Function

Democracy Is the Key

Democracy is a key trade union principle which plays a pivotal role at USW Local 1944. Being accountable to our members and giving every member a say in the affairs of our Union creates an atmosphere of involvement and solidarity. It all starts with member participation. This means more than letting the members vote once every few years, then giving Union leaders the right to make all the decisions. Union democracy is a continuous process of participation, representation and information. Depending on the mechanisms used, this can be a timely and expensive process but one that is essential to the good health of the Union. Great care must be taken in ensuring that our structure meets both the needs of our members while keeping costs in control. Our members expect and deserve good stewardship for their Union dues.

Units

Units are the building blocks of our structure. Units are chartered by the Executive Board of the Local and assigned a specific jurisdiction.

Units usually meet monthly or every other month to conduct business. It is important that you attend your Unit meetings in order to report problems in your workplace, provide feedback to your union on job-related matters and receive updated information from your Local Union Representatives. Your participation ensures that the Union keeps a pulse on the events that matter to you and your input is vital as your Representatives go forward to address those issues. Once you have sent in your membership application you will receive meeting notices that will tell you when and where your next Unit meeting will be. As well, you will receive letters, bulletins and a quarterly newsletter called the "The Transmitter" which will keep you up to date on the latest happenings in USW Local 1944 as well as the federal and global labour issues that may impact you and your community.

Units also:

  • Hold triennial elections for Unit Executive positions.
  • Make recommendations to Local Union Delegated Meetings.
  • Report any business conducted to head office.
  • Participate in labour education and activities.

The members of each Unit elect Unit Officials who represent the membership. Unit Officials consist of the following positions:

  • Unit Chair
  • Unit Vice-Chair
  • Unit Secretary
  • Unit Counsellor(s)

As a member in good standing, you are encouraged to exercise both your voice and your vote at Unit meetings and to elect those Unit Officials who you feel will best represent you. All Unit Officials are subject to an election process regulated by the Union's Constitution. This ensures that accountability is maintained via the democratic process and USW Local 1944 takes pride in the fact that Union Officers of every level are elected.

The Local Union Delegated Meeting

The Local Union holds a Local Union Delegated Meeting at least once every three years. Resolutions for changes to the Local Union By-Laws, are voted upon and approved by a majority of delegates in attendance at these Local Union Delegated Meetings and are then voted upon by the Local's membership. Delegates to Local Union Delegated Meetings are elected at the Unit level according to a formula that takes the size of each Unit, and regional representation, into account.