1834 Rhoden v. UAW Local Union 723 Executive Board

Case No: 1834


The UAW has a long-standing policy barring retired members from holding union offices which require bargaining or grievance handling under a local’s bylaws or collective bargaining agreements.  The Local 723 Bylaws state: “The Financial Secretary-Treasurer is to assist the Unit Chairperson in processing and expediting grievance procedures.”  On its face, the meaning of this sentence in the Bylaws is far from clear.  However, the incumbent Financial Secretary-Treasurer has argued persuasively that the language has not been construed in the past as conferring substantive responsibility for the processing of grievances, such as conducting grievance interviews or hearings, much less responsibility for resolving grievances with the employer.  The membership agreed with this reading of the Local Bylaws by voting in favor of the appeal.  The Local membership has the final authority to resolve disputes regarding the meaning and application of its bylaws.  In order to overturn the membership’s determination, an appellant would need to establish that the interpretation violated some principle embraced in the UAW Constitution or the Ethical Practices Codes.  No such showing has been made here.