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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Union blues

Labor Unions Stand For Justice To American Workers!
Does our Labor Unions Stand For Justice To Their Members Though?


                The question of equality to members within unions is being raised. Members are becoming vocal about feeling divided within their own organization. In some unions it appears that there is one set of rules for the officers of the union while there is a different set of rules for the non-officers of that union. An example of this is Amalgamated Transit Union their constitution can be found at http://www.atu.org/atu-pdfs/ATU_CGL2013_FINALweb.pdf. In this constitution is a process call “Preferring of Charges”. This process is the only process that allows members to address questions of bylaw and constitutional violations. This is the area where it becomes clear that there is a difference between union officers and non-union officers.

                If a non-officer member questions the actions of a union officer member in the form of “Preferring of Charges” that non-officer member must acquire at least ten members in support of the action for the action to be presented at a charter meeting. If an officer member questions the actions of a non-officer member in the form of “Preferring of Charges” that officer must acquire at least five members in support of the action for the action to be presented at a charter meeting. If the charges make it to the charter meeting then there is a different percentage required for the action to move forward to the Trial Procedures. If the charges are towards an officer member then it will require at least three-fourths (75%) of the voting members to move the action forward. For a non-officer member it requires at least six-tenths (60%) of the voting members to move the action forward. It is much easier to file charges towards a non-officer member than it is to file charges towards an officer member.

                Though the non-officer members has the power to vote at the union meetings, the union officers control how the meeting is conducted. The local ATU757 bylaws that is located http://atu757.org/documents/bylaws0113.pdf states in section 24 – Compliance with Robert’s Rules of Order “Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern at all times in matters of this Local Division in as much as they are consistent with its needs and are not in conflict with the International Constitution and General Laws and/or the Bylaws of this local Division.” The local ATU757 has a Charter Meeting and ten other continuation meetings each month. The quorum is the accumulation of all eleven meetings. This means that at any meeting quorum is never met so Robert’s Rules of Order is not able to be applied because the quorum is not present for motions or challenges. This allows the officers to rule as they please leaving the non-officer members overruled.

                This is a power that the union officers have over the non-officer members allowing the union officer to dictate the outcome of the union meetings. If a union officer is not in support of a non-officer members action it is very easy for that union officer to make it difficult for that non-officer member to take action.

Tell me how this union is standing for justice towards all of its members?

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