1827 Turner v. UAW Local Union 2209

Case No: 1827


The Local 2209 Election Committee found Appellant ineligible to run on two grounds: (1) the requirement under Paragraph 17 of the UAW-GM National Agreement that an individual’s name must appear on the applicable seniority list to be eligible to serve as a committeeperson; and (2) the Interpretations of the Constitution for Article 45, §1 as creating an exception solely applicable to incumbent committeepersons.  Appellant argues in opposition primarily that the office he seeks is covered by the LMRDA and that DOL regulations under that statute permit any discharged employee to seek union office, provided that the employee is challenging his or her termination.  Appellant argues secondarily that basic principles of fairness embodied in the UAW International Constitution prohibit the Union from adopting a candidate eligibility rule which distinguishes between incumbents and non-incumbents.

In terms of the LMRDA issues, the PRB agrees with the International Union that the Board does not attempt to administer any law other than that established by the UAW Constitution.  With regard to the Committee’s reliance on Paragraph 17, collective bargaining provisions cannot restrict the right to seek office otherwise granted under the International Constitution.  Lastly, a rule explicitly favoring incumbents over non-incumbents faces a heavy burden in the Board’s view.  Although the International Union has put forward reasons for the rule in good faith and with some merit, ultimately, the PRB finds them insufficient to outweigh our concern for union democracy and equal treatment.