1504 Shotwell v. UAW GM Dept.
Case No: 1504
The Democratic Practices section of the Ethical Practices Codes clearly recognizes that members do enjoy the right to self-government when they act through elected representatives. The ratification framework that Shotwell objects to was put in place by elected representatives acting on behalf of their constituents. The fact that combining the votes made the proposal to negotiate the Delphi Supplement less important to the electorate at large did not disenfranchise Delphi members. In any event, the Union has demonstrated that the 2003 UAW-GM-Delphi Agreement would have been ratified by the majority of the members from the combined Delphi local unions even if their votes had been counted separately.
The arrangement providing for ratification of the Delphi Supplement prior to the negotiation of the anticipated two-tier wage agreement was an integral part of the Negotiation Committee’s strategy for preserving GM level benefits for Delphi’s current employees. Article 19, §4, merely requires that National Agreements and Supplements shall be ratified; it does not dictate the framework for ratification. The International Union has the authority and the flexibility to establish ratification procedures. Article 19 provides the membership with a means for rejecting those procedures, but once the procedures are accepted by the majority, they govern the ratification process. Article 33, §3(f), precludes our review of the wisdom or fairness of the ratification process adopted.
Member Jones concurred.