Constitutional Changes at Teamsters Convention
At the Teamsters Union’s Convention, delegates meet to engage in the work of the union. One of the most important aspects of the Convention is amending the union’s Constitution. On the second day of the 30th International Convention, delegates passed several amendments.
General President Jim Hoffa and General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall are co-chairs of the Constitution Committee, which met in the days leading up to the Convention to propose, debate and vote on whether amendments come to the floor of the Convention for a vote.
These amendments cover a diverse range of issues, from general housekeeping such as deleting outdated language, to much more important issues facing the union and its members.
Delegates approved the following amendments:
- Article VII, Section 7(b) The amendment confirms the current practice of providing copies of reports prepared by International Auditors for local unions in Canada to the President of Teamsters Canada.
- Article XII, Section 1. 2 and 6 Provisions regarding the ratification of local union and master collective bargaining agreements and for authorizing strikes were rewritten to eliminate the 2/3 rule provisions and limiting the ability of the negotiating committees to impose contracts that have not been approved by a majority of the voting members.
- Article XII, Section 14(a) The proposal increases the minimum amount of out-of-work benefits and provides for the payment of benefits from the first day of a strike as long as the strike and defense fund has at least $150 million at the start of the strike.
- Article XIII, Section 4 This clarifies that the Organizing Assistance Fund can be used to support organizing campaigns for workers who have been misclassified and are not considered to be “employees.” This will allow support of credible campaigns to organize workers being exploited by the “gig” economy.
- Article XXII, Section 4(a) The changes reflect changes in the Department of Labor regulations governing union elections and authorize the General Executive Board to adopt changes in nomination and election procedures in the event we are confronted with another crisis that prevents in-person meetings. It also provides for the General Executive Board to adopt procedures in the event the Department of Labor or any responsible provincial body permits election of officers to be conducted electronically.
- Article XXII, Section 4(e) The new language further defines an “extraordinary” expenditure between the time of an election and the start of the term of the newly elected officers in order to make clear that established and funded benefit funds can be paid provided the financial stability of the local is not adversely affected.
- Article XXVI, Section 6(c) This confirms the current practice whereby the President of Teamsters Canada notifies the General President in the event it is determined that a problem exists in a Canadian local union that might require a trusteeship to be imposed over the local.
- Article XXVI, Section 6(f) This also confirms existing practice and provides that the International Auditor assigned to Canada will send the audit report to the President of Teamsters Canada at the same time it is forwarded to the General Secretary-Treasurer.