Monday, November 9, 2009

Machinists' Union Democracy is 'MUD'

Unions like the International Association of Machinists are fighting to get a no-vote unionization bill signed into law. Elections can, after all, be such a dirty business....People might actually vote differently than the union bosses want.

But, apparently, the Machinists' union bosses don't just dislike elections for union-free workers, it seems the union bosses don't like them for their members either.

The Association for Union Democracy points out:

IAM election needless. All 20 officers coast in.

The constitution of the International Association of Machinists provides for the election of international officers by direct membership vote. But machinists are not actually burdened with the chore of casting ballots because it's so difficult for any dissident to get nominated that no one runs against the administration. So it was in January this year when the election committee (more accurately, the non-election committee) announced that all candidates of the administration for all 20 posts, including president, secretary treasurer, vice president, law committee, and AFL-CIO and CLC Delegates were automatically declared elected.

Wannabe candidates must be nominated by at least 25 locals to get on the ballot. The election committee reported that only the administration candidates --- each with over 300 local nominations --- made it. It's not clear whether there was even a single errant nomination from anywhere, no reference to any local nomination for anyone else, not even a possible token nomination for a local favorite son. However, the committee did note that, for one technical reason or another, the returns from around 150 locals were not included in the count. How many of these locals, if any, nominated independent candidates or local favorites is not known.

No wonder unions like the IAM want to do away with elections. After all, they are sooo inconvenient.

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