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Ask yourself: before you consider joining any organization, wouldn’t you like to know their rules?

Having a thorough understanding of the union’s rules is in your best long-term interests. The United Auto Workers of America Constitution is more than 219 pages of Rules, Regulations and Responsibilities that YOU MUST follow as a member of their organization.


UAW Local 3000 Bylaws add another three pages. These rules spell out the Power and Authority the Union officials have over their members. It's important that employees fully understand to what they are committing by voting to give the union the exclusive rights to represent you in the election.


to Review
the UAW Constitution


to Review
UAW Local 3000 Bylaws

UAW Constitution Cover.jpg

A quick review of the union's Constitution will offer you an easy idea of their motivation and approach: to ensure that the union, not the employee, comes first! To ensure this objective, employees are expected to take a pledge, or oath, of membership where they swear to obey the union's rules and are willing to be held in a union trial by a judge and jury of the union's peers.

For union members, these documents (union constitutions and bylaws) are often seen as a contract between the union and the members (at all levels). This means that they are enforceable

  • If, for example, you are a union member and you were to violate a union's constitution (or a local's bylaws), most unions would be able to place you on union trial. 

  • If you were to be found guilty by a union trial board, most unions would have the ability to fine you money, suspend your membership, or kick you out of the union (that's called expulsion). 

  • If you were to refuse to pay a union's fine, the union could take you to a court of law in order to force you to pay. Union trials happen more than most unions admit, and, often, they are a result of a union member not knowing his or her membership responsibility to the union.

The most common thing for which members are put on trial by their union is for working during a union-called strike. However, there are other things that members have been put on trial for as well, including:

  • Attempting to decertify, or kick out, the union

  • Attempting to replace the member's existing union with another union (called dual unionism)

  • Working for an employer that is on a union's 'unfair list'

  • Working for an employer who's employees are on strike

  • Working non-union (primarily for construction trade union members)

  • Violating any provision within the union's constitution, local bylaws, or other union directives.

Federal law (NLRA) permits unions to prescribe their own set of rules and regulations upon their members. It is imperative for employees to understand and appreciate these rules prior to voting in a NLRB representation election. More importantly, employees need to recognize these binding obligations before pledging oath to union membership.

“[Federal law] recognizes the rights of unions to establish and enforce rules of membership and to control their internal affairs. This right is limited to union rules and discipline that affect the rights of employees as union members and that are not enforced by action affecting an employee’s employment. Also, rules to be protected must be aimed at matters of legitimate concerns to unions such as the encouragement of members to support a lawful strike or participation in union meetings. “

Section 8(b)(1)(A) National Labor Relations Act.

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