected at least every four years, and officers of local labor organizations not less often than every three years.

§ 452.24 - Terms of office.

The prescribed maximum period of three, four, or five years is measured from the date of the last election. 20 It would not be consistent with these provisions of the Act for officers elected for the maximum terms allowable under the statute to remain in office after the expiration of their terms without a new election. Failure to hold an election for any office after the statutory period has expired constitutes a continuing violation of the Act, which may be brought to the attention of the Secretary in the form of a complaint filed in accordance with the appropriate procedure. Title IV establishes only maximum time intervals between elections for officers. Labor organizations covered by these provisions may hold elections of officers with greater frequency than the specified maximum period. For example, a local labor organization is required to hold an election of officers at least once every three years, but it must hold an election every year if its governing rules so provide. It should be noted, moreover, that the provisions of title IV apply to all regular elections of officers in labor organizations subject to the Act. Thus, if a labor organization chooses to hold elections of officers more frequently than the statutory maximum intervals, it must observe the minimum standards set forth in title IV for the conduct of such elections.

20 See § 452.14 for a discussion of the selection of officers in a new or newly-merged labor organization.

§ 452.25 - Vacancies in office.

Title IV governs the regular periodic elections of officers in labor organizations subject to the Act. No requirements are imposed with respect to the filling by election or other method of any particular office which may become vacant between such regular elections. If, for example, a vacancy in office occurs in a local labor organization, it may be filled by appointment, by automatic succession, or by a special election which need not conform to the provisions of title IV. The provisions of section 504 of the Act, which prohibit certain persons from holding office, are applicable to such situations. While the enforcement procedures of section 402 are not available to a member in connection with the filling of an interim vacancy, remedies may be available to an aggrieved member under section 102 of the Act or under any pertinent State or local law.

§ 452.26 - Elections in local labor organizations.

Local labor organizations must conduct their regular elections of officers by secret ballot among the members in good standing. All members in good standing of the local labor organization must be given an opportunity to vote directly for candidates to fill the offices that serve them. Indirect election of officers of a local labor organization would violate section 401(b) of the Act. For example, a procedure whereby the local's membership elects an executive board or some similar body by secret ballot which in turn selects (either from among its own membership or from the local's membership at large) the persons to fill specific offices would not comply with the Act. 21 Similarly, the election of a chief steward by the shop stewards would violate the Act if the chief steward, by virtue of that position, also serves as a member of the executive board, since members of the executive board must be elected directly by secret ballot among the members in good standing.

21 Wirtz v. Independent Petroleum Workers of America, 75 LRRM 2340, 63 L.C. ¶ 11,190 (N.D. Ind. 1970).

§ 452.27 - National, international organizations, and intermediate bodies.

The officers of a national or international labor organization or of an intermediate body must be elected either directly by secret ballot among the members in good standing or indirectly by persons acting in a representative capacity who have been elected by secret ballot among all members in good standing. 22

22 See § 452.119 and following for discussion of indirect elections.

§ 452.28 - Unopposed candidates.

An election of officers or delegates that would otherwise be required by the Act to be held by secret ballot need not be held by secret ballot when all candidates are unopposed and the following conditions are met: (a) The union provides a reasonable opportunity for nominations; (b) write-in votes are not permitted, as evidenced by provisions in the constitution and bylaws, by an official interpretation fairly placed on such documents, or by established union practice; and (c) the union complies with all other provisions of title IV.

§ 452.29 - Primary elections.

Where a union holds primary elections or similar procedures for eliminating candidates prior to the final vote in connection with regular elections subject to these provisions, the primary election or other procedure must be conducted in accordance with the same standards required under the Act for the final election.

§ 452.30 - Run-off elections.

A run-off election must meet the standards set forth in title IV if the original election was subject to the requirements of the Act. For example, if the run-off is to be held at the same meeting as the original election, the original notice of election must have so stated and all records pertaining to the run-off must be retained.

§ 452.31 - One candidate for several offices.

Where a union constitution or other validly adopted rule provides that a single elected officer will perform the functions of more than one office, a separate election need not be held for each office.