As with most unions, the United Auto Workers has a set of rules that all members must follow. And, again, like most unions, the UAW's constitution allows the union to place its members on trial (not once, but twice), if the member violates the union's rules or engages in an act "unbecoming a member."
Below are some sections of the UAW's constitution that the UAW probably wouldn't want you to know, but are really important.
You can also download the entire 200+ page document here (in PDF).
Article 6, Section 14.
All members of the Local Union are also members of this International Union and subject to the orders, rulings and decisions of this International Union and the properly constituted authorities of the same.
As a UAW member, you are expected to know that you are subject to rules of the UAW and its rulers.
Article 6, Section 16.
The International Union and the Local Union to which the member belongs, and each of them, are by her/him irrevocably designated, authorized and empowered exclusively to appear and act for the member and in her/his behalf before any board, court, committee or other tribunal in any matter affecting her/his status as an employee or as a member of her/his Local Union or the International Union; and exclusively to act as the member's agent to represent and bind her/him in the presentation, prosecution, adjustment and settlement of all grievances, complaints or disputes of any kind or character arising out of the employer-employee relationship, as fully and to all intents and purposes as s/he might or could do if personally present.
Further, as a member of the UAW, you irrevocably give the UAW exclusive jurisdiction over your job.
This means the UAW can represent you to its satisfaction (which may not be to your satisfaction).
"I...................................................................pledge my honor to faithfully observe the Constitution and laws of this Union and the Constitution of the United States (or Canada, as the case may be); to comply with all the rules and regulations for the government thereof; not to divulge or make known any private proceedings of this Union; to faithfully perform all the duties assigned to me to the best of my ability and skill; to so conduct myself at all times as not to bring reproach upon my Union, and at all times to bear true and faithful allegiance to the International Union, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW)."
Your oath of allegiance to the UAW.
Article 19, Section 6.
The International Executive Board shall protect all Local Unions who have succeeded in establishing higher wages and favorable conditions and have superior agreements. so that no infringement by Local Unions with inferior agreements in workplaces doing similar work may be committed against the Local Union with advanced agreements.
While the UAW wants its members to make the same money, not all companies are the same.
Perhaps this is one reason the UAW has lost so many members?
ARTICLE 50 Strikes
Section 1. (a) When a dispute exists between an employer and a Local Union concerning the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement or any other strikeable issue the Local Union or the International Executive Board may issue a call for a strike vote. All members must be given due notice of the vote to be taken and it shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote by secret ballot of those voting to request strike authorization from the International Executive Board. Only members in good standing shall be entitled to vote.
(b) Where a different ratification procedure for a Local Union or an Intra-Corporation Council has been properly applied for under terms of Article 19, Section 3, and after the International Executive Board has approved such ratification procedure, the method for accepting or rejecting contract changes and the taking of strike votes shall be governed by the terms of the procedure approved by the International Executive Board for that Local Union or Intra-Corporation Council.
You get to vote whether or not you go out on strike...
...Or do you?
ARTICLE 31 Trials of Members
Section 1. A charge by a member or members in good standing that a member or members have violated this Constitution or engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the Union must be specifically set forth in writing and signed by the member or members making the charges. The charges must state the exact nature of the alleged offense or offenses and, if possible, the period of time during which the offense or offenses allegedly took place. Two (2) or more members may be jointly charged with having participated in the same act or acts charged as an offense or with having acted jointly in commission of such an offense and may be jointly tried.
Section 2. Charges must be submitted to the Recording Secretary of the Local Union or of the Unit Workplace Organization, as the case may be, within sixty (60) days of the time the complainant first became aware, or reasonably should have been aware, of the alleged offense; provided, that if the charges are against the Recording Secretary, they shall be submitted to the President of the Local Union or the chief executive officer of the Unit Workplace Organization, as the case may be, and provided further, that charges preferred against one for acts or conduct detrimental to the interest of the Union or its members, committed while s/he was out of the Union on withdrawal card shall be submitted within sixty (60) days from the time of the deposit of her/his withdrawal card.
Section 3. Upon charges being submitted, it is mandatory that a trial be held unless the charges are withdrawn by the accuser or considered by the Union to be improper under this Article.
If you engage in "conduct unbecoming a member" (whatever that means) you can be placed on trial.
In fact, the UAW says a trial is mandatory.
Article 31, Section 12.
A member who is under suspension from membership, including a temporary suspension, shall be required to pay all dues during the period of suspension. Suspended members shall not be entitled to "Out-of-Work" credits. In the case of a workplace in which Union membership is a condition of employment, suspension from membership, including ternporary suspension, shall not require removal frorn the job; provided that in cases of extreme emergency, removal from the job may be required by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Local Union or unit membership suspending the member or approving the member's suspension. In the case of a workplace in which Union membership is a condition of employment, expulsion frorn membership shall require removal from the job. Application of this Section shall in all cases, however, be limited by applicable state or federal laws and no provision of this Section shall be applied in any situation where the application would violate any controlling state or federal law.
If you're suspended from membership, you still have to pay dues.
If you're expelled, no problem... The UAW will just order you fired from your job
Article 31, Section 18.
Upon appeal from an acquittal, the International Executive Board shall review the record of the trial and subsequent proceedings in the Local Union and such other matters relevant to the charges and the appeal as it feels necessary in order to assure justice. The Board shall be empowered, if it finds that the verdict was against the great weight of the evidence, to set it aside and to order a new trial by an International Union Trial Committee in accordance with Sections 22 and 23 of this Article.
If you're acquitted of your "union crimes," the International Executive Board can order you to be tried again. [Can you say Double Jeopardy?]
Article 31, Section 24.
Whenever it is charged that a member is affirmatively engaged in the promotion, implementation, furtherance or support of any other union or collective bargaining group with the purpose or intent of supplanting the International Union, or any subordinate body thereof, as the recognized collective bargaining agent, or if the member is affirmatively engaged in efforts to decertify the International Union or any subordinate body thereof as the recognized collective bargaining agent, such charge will be filed with the International Executive Board and a copy shall be sent to such member. The member shall be subject to suspension or expulsion by the International Executive Board after hearing on such charges, with the Board designating a special committee to conduct a hearing and make recommendations in a manner similar to that provided for the operation of International Executive Board Appeals Committees under Article 33 of this Constitution.
As a UAW member, you should not, MUST NOT, CANNOT kick the UAW out of your workplace (even though the law says you can).
[For more on kicking the UAW out of your workplace, go here.]
Article 16, Section 3.
(a) Where required by the necessities of collective bargaining, a Local Union, or an Intra-Corporation Council and its affiliates, may, with lnternational Executive Board authorization, double their monthly dues in each of not more than four (4) months preceding the terminal date of the old contract, or following the ratification of a new agreement.
(b) Each Local Union which is authorized to double its monthly dues shall be required to place half of such dues in trust for each month collected, until it has been determined by the International Executive Board whether such additional dues shall be applied to future dues, or refunded to each member.
Before, during or after negotiations, the UAW can charge you double your monthly dues.
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