RESTAURANT WORKERS UNITED (RWU)
Ask yourself, before you consider joining any organization, wouldn’t you like to know their rules?
Check out the links below to learn about this union and how they choose to manage their business.
Having a thorough understanding of the union’s rules is in your best long-term interests. As a newly formed labor organization, The Restaurant Workers United Constitution has only recently been adopted May 30, 2022. The RWU Constitution has 9 pages of Rules, Regulations and Responsibilities that YOU MUST follow as a member of their organization. These rules spells out the Power and Authority the Union officials have over their members. It's important that employees fully understand what they are committing to by signing an authorization card or voting to give the union the exclusive rights to represent you in the election.
CLICK THE LINK to download RWU
A quick review of the RWU Constitution will offer you an easy idea of their motivation and approach; to ensure that the union, not the employee, comes first! To ensure this objective, employees are expected to take a pledge, or oath, of membership where they swear to obey the union's rules and are willing to be held in a union trial by the Executive Board or a designated committee.
Section 1: Eligibility explains all restaurant and food service workers workers employed in the industries in the jurisdiction of Restaurant Workers United are eligible for membership including unemployed or workers who were formerly employed in these industries. However, the RWU is not closed minded to take just anyone's money. The RWU Constitution goes on to say, the RWU welcomes "any other workers employed in any other industry or establishment when their organization is in the best interests of the Union."
Interesting enough, the RWU Constitution (Section 4 Purpose) explains that the RWU purpose in part is to "advance the economic, social, and political interests of customers" by taking such action as "strikes and boycotts." Ask yourself, how does a strike or boycott advance the customers' interests?
For union members, these documents (union constitutions and bylaws) are often seen as a contract between the union and the members (at all levels). This means that they are enforceable.
If, for example, you are a union member and you were to violate a RWU's Constitution (or a local's bylaws), most unions would be able to place you on union trial. If you were to be found guilty by a union trial board, most unions would have the ability to fine you money, suspend your membership or kick you out of the union (that's called expulsion). If you were to refuse to pay a union's fine, the union could take you to a court of law in order to force you to pay. Union trials happen more than most unions admit and, often, they are a result of a union member not knowing his or her membership responsibility to the union.
Here again, the RWU is unique in informing members they "may be disciplined and/or expelled for behavior deemed unacceptable by the Executive Board or a designated committee. Charges shall be written and specific. Members shall have a reasonable amount of time to prepare a defense and shall be granted a full and fair hearing. Discipline may include but is not limited to expulsion."
Here's the good news. Unlike the great majority of established unions, the RWU commits "Discipline shall not include fines. Expulsion and/or active suspension precludes a dues-paying member from being in good standing for membership purposes. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:"
- Violation of the Constitution;
- Mishandling, misappropriating, or otherwise misusing RWU funds or property;
- Sexual harassment or assault;
- Physical violence or assault of another member, or the explicit threat thereof;
- Failure to pay dues;
- Working for an employer who being boycotted or otherwise subject to a labor action by RWU without RWU permission
Federal law (NLRA) permits unions to prescribe their own set of rules and regulations upon their members. It is imperative for employees to understand and appreciate these rules prior to voting in a NLRB representation election. More importantly, employees need to recognize these binding obligations before pledging oath to union membership.
“[Federal law] recognizes the rights of unions to establish and enforce rules of membership and to control their internal affairs. This right is limited to union rules and discipline that affect the rights of employees as union members and that are not enforced by action affecting an employee’s employment. Also, rules to be protected must be aimed at matters of legitimate concerns to unions such as the encouragement of members to support a lawful strike or participation in union meetings. “
Section 8(b)(1)(A) National Labor Relations Act.