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UAW Constitution - Contracts and Negotiations


Section 1. It shall be the established policy of the International Union to recognize the spirit, the intent and the terms of all contractual relations developed and existing between Local Unions and employers, concluded out of conferences between the Local Unions and the employers, as binding upon them. Each Local Union shall be required to carry out the provisions of its contracts. No officer, member, representative or agent of the International Union or of any Local Union or of any subordinate body of the International Union shall have the power or authority to counsel, cause, initiate, participate in or ratify any action which constitutes a breach of any contract entered into by a Local Union or by the International Union or a subordinate body thereof. Whenever a Local Union or a unit of an Amalgamated Local Union becomes a party to an agreement on wages, hours or working conditions, it shall cause such agreement to be reduced to writing and properly signed by the authorized representatives of all the parties to the agreement.

Section 2. When a grievance exists between a Local Union and management and negotiations are in progress and an International Union Officer or representative is participating by request of the Local Union involved, a committee selected by the Local Union shall participate in all conferences and negotiations. Copies of all contracts shall be filed with the International Secretary-Treasurer.

Section 3. No Local Union Officer, International Officer or International Representative shall have the authority to negotiate the terms of a contract or any 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 membership, or unit membership in the case of an Amalgamated 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 apprenticeble skilled trades and related workers, 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.

Section 4. National agreements and supplements thereof shall be ratified by the Local Unions involved.

Section 5. The general meeting of the Local Union members of an establishment under the jurisdiction of an Amalgamated Local Union shall be the highest authority for handling problems within the establishment, in conformity with the bylaws of the Local Union and this International Constitution.

Section 6. The International Executive Board shall protect all Local Unions who have succeeded in establishing higher wages and favorable conditions and have superior agreements, so that no infringement by Local Unions with inferior agreements in workplaces doing similar work may be committed against the Local Union with advanced agreements.

Section 7. Each Local Union or unit of an Amalgamated Local Union shall be required to maintain a complete and up-to-date schedule of job classifications and wage rates; a copy of which must be attached to each contract submitted to the International Union.