1807 Slight et al. v. UAW International President
Case No: 1807
Appellants acknowledge that they did not file an appeal within 30 days of when they first became aware that their grievances had been withdrawn. As a result, they recognize that the International President must grant a request for a waiver of time limits in order for them to proceed with an appeal under Article 33. The PRB has dealt with the waiver of time limits under Article 33, §4(d) in prior decisions and we review such decisions under an abuse of discretion standard. Under the circumstances presented, the Board concludes that the International President did not abuse his discretion. The Record is clear that the International President’s office afforded Appellants a full opportunity to present evidence and argument in support of their waiver request. Ultimately, the President’s decision to deny a waiver was based upon his consideration of the evidence presented. It cannot be said that his weighing of the evidence amounted to an abuse of discretion. The President also did not abuse his authority in finding that familiarity with Article 33 of the Constitution, which a few Appellants claimed to have, would have prevented the misunderstanding upon which Appellants based their waiver claim.
In their appeal to the PRB, Appellants raise various arguments in support of their waiver request, but none of their challenges establish that the International President abused his discretion. One of Appellants’ primary contentions is that the International President failed to give due regard to the Union’s initial error in failing to notify the Grievants for over nine months that their grievances had been withdrawn. Article 33, §4(b) provides that the appeal time limits “begin to run from the time appellant first becomes aware, or reasonably should have become aware, of the alleged action or decision appealed.” This provision is specifically intended to protect a member’s appeal rights in cases where there is a delay between the action appealed and the Union’s notice to the member. Appellants further argue that their lack of knowledge or understanding regarding the Constitutional appeal process should be excused because they were entitled to rely on the advice of their Union representative. However, the Board commonly sees rank-and-file members who show considerable understanding of the appeal process and use it without the need for legal representation or other assistance to obtain review of decisions impacting them.