Can Retired Members Vote?
The following reproductions are from the "1998 Constitution, International Union, UAW" Book. Also included are the Proper Interpretations related to some Articles, when available.
...Original reference article submitted by Don Miller, Local 387 U.A.W.
Article 6, Section 19
Any member in good standing who is retired, shall be entitled to a "retired membership status" which, without being required to pay membership dues during the period of such retirement, shall entitle her/him to all of the privileges of membership except the right to vote in elections pursuant to Article 19, Section 3; Article 45, Section 2; and Article 50, Sections 1 and 5. Appropriate cards denoting such membership status shall be prepared by the International Union and furnished to Local Unions upon request and at cost. The regular withdrawal-transfer provisions of this constitution shall be applicable if such retired member returns to active employment.
Article 6, Section 19
Article 19, Section 3
(1) Voting Rights of Retired Members in Local Unions
A retired member has a constitutional right to participate in any and all elections conducted on a local-wide basis except elections of the type specifically exempted under this Section. Under this Section a retired member would not, however, be eligible to vote for a Steward or Committeeperson even though that Steward or Committeeperson might, by virtue of her/his election, also hold office as a member of a Local Union policy making group such as the Executive Board. (Detroit, 1/21/60)
(2) Voting Rights of Retired Members in Units of Amalgamated Local Unions
Retired members are eligible to vote for officers of units as such. If a unit has a substantial complement of officers set up by its bylaws, and these officers generally correspond to the Executive Officers of a Local Union as set forth in Article 38, Section 1, the retired member would be eligible to vote for such officers even though these officers also constitute the Local Union Bargaining / Negotiating Committee. In units where the bylaws do not provide for a substantial complement of officers (i.e., where the Chair and Recording Secretary of the Bargaining / Negotiating Committee are also the Chair and Recording Secretary of the unit) the retired member would not be entitled to vote for such unit Chair and Secretary since the primary function of these individuals is to serve as officials of the Bargaining / Negotiating Committee and they are only incidentally charged with the responsibilities of unit officers.
Even though a unit does not have a substantially complete complement of officers, if the members of the Bargaining / Negotiating Committee are also designated by the unit bylaws to be the Executive Board of the unit with powers equivalent to the Executive Board of a Local Union pursuant to Article 38, Section 8, retired members would be entitled to vote for those members of the Bargaining / Negotiating Committee who are also members of the Executive Board.
Units shall be entitled to apply this Section in the first instance by membership action subject to review by the International Executive Board if any member objects. However, once the unit determines how this Section shall be applied in its elections, the unit decision cannot be changed unless the bylaws are changed in order to sufficiently modify the structure as to make a different application of this Section proper. (Detroit, 1/21/60.)
(3) Eligibility of Retired Members to Run for Local Union Offices
Under this Section, retired members are eligible to run for any office in the Local Union except for Steward and Committeeperson offices which require the presence of the member elected in the workplace. A retired member would be ineligible to run for a Steward and Committeeperson office even though election to such office would automatically entitle the member elected to a second position in the Local Union such as membership on the Local Union Executive Board. A retired member would also be ineligible to run for a Local Union executive office where election to that executive office also automatically made her/him a member of a Bargaining Committee or any other such office which required seniority in any particular unit, division or department of the workplace. (Detroit, 1/21/60.)
No Local Union Officer, International Officer or International Representative shall have the authority to negotiate the terms of a contract or supplement thereof with any employer without first obtaining the approval of the Local Union. After negotiations have been concluded with the employer, the proposed contract or supplement shall be submitted to the vote of the Local Union, at a meeting called especially for such purpose, or through such other procedure, approved by the Regional Director, to encourage greater participation of members in voting on the proposed contract or supplement. Should the proposed contract or supplement be approved by a majority vote of the Local Union or unit members so participating, it shall be referred to the Regional Director for her/his recommendation to the International Executive Board for its approval or rejection. In case the Regional Board Member recommends approval, the contract becomes operative until the final action is taken by the International Executive Board.
Upon application to and approval of the International Executive Board, a ratification procedure may be adopted wherein apprenticable skilled trades and related worker, production workers, office workers, engineers, and technicians would vote separately on contractual matters common to all and, in the same vote on those matters which relate exclusively to their group.
Before contract or supplemental demands affecting skilled workers are submitted to the employer, they shall be submitted to the Skilled Trades Department in order to effectuate an industry-wide standardization of agreements on wages, hours, apprenticeship programs, journeyman standards and working conditions.
Article 19, Section 3
(1) Separate Ratification Rights for Skilled Trades
Where separate ratification rights have been approved for skilled trades, only skilled tradespersons may vote in such contract ratification meetings for skilled trades. (Black Lake, 6/10/71.)
The installation ceremony may be performed by the retiring President, Acting President or any regular commissioned International Representative.
The Installing Officer says:
"Give attention while I read to you the obligation:
"Do you hereby pledge on your honor to perform the duties of your respective offices as required by the Constitution of this Union; to bear true and faithful allegiance to the International Union, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW); to the best of your ability and with complete good faith to support, advance and carry out all official policies of the International Union and this Local Union; to deliver all books, papers and other property of the Union that may be in your possession at the end of your term to your successor in office, and at all times conduct yourself as becomes a member of this Union?"
The Installing Officer then says:
"Your duties are defined in the laws of the International Union, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW) and in your obligation; should any emergency arise not provided for in these, you are expected to act according to the dictates of common sense, guided by an earnest desire to advance the best interest of the International Union and this Local Union. I trust you will all faithfully perform your duties so that you may gain not only the esteem of your brothers and sisters, but what is of even more importance, the approval of your conscience.
"You will now assume your respective stations."
Article 45, Section 2
All Stewards and/or Committeepersons shall be democratically elected for three (3) year terms. A Local Union or unit of an Amalgamated Local Union may have, after July 1, 1998, a shorter term, of no less than two (2) years, only by affirmative membership action, and permission granted by the International Executive Board. Stewards and Committeepersons shall be required to take the oath of office as provided in Article 39.
Article 45, Section 2
Article50, Section 1
(1) Bargaining Committeepersons Cannot be Appointed
Bargaining Committeepersons must be elected. Where individuals have been elected in one capacity this does not constitute election to serve in another capacity. Hence it is improper for the Bargaining Committee of a unit of an Amalgamated Local to be selected from the officers of the unit even though a motion to that effect has been voted at a meeting of the unit membership. It likewise is improper for a Unit Chairperson to appoint a Bargaining Committee from the elected Committeepersons or Stewards of the unit, subject to membership approval, even though the unit has voted her/him such authority. (Detroit, 8/5/46, Page 98.)
(2) All Members Must Have Opportunity to Vote
(See Interpretation No. 4 under Section 10(a) of Article 38.)
(3) Executive Officer and District Committeeperson
(See Interpretation No. 2 under Section 1 of Article 38.)
(4) Restriction on Candidates for Steward
A Local Union may provide in its bylaws that "No person who has the authority to assign or instruct other persons on jobs shall be eligible to fill the position of Department Steward." (Detroit, 8/5/46, Page 85.)
(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.
Article50, Section 1
Article 50, Section 5
(1) Holders of Withdrawal Cards Not Entitled to Strike Ballot
(See Interpretation No. 1 under Section 6 of Article 17.)
(2) Strike Vote in Corporation Councils
Where Corporation Councils covered by a master agreement instruct Local Unions to take strike votes, it is mandatory to take such strike votes and that part of Article 50, Section 1, requiring a prior vote shall be covered by the vote of the Corporation Council. (Detroit, 5/12/48.)
Before a strike shall be called off, a special meeting of the Local Union shall be called for that purpose, and it shall require a majority vote by secret ballot of all members present to decide the question either way. Wherever the International Executive Board decides that it is unwise to no longer continue an existing strike, it will order all members of Local Unions who have ceased work in connection therewith to resume work and thereupon and thereafter all assistance from the International Union shall cease.
Article 50, Section 5
(1) Good Standing for Thirty (30) Days After Recall to Workplace
(See Interpretation No. 4 under Section 8 of Article 16.)