Known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, Landrum-Griffin brought internal administration
of labor unions within the realm of federal regulation and guaranteed union members certain basic rights. Its goal was union self-regulation and voluntary democratization.
Passage of the measure resulted from a growing national concern influenced by a Senate committee's findings of union leaders' corruption and autocratic behavior. Relying on Congress's constitutional authority to insure the free flow of INTERSTATE COMMERCE, the act restricted secondary BOYCOTTS; strictly controlled union elections; required strict reporting of the unions' financial transactions; outlawed extortion PICKETING; authorized state JURISDICTION over labor disputes not handled by the National Labor Relations Board; and modified union security provisions for certain national unions. In setting forth a Bill of Rights of Members of Labor Organizations, the act reversed the courts' tendency to allow union governance by self-established rules.
The act also made it a criminal offense for a Communist party member to serve as an officer or employee of a labor union until five years after termination of party membership. In UNITED STATES V. BROWN (1965) the Supreme Court ruled this section unconstitutional as a BILL OF ATTAINDER.
PAUL L. MURPHY