WHO HAS ULTIMATE POWER AND AUTHORITY IN A UNION?
Union supporters will often tell you "We, the people, are the union". For the RWU, they explain their existence this way, The RWU is "a democratic union, we make decisions by discussing our options together and abiding by the majority’s vote." That being said, let's take a closer look at who actually has the true Power and Authority in the union.
The RWU Constitution states, "All Working and Industry Members (those under a collective bargaining agreement and those who are not) in good standing may attend membership meetings and participate in deliberations and votes at those meetings."
What is a "Member in Good Standing"?
Members in good standing are those who obey and follow the union's rules as described in their Constitution. The RWU rules state that Members would NOT be in Good Standing (Disciplined or Expelled) for "Unacceptable behavior" including:
Violating the RWU Constitution,
Mishandling, misappropriating, or misusing RWU funds or property,
Physical violence or assault on another member, or explicit threat,
FAILURE TO PAY UNION MEMBERSHIP DUES
Working for an employer who is boycotted or otherwise subject to labor action by RWU.
What Rights do RWU Members have?
All RWU Members in good standing have the right, by majority vote to:
Elect Shop Stewards for their section of the bargaining unit,
Elect Bargaining Committee Members for Negotiations with Company management,
Ratify or Reject Tentative Agreements with the Employer,
Authorize Strikes and other workplace actions.
The RWU Executive Board Officers have the overall ultimate power of the union:
The RWU rules states clearly, the Executive Board (3 members) shall have complete control of and responsibility for the management of the union's affairs including:
Authorizing all bargaining demands and strikes
Reviewing tentative Agreements to decide if the Agreement is acceptable for ratification vote or returned to the bargaining team for revision.
How many RWU members are required to Vote on a Contract or Strike?
Section 4 of the RWU rules state, a quorum for a Membership Meeting shall consist of at least 5% of membership. This would mean, the typical Via 313 store with roughly 40 employees would ONLY require 2 Members to call a quorum for a potential vote by Membership. In summary, 3 Board Members CAN Authorize a Contract with Via, and ONLY 2 Members are required to hold a vote on the Contract or Strike.
Check out the RWU rules and verify this information for yourself.