U.S. law guarantees all persons equal rights to form and join trade
unions, as required by Article 5(e)(ii). A private sector union, which
is the exclusive bargaining representative under the National Labor
Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. sec. 151, has the responsibility to
fairly represent each of the employees for whom it is the bargaining
agent. Although unions have broad bargaining discretion, they must
exercise that discretion fairly and in good faith. Unions are not barred
from making contracts that negatively affect a segment of the bargaining
unit, but they are prohibited from making discriminatory contracts based
on irrelevant or invidious considerations (such as race or ethnicity).
Similar protections are provided to railway and airline employees under
the Railway Labor Act, 29 U.S.C. sec. 152, and to federal employees
under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. sec. 7101.
the NLRA's prohibitions is entrusted to the National Labor Relations
Board, its independent General Counsel, private employees, and the
judicial system. Enforcement of the Railway Labor Act is provided by
arbitration through the National Mediation Board. Under the Civil
Service Reform Act, hearings are held by the Federal Labor Relations
Authority and appeals of its decisions are made directly to the Federal
appellate courts. 5 U.S.C. sec. 7123.
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment
discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national
origin, also covers workers within their unions. Enforcement of Title
VII is by private individuals and or by the Federal Equal Employment