FAQ: What is an LM-20 and why does it matter to workers? - LaborLab

FAQ: What is an LM-20 and why does it matter to workers?

FAQ: What is an LM-20 and why does it matter to workers?

Want to know more (or something) about LM-20s? You've come to the right place. 

What is the LM-20?

The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended (LMRDA), requires public disclosure of agreements or arrangements made between any person, including labor relations consultants and other individuals and organizations, and an employer to undertake certain activities concerning employees or labor organizations. Pursuant to Section 203(b) of the LMRDA, every person who undertakes any such activities under an agreement or arrangement with an employer must file a detailed report with the Secretary of Labor. The Secretary, under the authority of the LMRDA, has prescribed the filing of the Agreement and Activities Report, Form LM-20, to satisfy this reporting requirement.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

What currently qualifies as a reportable persuader activity?

Under the current interpretation of the rules, a union-busting "agreement is reportable when the consultant has direct contact with employees with an object to persuade them, or when the consultant directs the persuader actions of line supervisors or similar management officials after having been authorized by the employer to do so."

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Why are LM-20s so important?

Congress treated the timing of LM-20 reports noticeably differently from the other reports required by the LMRDA. By prescribing the 30-day filing deadline, Congress recognized that for the information reported on the LM-20 to be useful, employees needed the information right away. When workers are considering supporting a union, it’s typically clear when the union is “working the room” to persuade them to support organizing efforts. And while it may be clear to workers that their employer is also participating in efforts to persuade them not to support those efforts, many are probably unaware that there is a third party involved – a consultant retained by their employer to help resist the union’s organizing efforts.

The purpose of consultant reporting is to balance the information: to alert workers and unions that there is an outsider “working the room” for the employer, whether directly or indirectly. That information does workers no good months or years after the organizing campaign – as was publicly reported to have been the case in the recent Amazon organizing campaigns. To be meaningful, then, these consultant Form LM-20 reports must be filed close in time to the organizing activity the consultant is hired to resist – as Congress requires. 

Source: U.S. Office of Labor Management Standards