… you need to know your target.
Pretty obvious, but it’s more important than people realize. Case in point;
Myself, and many of the members of local 333, want to have a chance to read the contract before we vote to ratify it. Sounds simple, but because of how things are currently being done it’s actually not allowed. So, a couple of us are working to fix this little issue, but we aren’t getting any support from above. None.
We have put forward motions, which were deemed out of order.
We have shown the article used to deem them out of order to be a straw-man argument. A non-sequitur. The article bears no relationship to the motion presented, but that was soundly ignored.
So that means it’s time to define the terms of engagement. What are we fighting?
We were told by both L.R. and Ben we were fighting a Constitutional article, but we have since shown that to be false.
Upon stating this fact to the national rep Stu Shields, I was told we were fighting a policy, and to change it would require a constitutional amendment. Forgetting for the moment the nature of Constitutional articles vs organization policies, I therefore asked to be shown the policy that stated members could not review the contract before ratification.
After a very condescending note was distributed to a bevy of national members, a week has passed and this policy has not materialized. I do not believe it exists. Such a policy could be easily challenged in court, so from a defensive standpoint it’s better to make it unofficial.
So where does that leave us?
Are we fighting a constitutional article? No.
Are we fighting a policy, protected by constitutional clauses? No.
We are apparently fighting a Practice.
To date, it has been THE PRACTICE of the local to release the documents only after ratification. I will not go into why that might be … that’s a post unto itself … the point is a practice DOES NOT stand protected by any clauses in the CAW Constitution, nor do they enjoy the protection of any legal statutes that exempt them from the laws of the land.
Below is my motion of appeal, not to the national bodies suggested to me by Ben, but instead TO THE MEMBERS OF CAW LOCAL 333. A practice recognized by the CAW Constitution, and one which explicitly recognizes that the members are the final power in this union, regardless of the wishes of those who sit in the chairs at the front of the room.
I have sent letters this last month to various national members of the CAW, including our National President Ken Lewenza, asking them to explain how Ben could use the article he did to rule two separate motions our of order. No response. Stu has, as I mentioned above, sent a wonderfully derisive letter to a whole bevy of national members regarding this issue, with no apparent response as of the date of this post.
Of course …
If I am tragically wrong in my deductions, I would very politely ask that they get in touch with me and explain … without the misdirections … how. That policy I asked for would probably do nicely. In the meantime the members of local 333 are going to get a chance to speak on this issue whether the executive likes it or not. During the meeting they are the first and the last word. Some of them have waited years for this chance to speak, so let’s see what they have to say, shall we?