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XXI.Organizing Responsibility Procedures

Section 1
In order to resolve organizing competition in those situations in which the competition may be detrimental to the best interest of the workers involved and the trade union movement, the Federation shall maintain a procedure for determining ­organizing responsibilities. This procedure shall not apply with respect to the organizing of employees doing building and construction industry work for an employer that is engaged primarily in that industry and that is covered by the National Labor Relations Act, as amended.

Section 2
Any AFL-CIO affiliate that is actively ­engaged in organizing a group of employees and seeking to become their exclusive representative may ­invoke this Procedure to seek a determination affirming its ability to do so without being subject to ongoing competition by any other AFL-CIO affiliate. All ­affiliates that have taken steps or that there is a reason to believe are about to take steps to organize the same group of employees shall be notified of the commencement of the proceeding.

Section 3
Each case initiated under this Article shall be referred to mediation unless all parties to the case waive mediation or unless the President determines that pressing reasons require elimination of the ­mediation process in a particular case. Any case not resolved through mediation shall be referred to an Umpire for a final and binding decision. The President shall appoint one or more permanent mediators and permanent Umpires to mediate and arbitrate cases arising under this procedure, subject to the approval of the Executive Council; and the President shall ­establish the mediators’ and arbitrators’ terms of employment. Where circumstances require, the President may appoint ad hoc mediators and ad hoc umpires to mediate and arbitrate cases and ­establish their terms of employment.

Section 4
The Executive Council shall establish rules of procedure for the mediation and arbitration processes, including time limits (which the President may shorten or extend in a particular case where justified) for the commencement and conclusion of mediation and for the commencement and conclusion of arbitration. The Executive Council also shall establish guidelines stating the criteria the Umpire is to follow in deciding organizing responsibility proceedings. Where an affiliate proves that the criteria established by the Executive Council are satisfied, the Umpire shall issue an award in favor of that affiliate running for a period of one year or such shorter or longer period as the Umpire for good reason establishes. Where the criteria established by the Executive Council are not satisfied, the Umpire shall enter an award affirming that all interested affiliates are free to seek to become the exclusive representative of the ­employee group in question.

Section 5
(a) An affiliate in whose favor an award has been entered that believes that some other affiliate is not in compliance with that award may notify the President of the asserted non-compliance. The President shall immediately convene a meeting of a subcommittee of the Executive Council.

(b) If non-compliance is found by the subcommittee, the President shall inform the non-complying ­affiliate of the action it must take in order to be in compliance and the date by which it must be in compliance. If the affiliate fails to come into compliance as so directed, the President shall notify each affiliated national or international union and trade and industrial department, and each affected state and local central body, of such non-compliance.

Section 6
Immediately upon the issuance of such notification, the non-complying affiliate shall not be entitled to invoke the Procedure for Determining ­Organizing Responsibilities until the non-compliance is remedied to the satisfaction of the President or a subcommittee of the Executive Council or until it is excused by the Executive Council by a two-thirds vote. The Federation shall, upon request, supply every appropriate ­assistance and aid to the affiliate in whose favor the Umpire issued the award. No affiliate shall support or render assistance to the action determined to be in violation of this Article. In addition, the Executive Council may, in its discretion, deny to the non-complying affiliate the use of any of the services or ­facilities of the Federation and apply any other authority vested in the Executive Council under the Constitution.

Section 7
Where all the affiliates that are organizing or taking steps to organize a particular employee group are parties to a written agreement providing for the resolution of organizing responsibilities, the provisions of such agreement shall be complied with prior to invoking this Procedure. If such agreement provides for final and binding arbitration and an affiliate that is a party to such agreement claims that another such affiliate has not complied with a decision under that agreement, the aggrieved affiliate may file a complaint under Section 5 of this Article.

Section 8
The provisions of this Article with respect to the settlement and determination of disputes of the nature described in this Article shall constitute the sole and exclusive method for settlement and determination of such dispute, and the provisions of this Article with respect to the enforcement of such settlements and determinations shall constitute the sole and exclusive method for such enforcement. No affiliate shall resort to court or other legal proceedings to settle or determine any disputes of the nature described in this Article or to enforce any settlement or determination reached under this Article, except that an affiliate, upon written authorization by the President, may take legal action to remedy non-compliance against an affiliate that has been found to be in non-compliance by the subcommittee and that has failed to come into compliance as directed by the President. An affiliate may also take legal action to enforce an award or remedy non-compliance against a former affiliate that has withdrawn or been suspended from the Federation.


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