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  5. Constitution ARTICLE 5: Membership

In this Article, the term “Local Union” includes any subordinate body of the National Union.

An informed and active membership is the foundation of a democratic and dynamic trade union.

Unifor’s foremost priority is to advance the interests of its current members and to assist prospective members to organize new bargaining units. In addition, the Union will open its membership to a broader range of working people including those who cannot feasibly organize a bargaining unit.

A member who has been dismissed shall retain membership status provided a grievance is filed against the dismissal and provided the grievance remains active.

A: RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS

  1. Members are entitled to share equally in governing Unifor. Subject to the distinctions and rules set out in this Constitution, each member in good standing has the right to run for office, to nominate and vote in free and fair elections.
  2. Members have the right to fully participate in the democratic debate and decisions of the appropriate body or structure of which they are a member or a delegate. All members have right to free speech including the right to criticize the policies or governance of the Union.
  3. Members have the right to participate in the union free of harassment and the National Union shall have an effective anti-harassment policy.
  4. Members have the right to fair and reasonable consideration of their individual interests and concerns when collective decisions are made. Members have the right to a review of any decision which they believe adversely affects them, as set out in this Constitution.
  5. Members shall uphold the democratic decisions and rules of the Union, pay dues and fulfill obligations in this Constitution, and respect the provisions of their freely negotiated collective agreements.
  6. Members shall support the solidarity and the collective actions of the Union in collective bargaining, and in its efforts to protect the jobs of members.
  7. Any member who is elected or appointed to represent other members or participate in the administration or governance of the Union shall defend the Constitution and organizational integrity of the Union.

B. ELIGIBILITY

After the Founding Convention

8. Upon ratification of the mergers of the CAW-Canada and CEP with Unifor, all members of the CAW-Canada and CEP shall become members of Unifor, in the same membership status and standing as they enjoyed in their respective predecessor unions, and shall be entitled to all rights, privileges, and benefits afforded by this Constitution, without payment of any initiation or membership fee or further action.

Persons in Bargaining Units

9. All other persons who are employees in organized workplaces over which Unifor and/or a Local Union of Unifor has collective bargaining authority may become members of the National Union and applicable Local Union upon signing a membership card declaring support of and adherence to the Constitution of the National Union and the payment of dues. Membership shall be withheld only upon proper and just cause. An employee who has been denied membership by a Local Union shall have the right to appeal this decision to the membership of that Local Union.

Membership Acquired During an Organizing Drive

10. In the course of an organizing drive, persons working in an unorganized workplace, or in a workplace not yet under the collective bargaining authority of the National Union or a Local Union, may become members of the National Union and/or a Local Union, by signing a membership card declaring support of and adherence to the Constitution of the National Union. A person joining the National Union and/or a Local Union shall pay the minimum initiation fee required by law in the jurisdiction of their workplace, if any.

Members in Community Chapters

11. In addition, the persons listed below may become members of Unifor and applicable Local Union by joining a Community Chapter established by the National Executive Board. Membership shall commence upon completion of a membership card declaring support of and adherence to the Constitution of the National Union and the payment of applicable dues.

  • Persons employed in a workplace where the National Union or a Local Union attempted and failed to obtain collective bargaining authority.
  • Persons who have lost employment in a workplace over which the CAW-Canada or the CEP previously had collective bargaining authority or a workplace over which the National Union and/or a Local Union has or had collective bargaining authority and lost that authority for any reason, including closure.
  • Persons who have ceased active employment, with no reasonable prospect of a return to work, in an organized workplace over which the National Union or Local Union has collective bargaining authority.
  • Unemployed persons.
  • Persons who are self-employed or in freelance positions.
  • Persons engaged in temporary or contract work.
  • Persons employed in unorganized workplaces.
  • Students.

Members in Retiree Chapters

12. A member who retires is entitled to retired membership status according to the terms of Article 12 of this Constitution.

Eligibility Restrictions

13. A person who is employed in the ranks of supervision or above, with managerial authority, as defined by labour relations law, is not eligible for membership, unless he/she is approved for membership by the National Executive Board.

Concurrent Membership

14. A member of the National Union shall also be a member of a Local Union, Community or Retiree Chapter, or other subordinate body. A member of a Local Union, Community or Retiree Chapter or other subordinate body shall also be a member of the National Union and subject to its rulings and decisions.

Membership Cards and Lists

15. The National Union shall supply membership cards which it and all Local Unions and subordinate bodies shall use for the purposes of this Article.

16. The National Union shall maintain a membership list of all members, and all Local Unions shall cooperate in this effort.

17. The National Union shall keep all completed original membership cards that it receives. All completed original membership cards received by a Local Union shall be forwarded to the National Union after the Local Union makes a copy of same for its records. The National Union shall deliver a copy of the completed membership cards it receives to the appropriate Local Union.

Member in Good Standing: Leave — Layoff — Closure

18. A member remains in good standing without paying dues for the period of a layoff or leave only for as long as he or she has recall rights as provided for in his/her collective agreement.

19. Any member who has severed employment as a result of a workplace closure shall be deemed to no longer be a member.

20. Members who have recall rights and work elsewhere are required to pay union dues to their Local Union to remain in good standing.

21. The only exception to number 19 above, shall be if a member is a full-time Officer of the Local Union and pays dues to the Local Union, he/she shall be considered a member in good standing, as long as he/she remains a full-time Officer of the Local Union.

22. Any member absent from work because of illness or injury remains in good standing for the period of illness or injury as long as he/she has a reasonable prospect of a return to work.

Termination of Membership

23. Membership may be terminated as provided for in this Constitution, or when a member accepts a position which renders him/her ineligible for membership.

DOWNLOAD THE UNIFOR CONSTITUTION IN PDF FORMAT

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