We, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America realize that the struggle to better our working and living conditions is in vain unless we are united to protect ourselves collectively, against the organized forces of the employers.
Realizing that the old craft form of trade union organization is unable effectively to defend the interests and improve the conditions of the wage earners, WE, the UNITED ELECTRICAL, RADIO AND MACHINE WORKERS, form an organization which unites all workers in our industry on an industrial basis, with rank-and-file control, regardless of craft, age, sex, nationality, race, creed or political beliefs, and pursue at all times a policy of aggressive struggle to improve our conditions.
We pledge ourselves to labor unitedly for the principles herein set forth, to perpetuate our union and work concertedly with other organizations to bring about a higher standard of living for the workers.
Article 1: Name
This organization shall be known as the Eastern Regional Council of the UNITED ELECTRICAL, RADIO AND MACHINE WORKERS OF AMERICA.
Article 2: Object
It shall be the object of the Eastern Regional Council to protect, maintain, and advance the interests of the workers, to organize unions in shops and localities in conformity with its jurisdiction, and to promote the advancement of such bodies.
Article 3: Jurisdiction
In conformity with the National Constitution of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE) the Eastern Regional Council shall consist of all locals of the UER & MWA in the states of New York (the area west of Utica or south of White Plains), New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio (the area south or east of Tiffin).
Article 4: Meetings
Section 1. The regional council shall meet at least two (2) times annually, in the months of March or April and September or October. The fall meeting may take place during the week of the UE National Convention. The time and place of all meetings shall be determined by the regional council or the regional council executive board.
Section 2. A special meeting of the regional council shall be called when twenty-five (25) per cent of the locals in the region request such a meeting, or by the regional council executive board. Written notice of a special meeting shall be issued to the local unions a minimum of three days in advance of the meeting.
Article 5: Delegates
Section 1. The basis of representation and the voting strength of each local shall be determined by its average per capita payment due to the regional council for the 12-month period ending the 20th day of the month preceding that in which any regular meeting of the council is held. Locals that are affiliated with the region less than one (1) year shall be given representation and voting strength on the basis of a monthly average paid per capita for the period of time for which they have been affiliated. Any dispute over per capita tax standing of a local will be governed by the per capita paid to the national union.
Section 2. Delegates whose locals have not paid all monies due to the regional council on the twentieth (20th) day of the month preceding that in which the meeting is held shall have a voice on the floor, but no vote. This shall not apply to locals involved in a current strike, which shall vote on a basis of their last four per capita payments.
The regional executive board may exonerate a local for the late payment of per capita and seat the delegates upon payment of all per capita owed prior to the call to order of the council meeting.
Section 3. Locals shall have two (2) delegates for the first two hundred (200) members or less and one (1) additional delegate for each additional two hundred (200) members or major fraction thereof. No local shall be entitled to more than fifteen (15) delegates.
Section 4. Delegates to this council shall be elected by their locals prior to the council meetings, and their credentials mailed to the regional office not less than thirty-one (31) days prior to the meeting at which the delegates shall be seated. Names and home addresses of all delegates shall be submitted on forms supplied by the region and signed by the local president and local secretary and affixed by the local seal.
Section 5. Two (2) or three (3) locals, each having not more than one hundred (100) members may combine and send one (1) delegate to the regional council. The procedure for election and the voting strength of locals so combining shall be as provided in the national constitution.
Section 6. It shall require at least one-third (1/3) of the accredited delegates present, representing not less than five (5) locals to call for a roll-call vote.
Section 7. On a roll-call vote, the voting strength shall be one (1) vote up to one hundred (100) members, and one (1) additional vote for each additional one hundred (100) members or major fraction thereof.
Section 8. There shall be no vote by proxy at the regional council meetings.
Section 9. No person employed by any union other than the UE or in an industry not within the jurisdiction of or covered by contract with UE shall be seated as a delegate to this council.
Article 6: Officers, Executive Board and Trustees
Section 1. The executive officers of the regional council shall be president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer and recording secretary. Fourteen (14) regional executive board members-at-large together with the officers shall constitute the regional executive board. To encourage diverse representation, at least one executive board member-at-large shall be elected from each sub-region. Three (3) trustees and one (1) alternate shall also be elected.
Section 2. All officers, executive board members and trustees shall be elected for a term of one year and shall hold office until their successors have been elected and duly installed. They shall be elected by a majority of the regional council delegates who shall have been elected by secret ballot among the members in good standing in accordance with procedures established by each local union.
Section 3. No executive officers of the region shall be from the same local. No local shall have more than one (1) additional representative of the fourteen (14) executive board members-at-large elected to the regional executive board.
Section 4. The terms of the regional officers, board members, and trustees shall expire April 30th. In case of death, resignation or recall of the regional president, the regional executive board shall elect a temporary successor for the remainder of the term. In case of death, resignation or recall of any other officer, executive board member or trustee, a successor shall be elected to fill the unexpired term of such officer at the next regular meeting of the regional council.
Article &: Duties of Officers
Section 1. The regional president shall be the chief executive officer of this council and shall serve on the UE General Executive Board as general vice-president. He/she shall preside at all meetings, enforce all laws of the council; subject to the approval of the executive board, appoint a sergeant-at-arms to assist in maintaining order at council meetings; coordinate, attend and chair all meetings of the sub-regions; co-sign all checks; give bond in an amount satisfactory to the regional council to be paid from the general fund; be an ex-officio member of all committees but will have no vote except in case of tie, and shall also:
- Represent the regional council at the national convention;
- Coordinate the work of the locals in the region for the maintenance and improvement of conditions of the members;
- Work with the national staff to coordinate the efforts of locals to carry out the programs, policies and political action work of the national union and the regional council;
- Work in conjunction with the organizing department to assure proper coordination of the efforts of the regional council and the organizational department;
- Assist the national union staff when necessary to assure defense of the members;
Section 2. The regional vice-president, in the absence of the regional president, shall conduct the meetings of the council, perform all duties of the president and act as ex-officio member on all committees.
Section 3. The regional secretary-treasurer, who shall serve on the UE General Executive Board, shall keep all financial records of the region; receive, receipt and account for all monies and pay all bills authorized by the regional council and the regional council executive board. He/she shall make a financial report at each regular meeting of the regional council, which report shall be sent to all affiliated local unions. He/she shall give bond satisfactory to the regional council, fee for which shall be paid out of the general fund. He/she shall perform all such duties with the approval of the executive board and the regional council as may be deemed necessary to a proper and effective administration of the financial affairs of the region.
All checks of the regional council must bear two (2) signatures; the signatures of the secretary-treasurer and the president, or in the absence of either the signature of the vice-president. The secretary-treasurer shall deposit all funds within five (5) business days of the receipt of same.
He/she shall be a delegate to the national convention.
Section 4. The Recording Secretary shall record the official record of all executive board and regional council meetings and furnish a written copy of such minutes to the officers and delegates of the regional council for review and final approval. A copy shall be sent to all affiliated local unions.
Section 5. The duties of the regional trustees shall be to audit all books and records of the regional council two times annually at the time of each regular meeting of the regional council, or by order of the regional executive board or the delegates of the regional council. They shall take inventory of all the properties of the regional council from time to time as directed by the executive board or the delegates of the regional council. They shall make their report on the audit at each regular council meeting and their report on the inventory of the region properties at the next regular meeting of the council. They shall not be members of the executive board.
Section 6. The sergeant-at-arms shall assist the chair in preserving order, and shall eject from the meeting any person so ordered by the body. He/she shall be appointed by the president from among the members-at-large of the regional executive board.
Article 8: Duties of Executive Board
Section 1. The duties of the executive board shall be to enforce the decisions made by the regional council. It shall represent the council between meetings of the council, and shall act on all urgent business of the council. The president of the council shall be the chairperson of the executive board. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 2. The regional executive board shall meet prior to the regular meeting of the council. Notices of the time and place of the meeting shall be sent to all members of the executive board at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the date of the meeting.
Section 3. Special meetings of the regional executive board may he called by the president or upon the request of one less than a majority of the members of the executive board.
Article 9: Elections
Section 1. At the first regularly scheduled meeting of the regional council each year, which shall be held no later than April 30th, nominations and elections will be held for the positions of regional president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, recording secretary, regional executive board members -at-large, trustees and at-large delegates to the UE General Executive Board.
Section 2. Any member in good standing for a period of twelve (12) months or longer in the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE) shall be eligible as a candidate for executive office or at-large delegate to the UE General Executive Board. At the time of nominations they shall be a member in good standing of a local union affiliated with the Eastern Regional Council.
The regional council shall elect at-large-delegates to the UE General Executive Board in accordance with provisions contained in the national constitution. One (1) at-large delegate to the UE General Executive Board may be from the same local union as the regional president, otherwise no local shall have more than one member on the UE General Executive Board.
Section 3. A candidate for any other position shall have been a member in good standing for at least six (6) months in the UER & MWA (UE). At the time of nominations he/she shall be a member in good standing of a local union in the Eastern Region.
Section 4. Nominations and elections for each office shall be held separately and a candidate defeated for one office shall be eligible to become a candidate for another office subject to the provisions of Section 8 below.
Section 5. The order of nominations and elections shall be as follows: president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, recording secretary, regional executive board members-at-large and trustees.
Nominations and election for the positions of delegates-at-large to the UE General Executive Board shall be held after the election for regional executive officers and executive board members. UE-GEB delegates-at- large shall be elected from among those executive board members qualified to be a candidate under the terms of the Constitutions and By-Laws of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and the Eastern Regional Council.
In the year that a national convention is held, two additional convention delegates shall be elected. Such delegates shall be elected from among the at-large regional representatives to the UE General Executive Board.
Section 6. In the event of a contest, the election shall be held by secret ballot vote on the basis provided for in Article V, Section 7.
Section 7. In the event a secret ballot vote is conducted, an election committee of three (3) members shall be nominated from the floor and elected. No candidate for office shall be a member of the election committee. The committee shall elect a chairperson.
The election committee shall conduct and supervise the election; distribute the ballots; count the ballots cast for each candidate; tabulate the total number of ballots cast and the of number of blank and mutilated ballots. Ballots shall be kept under seal for a period of one (1) year following the election.
Section 8. Challenge to The Election. A written challenge to the election must be filed with the regional president within 72 hours of the election. The regional president upon receipt of the challenge shall have the authority to appoint a committee of the regional executive board to investigate the facts and hold hearings as deemed necessary. Such investigations and hearing may be conducted by conference call. The committee shall submit its recommendation to the regional executive board within fifteen (15) days of receiving the challenge. The regional president shall arrange for a special executive board meeting or conference call for the purpose of hearing the recommendations of the committee and render a decision on the challenge. Such meeting or conference call shall take place within sixty (60) days of the election. If the challenge is not finally resolved at that point, the individual may appeal the decision to the UE General Executive Board for final disposition.
Section 9. For the office of president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and recording secretary, the chairperson shall declare elected the candidate for each office receiving a majority of votes. If no candidate receives a majority, the names of the two (2) delegates receiving the highest number of votes shall go up for a second ballot, and the delegates receiving a majority in this election shall be declared elected. For all other offices, the chairperson shall declare elected the candidates for each office receiving the highest number of votes. Where two or more candidates are from the same local, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes will be seated.
Section 10. Any local delinquent in per capita payments to the regional council or the national union shall not take part in the nominations and elections of regional officers and executive board members, except as provided for in Article V, Section 2.
Section 11. In nomination and election of officers, executive board members of the regional council, and rank and file delegates to the UE General Executive Board, due consideration should be given to various areas, shops and locals so that the best possible unity and representation in the region can be obtained.
Section 12. Installation of officers shall take place at the same meeting at which they are elected.
Article 10: Committees
Section 1. The credentials committee shall be comprised of members of the regional executive board. They shall meet with the regional secretary-treasurer prior to each meeting of the council to determine the standing of all locals, and shall report all locals not in good standing (as provided for in Article V, Section 2) to the meeting immediately after the reading of the minutes. Such locals to have voice but no vote as provided for in the above mentioned Article and Section.
Section 2. Other committees may be established to carry out the work of the council as ordered by the executive board or the regional council.
Section 3. All committees shall be appointed by the regional president subject to approval by the body, and shall serve one (1) year except as hereinafter provided.
Section 4. The regional executive board shall have the power to remove a member or members of any committee who, in their opinion, are not serving the best interest of the council.
Section 5. A member or members of any committee removed from such committee in accordance with Section 4 above shall have the right of appeal to the body at the regular meeting of the council after removal.
Section 6. The regional president shall have the power to fill any vacancy on any committee caused by the resignation or removal of a member by the executive board for the unexpired term of such member.
Article 11: Revenue
Section 1. Effective January 1, 2009 the revenue of the regional council shall be derived from payment of a per capita tax of two dollars and forty-five cents ($2.45) from each member per month, which shall conform with the per capita to the national union for the same month. On January 1st of each year thereafter the per capita tax shall be increased by seven cents ($.07).
Section 2. Each local financial secretary shall by the twentieth (20th) of each month, submit to the regional secretary-treasurer a report for the previous month covering the per capita amount due. A check or money order shall accompany these monthly financial statements.
Article 12: Sub-Regions
Section 1. The Eastern Regional Council shall establish sub-regions in geographic areas of the region to enable periodic one day meetings with the purpose of advancing the union’s goals, further developing rank and file leadership and encouraging membership involvement. The regional council shall review the geographic boundaries of the sub-regions annually at the March or April meeting.
Section 2. Each sub-region shall meet at least one time annually. The agenda for the meetings shall be developed with sessions aimed at promoting mutual aid and support through education, political action, organizing and other activity the regional council or local unions within the sub-regions may decide to become involved in.
Section 3. Meetings of the sub-regions shall be coordinated and chaired by the regional president. Each sub-region shall be governed by the constitution of the Eastern Regional Council and work in full cooperation with the regional council to carry out the programs and policies of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) and the Eastern Regional Council. The sub-regions are not policy making bodies and as such shall have no elected officers or delegates. The sub-regional meetings shall be open to any member in good standing of the Eastern Region or the sub-region.
Article 13: Payment of Salaries and Expenses
Section 1. The regional council shall have the power to place on the payroll the regional president and other officers and/or support staff necessary for the region to properly function. The salary of such officers and/or staff shall be set by the regional council. The regional council shall have the authority to pay for lost time, traveling expenses and subsistence incurred in the performance of assignments on behalf of the region, not to exceed the maximum expense and subsistence allowance set by the national constitution for field organizers and international representatives.
Article 14: Recall
Section 1. The regional president may be recalled in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE).
Section 2. Any other officer or member of the regional executive board may be recalled by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates to the regional council.
Section 3. All locals shall be notified in advance of the meeting that the subject of recall of an officer or trustee is to be acted upon. A petition for a recall must be initiated by at least twenty-five (25%) per cent of the locals in the region, and the petition shall be filed with the regional president.
Article 15: Trial Procedure
Section 1. If a member of this union commits an offense against the constitution and by-laws or the general good and welfare of the local union, regional council, or of the national union, he/she shall be given an impartial trial by the local union as provided in the by-laws of said local union. The offense for which he/she is charged is to be presented in writing to his/her local union by the member making the charges, who at the time, must be a member in good standing of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE). A copy of said charges is to be given to the member under charges by the local recording secretary. Either plaintiff or defendant shall have the right to appeal to the regional council (not sub-region), which shall have the power to investigate the facts and hold hearings as deemed necessary. A decision of the regional council shall be rendered to appellant within ninety (90) days of receipt of appeal. Appeals can further be taken to the general executive board of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), and from that body to the ensuing convention. The decision of the local shall be final until otherwise decided by a higher body.
Section 2. If a member of this union commits the offense of engaging in raiding or secession activities, the following procedure shall be followed notwithstanding any other provisions of this constitution or of any local constitution. He/she shall be given an impartial trial by his/her local union. Such charges must be presented in writing by the member making the charges to the local of which the accused is a member. The member making the charges must be a UE member in good standing. A copy of said charges is to be given to the accused by the local recording secretary. A decision on such charges shall be made by the local not later than ten days after receipt of the charges by the local. Either plaintiff or defendant shall have the right to appeal to the regional council, which shall have the power to elect from its body a committee to investigate the facts and hold hearings as deemed necessary. Between meetings of the regional council or regional executive board, the regional president shall appoint such committee. A decision of the regional council or of the regional executive board between meetings of the council shall be rendered to appellant not later than seven (7) days from the receipt of the appeal by the regional council. Appeals can further be taken to the UE General Executive Board and from that body to the ensuing convention. The decision of any lower body shall be final until otherwise decided by a higher body. If a local does not comply with the provisions of this Section, the general executive board shall have the power to assume jurisdiction on such charges of raiding or secession pending before any such Local.
In such cases hearings may be conducted by the general executive board as a trial body, or by a committee of the general executive board designated by it. If the hearing is held by a committee of the general executive board, said committee shall file its report and recommendations to the general executive board, which shall have the final authority to render a decision. Between meetings of the general executive board, the general president shall have the authority to designate a committee of the general executive board to hear, report and make recommendations to the general executive board.
In such cases the general executive board, shall, after trial, determine the innocence or guilt of the accused and shall have the power to reprove, fine, suspend, or to remove him/her from office or any other official representative capacity in the union, or expel him/her from UE membership.
An appeal from the decision of the general executive board nay be taken to the ensuing convention. The decision of the general executive board shall be final until otherwise decided by the convention.
If the region does not comply with the provision of this section in respect to the time for hearing and determining appeals in cases of raiding or secession, the general executive board shall assume jurisdiction on such appeal and have full authority to act thereon as though the appeal had been filed with the general executive board.
Article 16: Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to this constitution may be initiated by the regional executive board, with the approval of a majority of the local delegates in attendance at any regional council meeting. Local delegates shall have voting strength in accordance with the average per capita tax paid in the previous four months.
The constitution shall not be amended by an amendment initiated in this manner, unless it is approved by a referendum vote of the local unions that is conducted in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution.
Section 2. Amendments to this constitution may be initiated by four (4) or more local unions. The regional executive board shall recommend adoption or rejection of such an amendment to the next regular meeting of the regional council. Local delegates shall vote on the proposed amendment with voting strength in accordance with the average per capita tax paid in the previous twelve (12) months. The decision of the regional council shall then he submitted to the local unions for a referendum vote that is conducted in accordance with the provision of the UE National Constitution.