The AFL-CIO has established clear policies and procedures governing the application and issuance of national union charters, reflected in Article III of the AFL-CIO Constitution and the Executive Council’s May 2001 statement on this subject.
The AFL-CIO encourages independent unions not meeting the criteria for a national union charter from the Federation to seek affiliation from an affiliated national union which represents similar members in their industry, craft or sector.
Independent unions that are not eligible for a national union charter may be eligible for a charter from the Federation as a Directly Affiliated Local Union (DALU), under Article XV of the AFL‑CIO Constitution.
When such independent unions apply for DALU status, the national AFL-CIO shall first consult with the appropriate national union affiliates in the jurisdiction. After such consultation, the President is authorized, at his discretion, to issue DALU charters to such independent unions under the following terms and conditions:
1. These charters will be issued for a period not to exceed three years, after which time the Executive Council shall determine if they shall be made permanent, shall expire, or shall be extended for a period of time.
2. These charters shall specify the jurisdiction of the DALU and may be issued with specific criteria or restrictions on such jurisdiction, including the requirement to participate in industry coordinating committees where applicable.
3. Independent unions seeking such charters shall be required to participate in the internal discussions regarding jurisdiction and merger led by the Special Blue Ribbon Committee on Mergers appointed by the Executive Council, and the national AFL-CIO shall continue to encourage the merger of these DALUs with and into national union affiliates.
4. Independent unions obtaining such charters may seek and obtain a phase-in of up to three years of the regular monthly per capita tax payments applicable to DALUs.
5. DALUs must affiliate with and participate fully in all state and local central bodies in their geographic area. The national AFL-CIO will make all required payments to state federations and central labor councils on behalf of the DALU out of the DALU’s national per capita tax payments. (Affiliations with trade and industrial departments must be paid for separately in addition to the national Federation tax).
6. After paying the state and local taxes, the Federation will segregate the remaining amount from the regular per capita tax payment into a special DALU Support Fund to pay for the regular and ongoing costs of support for these unions.
7. DALUs shall have all the rights and obligations of any other affiliated union, including protection under Article XX, the Federation’s No Raid Procedures.
8. DALUs shall be covered by the Federation’s standing Rules Governing DALUs, as amended by the Executive Council from time to time.