1772 Gatlin, Sr., Clark and Brown v. IEB

Case No: 1772


The charges submitted by John Stevens against Marie Clark, Jeff Brown, and Andra Gatlin are improper within the meaning of Article 31, §3(c) of the UAW Constitution because they do not describe a violation of the Constitution or conduct unbecoming a union member. It was not conduct unbecoming a union member for Marie Clark to share the information she obtained about John Stevens with another UAW member and ultimately with the Chairperson of the election committee. That was, in fact, the appropriate way to deal with this kind of information.

Although Brown’s erroneous representation about Stevens included in an election protest may have caused needless embarrassment, the narrow limitations on freedom of expression described in the Ethical Practices Codes do not extend to carelessly erroneous utterances even where the correct information was within reach. Such an understanding of the term vilification could have a chilling effect on speech. The right to free speech guaranteed by the UAW Constitution is a cherished one and not to be lightly abridged.