1674 Osborne v. Local Union 600 General Council
Case No: 1674
The IEB’s investigator recounted all of the ballots cast in the race for chairperson. The recount cured any defects in the Election Committee’s tabulation of the ballots. The Local Union’s rule that allows a unit chairperson to be elected by a plurality of the votes cast resulted in the chief executive officer of this unit being elected after receiving only 17 out of the 47 votes. This rule may well seem counterintuitive. Where there are multiple candidates for unit chairperson, application of this rule will often result in an election that does not reflect the will of the majority. Nevertheless, under the Local 600 bylaws, any unit may adopt its own bylaws and establish a unit executive board. In that case, the chairperson (president) of the unit would have to be elected by majority vote. It is within the power of the unit membership, therefore, to avoid the kind of result that occurred in the race for chairperson of this unit. The fact that some of Local 600’s units have chosen to be governed by the Local Union bylaws, which do not require a run-off for the position of unit chairperson, does not render such unit elections undemocratic.
Issues addressed in this decisionDemocratic practices
Establishment of Local Union policies
Powers of membership
Uniform application of Union rules