1819 Rankin v. UAW International Executive Board
Case No: 1819
The PRB has jurisdiction to review the IEB’s decision to impose a suspension under Article 30, §4 of the International Constitution. Under Article 30, §4, the default rule is that an accused International officer will continue to function in his or her elected capacity pending trial. However, Article 30, §4 also authorizes the IEB to suspend the accused officer by a 2/3 vote conducted at a Special International Executive Board Meeting. Although the Constitution commits the suspension decision to the IEB’s discretion, that discretion is limited by the general principles of fairness and due process embodied in the UAW Constitution and the Ethical Practices Codes. Accordingly, suspension pending trial should be reserved for serious matters that cannot be adequately addressed through other means.
The PRB finds that the IEB acted reasonably in relieving Appellant of his official duties under the circumstances of this case. The charges leveled against the Appellant are serious and relate directly to the conduct of his official duties. Moreover, the charges were not based on mere rumor or innuendo, but rather on a preliminary internal investigation followed by a complete investigation conducted by an outside attorney.
Appellant also seeks pre-trial appellate review of the Article 30 charges against him. Although we agree that the pre-trial procedure under Article 31 does not apply, the Board does not accept the International Union’s further argument that the Constitution forecloses all pre-trial review of charges under Article 30. There may be unusual circumstances in which pre-trial appellate review would be warranted and there is nothing in the Constitution that would categorically preclude such review. As a general matter, however, the PRB believes that challenges to Article 30 charges will seldom be appropriate for pre-trial review.