1805 Thompson v. Duque, President, UAW Local Union 22

Case No: 1805


Article 6, §19 of the International Constitution entitles members in good standing who retire to obtain “retired membership status.”  Article 55, §1 of the Constitution also provides for the formation of retired workers chapters in any local with 25 or more retired members.  The question raised by this appeal is what happens to this retiree membership structure when one local union is merged into another, as occurred here when Local 235 merged into Local 22.  The International Constitution does not contain any provisions addressing the merger of locals, much less addressing the impact of such mergers specifically on retirees.  The International Union has represented to the PRB that for decades the general practice in merger situations is for the active membership of the merging local to become members of the surviving local, while the merging local’s retired workers chapter continues separately as an additional chapter attached to the surviving local.  In this scenario, the retirees from the merging local do not become retiree members of the surviving local. 

The Board concludes that the treatment of Local 235 retirees, including Appellant, is not contrary to any specific provision of the International Constitution.  Further, the PRB finds that the International’s practices in merger situations do not offend any of the fundamental guarantees of fairness and democratic governance embodied more broadly in the Constitution.  Accordingly, to the extent that Appellant or others might disagree with the International’s policy, the appropriate avenue for change is through the Union’s democratic processes, not an appeal to the PRB. 

Issues addressed in this decision