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UAW Constitution -- Appeals

ARTICLE 33

Section 1. WHAT MAY BE APPEALED. Any subordinate body or member thereof shall have the right under this Article to appeal any action, decision, or penalty by any of the following, unless otherwise provided:

(a) The International Union, its International Executive Board or any of its Officers, Regional Directors or International Representatives;

(b) Any administrative arm of the International Union, including its National Departments and Bargaining Councils;

(c) A Local Union, or any of its units, committees, officers, committee persons or stewards; or

(d) Any other subordinate body of the International Union.  A failure or refusal to act by any of the foregoing, where it allegedly results in an injury, may also be appealed.

Section 2. LEVELS OF APPEAL. This Section specifies the levels of appeal for various types of cases.

(a) The normal route of appeal is: FIRST, to the membership or delegate body immediately responsible for the official, officer, action or decision under challenge; SECOND, to the International Executive Board, unless the appeal begins there; and THIRD, to the Convention Appeals Committee or Public Review Board, as may be appropriate. This normal route of appeal shall be followed in all cases, except where this Constitution makes specific provision for an alternate route of appeal. For purposes of illustration, in the following common cases the normal route of appeal is as follows:

In any challenge to the handling or disposition of a grievance: Where the challenge is against a Local Union committee person, steward, Bargaining Committee, officer or other Local Union official the levels of appeal are first to the unit of an Amalgamated Local Union, then to the Union; then to the International Executive Board and then to the Convention Appeals Committee, or where appropriate the Public Review Board. Where the challenge is against an International Representative, Regional Director, International Officer or National Department the levels of appeal are first to the International Executive Board, and then to the Convention Appeals Committee, or where appropriate to the Public Review Board.

For any decision of a Local Union, or unit of an Amalgamated Local Union, on a Trial Committee's recommendation the levels of appeal are first to the International Executive Board and then to the Convention Appeals Committee or the Public Review Board.  For disputes or questions in controversy, including all questions involving interpretation of this Constitution by the International President under Article 13, Section 8 the levels of appeal are to the International Executive Board and then to the next Constitutional Convention.  For any decision of the International President under Article 48, Section 5 the levels of appeal are to the International Executive Board and then to the Convention Appeals Committee or the Public Review Board.

(b) In the types of cases listed below, the appeal shall be limited as specified:

For any action or decision by a national or corporate bargaining council or sub-council, or by a national or regional wage-hour council or sub-council, the route of appeal shall be directly to the International Executive Board. There shall be no further appeal from the decision of the International Executive Board. For any action or decision pertaining to the following matters: sports and other recreational activities; rulings of the Chair on procedural questions arising during Local Union membership and other meetings; the appointment and/or removal of appointed officials on Local Union committees; and the sending of authorized members from a Local Union to any convention, conference, or other meeting, whether sponsored by the UAW or some other organization, except for the UAW's Constitutional Convention; unless Article 46, Section 1, or some other substantive provision of this Constitution is implicated, the appeal shall be to the membership of the Local Union, or in the case of an Amalgamated Local Union, first to the membership of the appellant's unit, if necessary, and then to the delegate body or general membership of the Amalgamated Local Union. There shall be no further appeal from the decision of the membership of the Local Union or Amalgamated Local Union.

For any action or decision pertaining to the seating of members at any conference or other meeting sponsored by the UAW, if there is a Credentials Committee for the conference or meeting, the appeal shall be first to the Credentials Committee and then to the general delegate body of the conference or meeting. If there is no Credentials Committee for the conference or meeting, the route of appeal shall be directly to the Director of the National Department or Region responsible for the conference or meeting. There shall be no further appeal from the decision of the general delegate body or the Director of the National Department or Region, as the case may be.   For any action or decision pertaining to the appointment or removal of special purpose representatives, such as Benefit Representatives or Health and Safety Committee persons by a National Department under the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement, the appeal shall be directly to the International Executive Board. There shall be no further appeal from the decision of the International Executive Board.

For any appeal of a Local Union decision pertaining to Skilled Trades Lines of Demarcation, the appeal shall be to the International Executive Board and there shall be no further appeal from that decision.

For an interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement by a National Department or Regional Director, where the interpretation is so obviously correct that no purpose will be served by an appeal, and where it is consistent with other provisions of this Constitution and International Union policy, the appeal shall be directly to the International President. There shall be no further appeal from that decision.

For any action or decision of the UAW National Skilled Trades Department pertaining to a journeyperson card, the appeal shall be to the International President and there shall be no further appeal from that decision.

Section 3. PROCEDURES AT EACH LEVEL OF APPEAL. This Section specifies the procedures at each level of appeal. In addition, any appeal is subject to the general requirements of Section 4 of this Article. Where this Constitution makes specific provision for alternate procedures, those procedures shall control.

(a) LOCAL UNION. An appeal to the Local Union may be made at a meeting of the membership body, or may be made in writing addressed to the Recording Secretary. When no regularly scheduled meeting of the membership body is held within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the appeal, the Local Union Executive Board may consider and rule on the appeal.

(b) AMALGAMATED LOCAL UNION. In an Amalgamated Local Union an appeal must be made first at a meeting of the membership body of the appellant's unit or in writing addressed to the Recording Secretary or Chairperson of the appellant's unit. When no regularly scheduled meeting of the membership body of the unit is held within forty-five (45) days of the receipt of the appeal, the unit Committee or unit Executive Board may consider and rule on the appeal.   An appeal from the unit is made to the Amalgamated Local Union's delegate body, where such exists, or to the general membership meeting when no delegate body exists. This appeal shall be taken by submitting a written appeal to the Amalgamated Local Union's Recording Secretary. When no membership or delegate body meeting is held within forty-five (45) days of receipt of this appeal, the Local Union Executive Board may consider and rule on the appeal. The Amalgamated Local Union shall review the appeal, with the aid of an investigating committee or otherwise, and shall determine the appeal; but if a unit Trial Committee is involved in the proceedings, it shall not select its own Trial Committee to retry the case.

(c) OTHER SUBORDINATE BODIES. An appeal to other subordinate bodies, in matters within their areas of responsibility under this Constitution, may be made at a meeting of the membership or delegate body or may be made in writing to the Recording Secretary. When no regularly scheduled meeting of the membership or delegate body is held within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the appeal, the Executive Board of the subordinate body may consider and rule on the appeal.

(d) INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD. An appeal to the International Executive Board shall be made in writing, signed by the member(s) and addressed to the International Executive Board in care of the International President. The appeal shall set forth the action or decision being appealed, shall be as specific and detailed as possible, and shall include all information available in support of the appeal.

Appellate Cases. The International Executive Board has appellate jurisdiction to consider and decide all appeals submitted to it from any decision or action of a Local Union, Amalgamated Local Union or other subordinate body; except in the relevant types of cases set forth in Section 2(b) of this Article, the International Executive Board shall entertain an appellate case only when it has been ruled upon by the appropriate membership or delegate body. In this sort of appeal, the appellant should also send a copy of her/his appeal to that body's Recording Secretary. Upon receipt of an appeal, the International President shall secure from the Local Union, Amalgamated Local Union or other subordinate body, a complete statement of the matters at issue, including copies of all charges and records, minutes, transcripts of testimony and other material relating to the appeal.

Original Matters. The International Executive Board has original jurisdiction to consider and decide all appeals submitted to it from any decision or action of an International Officer, Regional Director, International Representative or any administrative arm of the National Department of the International Union, except in the relevant types of cases set forth in Section 2(b) of this Article.

Disposition By An Appeals Committee. The International Executive Board shall appoint a two (2) member Appeals Committee to consider the appeal and make recommendations. This Appeals Committee shall be composed of members of the International Executive Board, but shall not include the Regional Director of the region from which the appeal originates. The appeal and any information secured by the International President shall be forwarded to the Appeals Committee. After a review of the appeal and record, the Appeals Committee may hold a hearing before either the full Committee or in its discretion one of its members unless the Appeals Committee concludes that no useful purpose would be served by a hearing, in which event the Appeals Committee in its discretion may make recommendations on the appeal without a hearing. The Appeals Committee shall make a recommendation which, together with the full record, shall be submitted to a Nine (9) Member Committee of the International Executive Board, of which five (5) members, or their designee(s), shall constitute a quorum. The Nine (9) Member Committee shall consider the record, together with the Appeals Committee's recommendations, and shall make a decision on the appeal.

Disposition By The International President. The International President may, in his discretion, decide an appeal rather than submitting it to an Appeals Committee. In such a case, the International President may designate a representative to conduct any investigation or hearing deemed necessary, in accordance with the procedures of this Subsection. The International President shall base her/his decision on the files and records of the case, and such briefs as may be submitted. In any appeal involving the handling or disposition of a grievance against an employer, the decision of the International President shall be submitted to the Nine (9) Member Committee of the International Executive Board.

Review By The Full International Executive Board. Both where the appeal has been decided by the Nine (9) Member Committee of the International Executive Board and where it has been decided by the International President, copies of the decision shall be sent to all members of the International Executive Board. The decision shall become the decision of the full International Executive Board unless, within ten (10) days, one or more members of the International Executive Board raises an objection to the decision, in which case the appeal shall be referred for decision to the International Executive Board at its next regular meeting. The International President shall promptly notify all parties concerned of the decision of the International Executive Board. The International Executive Board shall use its best efforts to render its decision within sixty (60) days of receipt of the appeal by the International President.

(e) CONVENTION APPEALS COMMITTEE.  An appeal to the Convention Appeals Committee shall be made in writing, signed by the member(s) and addressed to the Convention Appeals Committee in care of the International President.

Jurisdiction And Procedure. The Convention Appeals Committee has jurisdiction to consider and decide all appeals submitted to it from any decision or action of the International Executive Board or an International Trial Committee, except in the types of cases set forth in Section 2(b) of this Article. The Convention Appeals Committee shall meet at least semi-annually, at the International Union Headquarters, to act on all appeals that have been submitted to it at least thirty (30) days prior to the date established for its meeting. The administrative procedures for the Convention Appeals Committee in handling appeals shall be established by the International Executive Board, subject to review by subsequent Constitutional Conventions. All decisions of the Convention Appeals Committee shall be final and binding.

Selection Of Convention Appeals Committee. The Convention Appeals Committee shall consist of a member and a first and second alternate from each region to be selected by lot from the delegates from each region, when they elect their Regional Director. To provide continuity, members of the Convention Appeals Committee shall be selected from one-half of the regions at each Convention. Such members selected shall serve for two (2) Convention terms. In the event a vacancy occurs on the Convention Appeals Committee, it shall be filled by the ranking alternate from that region. All remaining vacancies shall be filled by lot at the next regular Constitutional Convention.

(f) PUBLIC REVIEW BOARD. An appeal to the Public Review Board shall be made in writing, signed by the appellant, and addressed to the Public Review Board in care of the International President.

Jurisdiction. In addition to the jurisdiction conferred elsewhere in this Constitution, the Public Review Board has jurisdiction to consider and decide appeals from any decision or action of the International Executive Board or an International Trial Committee:

Where the case arises under Article 10, Section 12; Article 12, Sections 2 and 3; Article 16, Section 7; Article 30; Article 31; Article 36, Sections 9 and 10; Article 38, Sections 11 and 12; or Article 48 Sections 5 and 6;

Where the International Executive Board, pursuant to Article 12, Section 17, has reviewed the action or decision of its administrative arm, or where the International Executive Board has decided an appeal which concerns action or inaction relative to the processing of a grievance against an employer, subject however, to the limitation of Section 4(i) of this Article; and

In any other case in which the International Executive Board has passed upon an appeal from the action of a Local Union, Amalgamated Local Union, or other subordinate body, except in the relevant types of cases set forth in Section 2(a) and (b) of this Article.

Determining Jurisdiction. In cases that involve the processing of grievances, the Public Review Board shall first determine whether the specific allegation upon which appellant claims the Public Review Board's jurisdiction to be based is or is not true. If the jurisdictional allegation is found to be false, it shall dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is thus dismissed, the appellant may, within thirty (30) days of notification of the dismissal, appeal the case to the Convention Appeals Committee, provided that in such an appeal, the appellant may not again raise any issue which the Public Review Board resolved in dismissing for lack of jurisdiction.

Limitation. In no event shall the Public Review Board, under this or any other article, have jurisdiction to review in any way an official collective bargaining policy of the International Union.

Procedures. If the appellant elects to appeal to the Public Review Board, the appeal shall be considered by the full Board, or a panel thereof. Where the Public Review Board has jurisdiction, the full Board or panel shall decide and dispose of all matters raised by the appeal. The Public Review Board, pursuant to Article 32, Section 6, shall establish its own rules of procedure including those governing the extent and scope of hearings. When notified that an appeal to the Public Review Board has been filed, the International President shall forward to the Chairperson of the Public Review Board all documents and records in the case. After studying said documents and records, the Public Review Board, or a panel thereof, shall hold a hearing, unless it concludes that the appeal is unsubstantial or that no useful purpose would be served by a hearing; in which event the appeal may be decided or dismissed without a hearing.

The Public Review Board or panel thereof shall upon due consideration issue its decision, which shall be final and binding on all parties.

Section 4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS. The following rules, unless otherwise indicated, shall govern all levels of the foregoing appeal procedure:

(a) FORM AND CONTENTS OF APPEAL. Any appeal should set forth the action or decision being appealed, shall be made in writing, except as otherwise provided for in this Constitution, and should include all information available in support of the appeal. The appeal should be as specific and detailed as possible and must include an original physical signature, signed by the member(s). Electronic submissions and electronic signatures shall not be permitted.

(b) CALCULATION OF TIME. The time limits of Section 4(c) of this Article begin to run from the time the appellant first becomes aware, or reasonably should have become aware, of the alleged action or decision appealed. In the case of an appeal from a decision of the International Executive Board, the time limit shall begin to run when the appellant first receives notice of the decision. For purposes of this Article, "day" means a calendar day. If mailed, an appeal will be considered filed on the date it is postmarked.

(c) TIME LIMITS FOR APPEAL. To be considered, an appeal must comply with these time limits, if no other time limit is specifically set forth in this Constitution: Appeal to Local Union sixty (60) days; Amalgamated Local Union Appeal to unit, sixty (60) days, appeal from unit to Amalgamated Local Union itself, thirty (30) days; appeal to other subordinate body sixty (60) days; appeal to International Executive Board appellate or original cases, thirty (30) days; appeal to Convention Appeals Committee thirty (30) days; appeal to Public Review Board thirty (30) days.

(d) EXTENSIONS OF TIME. In the case of an appeal to a Local Union, Amalgamated Local Union, or other subordinate body, or in the case of an appeal to the International Executive Board or Convention Appeals Committee, the International President may waive the time for filing the appeal if warranted by the circumstances.

(e) COMPLIANCE PENDING APPEAL. The decision of the lower tribunal, in all cases, must be complied with before an appeal can be accepted by the next tribunal in authority and shall remain in effect until reversed or modified. The International President may, upon written application of an appellant, waive in whole or in part requirements of such compliance where unusual circumstances warrant it.

(f) COUNSEL. Any party to an appeal before the International Executive Board, Convention Appeals Committee or Public Review Board, shall be permitted representation by counsel or other representative of her/his choice. Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, counsel are not permitted before a Local Union, Amalgamated Local Union, or other subordinate body, except as provided in Article 31, Section 5. The party retaining counsel, or other representative, shall bear any cost of such representation.

(g) BRIEFS. Any party to an appeal may submit a brief or other written statement of position.

(h) HEARINGS. Hearings, when held, shall be such as, in the discretion of the tribunal, and shall bring to light all the facts and issues involved. The appellant and appellee (or their representatives) shall be required to appear, with such witnesses as they may choose, and shall answer fully and truthfully all questions put to them. The parties shall be afforded full opportunity to present their respective positions on all matters bearing on the action, decision or penalty under re view. A hearing held by the International Executive Board, through its Appeals Committee or the International President, shall be held as close to the locality from which the appeal originates as possible in order to minimize the expense and inconvenience to the parties. A hearing before a panel or committee of a reviewing tribunal is deemed a hearing before the full reviewing tribunal.

(i) GRIEVANCE AND RELATED APPEALS.  In any appeal to the Public Review Board, under Section 3(f) of this Article, concerning the handling of a grievance or other issue involving a collective bargaining agreement, the Public Review Board shall not have jurisdiction unless the appellant has alleged before the International Executive Board that the matter was improperly handled because of fraud, discrimination or collusion with management, or that the disposition or handling of the matter was devoid of any rational basis.

Section 5. OBLIGATION TO EXHAUST INTERNAL UNION REMEDIES. It shall be the duty of any individual or body, if aggrieved by any action, decision or penalty imposed, to exhaust fully the individual or body's remedy and all appeals under this Constitution and the rules of this Union before going to a civil court or governmental agency for redress.