1757 Pedersen v. Local Union 600-
Case No: 1757
The UAW Constitution allows a local union broad discretion to adopt ratification procedures for its negotiated contracts, subject only to the approval of the Regional Director. The sole qualification for the ratification procedure is that it should encourage the greatest possible participation of members in voting on the contract. Pedersen is correct that Paragraph 4 of the Democratic Practices Section of the UAW Ethical Practices Codes requires a fair and democratic ratification process. However, the prohibition on our interference with collective bargaining policy limits our authority to review the union’s decisions about how to present its negotiated contracts to the membership. Our role in reviewing complaints about ratification is more advisory than remedial. We have, at times, suggested future strategies to prevent problems from recurring.
Article 19, §3 gives the IEB final authority to approve the ratified contract. If serious violations of democratic procedures were identified, the IEB might determine that ratification had not taken place. Furthermore, if a substantial number of members were deliberately prevented from participating in a ratification process, those members could appeal the violation at a membership meeting and raise the issue that way. In this case, the membership of Local Union 600, acting through its elected General Council, rejected Pedersen’s appeal, affirming the membership’s approval of the contract. There is no remedy necessary in this case, because there is no evidence of any serious violation of the union’s democratic principles.