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Legal Rights


Union Democracy Review



The Association for Union Democracy for a strong labor movement

Our Board and Staff

what others say about AUD

AUDHome-->About AUD

About The Association for Union Democracy

The Association for Union Democracy (AUD) is the only national, pro-labor, non-profit organization dedicated solely to advancing the principles and practices of democratic trade unionism in the North American labor movement. It is the premise of AUD that internal democracy makes unions stronger and better able to fight for the rights and interests of working people. We provide organizing, educational, and legal assistance to those fighting for greater membership control of their unions.

As a non-partisan organization, AUD does not support or endorse candidates for union office or particular policies within unions. Rather, AUD supports actions which strengthen the democratic process, promoting membership participation, free speech and fair elections, so that union members can shape the direction and actions of their union.

AUD publishes "Union Democracy Review" and other literature reporting on the efforts of union reformers and analyzing developments in union democracy law. AUD has advised thousands of unionists—private sector and public sector--on their rights and how to defend them. We refer union members to attorneys with union democracy expertise, when necessary.

AUD is a clearinghouse for information about union democracy for reporters, authors, students, professors, and attorneys. AUD files amicus curiae briefs in key union democracy cases. Our intervention was decisive in establishing conditions for a fair and honest national election in the Teamsters union in 1991, and in pushing the Department of Labor to revise its regulations, blocking the use of meeting attendance rules which prevent members from running for union office.

In addition to our general program, AUD has operated several projects including: The Union Democracy Worker Education Project; The Women's Project; The Workers Rights Clinic; The AUD Steelworkers Fair Election Project; and The Longshore Workers Democracy Project.

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AUD Board of Directors
Herman Benson, Secretary-Treasurer
Thelma Correll
Arthur Fox
Barbara Harvey
Alan Hyde
William Kornblum
Paul Alan Levy
Selma Marks
James McNamara
Guillermo Perez
Judith Schneider, President
Ruth Spitz*
Clyde W. Summers

AUD Advisory Board
Elvia Arriola
James B. Atleson
Alan Barnes
Florian Bartosic
Elaine Bernard
Daniel E. Clifton
John C. Cort
Nola Hitchcock Cross
Phyllis Curott
Charles Delgado
Barbara Ehrenreich
Stanley Englestein
Martin Fishgold
Harry Fleischman
Bill Fletcher

Moe Foner*
Albert Fried
Ruben J. Garcia
Thomas Geoghegan
Michael Goldberg
Julian Gonzalez
Alice Harney
Gordon K. Haskell
Helen Hershkoff
Nadia Marin Molina
Deborah Meier
Louis Nikolaidis
Robin Potter
Bob Repas
Victor G. Reuther*
Charles Owen Rice
Jonathon Palewicz
Ray Rogers
Sumner Rosen*
Leon Rosenblatt
Edward Sadlowski
William Schendel
Tim Schermerhorn
Frank Schonfeld
Arthur Z. Schwartz
Patricia Sexton
Dan Siegel
Eileen Silverstein
Cheryl Smyler-George


The AUD staff:
Herman Benson, Union Democracy Review editor
Judith Schneider, president

Kurt Richwerger, executive director

Matt Noyes, internet coordinator
Lorissa Rinehart


"AUD is on the forefront of both education and action for union democracy. For those trying to strengthen their unions through rank and file control, AUD offers an invaluable set of tools and ideas."
Kim Moody, Former Editor, Labor Notes, Detroit

"AUD is there for unionists who have nowhere else to turn to get the knowledge they need to protect their rights. It's a unique service to the labor movement and working people."
Ken Paff, National Organizer, Teamsters for a Democratic Union

"The staff at AUD was instrumental in helping us achieve the success we've had. Your support, help and encouragement kept us going when we felt overwhelmed. We were able to build a network of reformers, and learned how to play the game. AUD was always available, an open forum for ideas, and a wellspring of technical assistance."
Linda Cannon, Laborers Local #294

"I really appreciate AUD work on [members' rights in the union]. I too am a UA member, Local 32, and know that constitutional rules and by-laws are "real" threats to voicing new ideas or opposition to the status quo. This was evident in the past international union election process. Keep up the good work."
Michael Woo, Labor and Employment Law Office, Seattle Washington

"Herman Benson and AUD provided me with the technical skill to figure out what my rights were as a member of my union. AUD has provided me and thousands of other union members with support both moral and legal, that has kept our members in control of our unions. I will always be grateful."
Larry Hanley, President, ATU Local 726, Staten Island, NY

"The educational and organizing support that AUD offered us has been invaluable. For a workers’ caucus getting started with no money and no staff, AUD provides desperately needed help. They are great folks!"
Paul McCafferty, Put Workers First/Trabajadores Unidos, SEIU 254, Boston

"In my 55 years of active union involvement there has been no more reliable and forceful ally and champion of union democracy than AUD. Today, as many unions search for new directions, the need for AUD with its emphasis on concrete moves to strengthen internal membership participation remains crucial."
Victor Reuther, founding member, UAW

"That caucus session at the AUD conference was the best hour and a half that CDUI ever had. The session on National Campaigns was also excellent. We are starting to plan regional versions of the AUD building trades conference, along with a list serve for the trades. Keep it up."
Tom Crofton, Carpenters for a Democratic Union International

"The AUD workshop was excellent and the scenarios thought-provoking. Many of the board members complained that they had too little time with you and recommended that we bring you in for a much longer session next time…Thanks again, not only for your time and energy putting together this program but for advancing union democracy for all members in all unions."
Joan Bruce, President, PSSU Local 668 SEIU, Pennsylvania

"AUD has been an indispensable resource to the New Directions caucus in TWU and a tireless champion of our efforts to make the TWU more democratic and more effective for our members. AUD has provided teachers and literature for our stewards' classes, advice for our activists, and moral support at every turn."
Naomi Allen, Executive Board Member, TWU Local 100, New York City

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