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. Union democracy is a continuous process of participation, representation and information. 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.

Local Union Delegated Meetings

The Local Union holds a Local Union Delegated Meeting at least once every three years. Resolutions for changes to the Local Union’s 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 into account.

Executive Board

The Executive Board consists of the officers of the Local Union, and enforces the provisions of the International Constitution and of the Local Union’s By-Laws, as well as policies of the United Steelworkers. Officers are elected every three years by referendum ballot with a “one member, one vote” formula. Between Local Union Delegated Meetings, it has the power to direct the affairs of the Local Union. The Executive Board meets as needed, but no less than once per quarter. 

The officers of the Local Union are the following:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary-Treasurer
  • Regional Executive Officers
  • Three (3) Trustees

The number of Regional Executive Officers (REO) is based on the formula of one REO for the first 1-2500 members in each province containing a Local’s charter, plus one additional REO for each additional 2500 members or portion thereof in that province. Regional Executive Officers are elected by the membership in their province.

Table Officers

The Table Officers are full-time, salaried officers of the Local Union and conduct the business of the Local Union in between meetings of the Executive Board. Table Officers consist of the President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer.

Local Union Representatives

The Local Union Representatives are employees of the Local Union. Their duties are to assist the units in the handling of complaints and grievances; to assist USW staff representatives and other representatives of the International Union in the handling of grievances and the preparation of arbitration cases where applicable; to assist in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements; to engage in organizing activity in accordance with the Local Union’s by-laws; and to perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Local Union, and the District Directors and/or the Canadian National Director where applicable.

Units

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

Units usually quarterly 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 leaders. 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 monthly e-magazine called [email protected] which will keep you up to date on the latest happenings in your Local as well as global labour issues that may impact you and your community.

Units also:

  • Hold triennial elections for their Unit Officials positions.
  • Make recommendations to Local Union Delegated Meetings.
  • Report any business conducted to the Local 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 leaders of every level are elected.