1781 Sykes and Syfax v. Local 7777 Executive Board

Case No: 1781


The charges appellants filed on October 27, 2017, based on events that took place during the July 28, 2017 membership meeting, are untimely. Appellants have not explained how the cancellation of meetings scheduled for September 29 and October 24, 2017 prevented them from submitting a timely charge to the recording secretary of Local Union 7777 addressing the events that occurred during the membership meeting on July 28, 2017. The membership has no role to play in the review of charges presented in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution.

Appellants’ charge against President Willett in response to his cancellation of membership meetings reflects their misunderstanding of the decision making process within democratic institutions. A motion adopted by a group of members cannot usurp the executive functions of the local union’s elected representatives. Such an arrangement would be contrary to the UAW’s democratic principles. It does not matter whether the cancellation of these meetings was a deliberate political maneuver or the result of circumstances unrelated to appellants’ charges. The cancellation of membership meetings is not a proper subject for charges submitted in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution. Article 33 provides the appropriate tool to address complaints about the operation of the local union.

Appellants’ charge based on President Willett’s refusal to honor the motion adopted by the membership concerning the chairpersons’ compensation is a challenge to an administrative policy of the local union and therefore not an appropriate subject for a trial conducted pursuant to Article 31. A local union president does not engage in conduct unbecoming a union member by adopting policies in the performance of the responsibilities of his position. The membership always has the right to challenge such decisions through the appellate processes described in Article 33, but an appellant in such a case must establish some Constitutional basis for an order overturning measures adopted in the furtherance of legitimate objectives. The trial procedures established by Article 31 of the Constitution are not designed to evaluate the merits of local union administrative policies.