We are known as the Alphabet Workers Union - Communications Workers of America Local 1400 (“AWU-CWA”, and “AWU” herein).
It is the object of the Alphabet Workers Union to advance and defend the interests of the workers and promote solidarity, democracy, and social and economic justice in the workplace, our communities, and society.
The Alphabet Workers Union’s community of interest includes any worker employed by Alphabet or its network of subsidiary and vendor companies, throughout the United States of America and Canada.
The Alphabet Workers Union is a unit within the Communications Workers of America Local 1400 (“Local 1400”) per the Memorandum of Understanding signed December 18, 2020. AWU is a part of Local 1400 and is subject to its Bylaws and the CWA Constitution, included herein by reference.
Where a term is defined in these Articles and also in the Local 1400 Bylaws or CWA Constitution, it should be read as referring to the AWU term unless explicitly annotated otherwise. (Example: membership refers to AWU membership, not Local 1400 membership or CWA membership.)
The structure of AWU consists of the following:
(a) The Membership. (b) Assemblies. (c) The Executive Council. (d) The Executive Council Chairs. (e) Organizing Units. (i) Chapters. (ii) Workplace Units. (f) Stewards. (g) Work Committees.
The affairs of AWU must be governed by its membership and Local 1400 in accordance with the rules and these Articles (including the Local 1400 Bylaws and the CWA Constitution).
Within AWU, authority is vested as follows, in descending order:
(a) Through actions taken by referendum.
(b) Through actions taken in Assemblies.
(c) Through actions and decisions of the Executive Council between Assemblies.
(d) Through actions of the Executive Council Chairs between meetings of the Executive Council.
All workers, including those workers with an employment status pending determination of any legal processes, within AWU’s community of interest are eligible for membership as defined in the CWA Constitution. Under no circumstances may a worker be excluded, penalized, or removed on the basis of craft, skill, age, race, caste, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, affiliation, disability, immigration status, or any other protected characteristic.
Membership in AWU is obtained upon the approval of the Local 1400 Membership Committee, which is authorized to accept or reject membership on behalf of CWA in consultation with the AWU Membership Committee.
(a) Members in good standing who resign or otherwise leave employment may be allowed to participate in AWU activities as decided by the AWU. Such individuals are not required to pay dues and are not entitled to vote.
(b) A member may resign in writing to the Local 1400 Membership Committee or a member of the Local 1400 Executive Board.
(a) Membership data includes, but is not limited to, information collected on membership forms, through grievance processes, and interest lists.
(b) Collected membership data is property of the CWA.
(c) Membership data will not be disclosed to any outside organization for any reason except as required by administrative processes.
(d) AWU’s members and staff must take reasonable care to maintain the confidentiality of membership data.
(a) The membership has full power over all AWU internal and strategic matters, the election of Executive Council members, decisions about the amount and frequency of dues, and amendment of the rules and these Articles.
(b) The membership (by referendum or Assembly), the Executive Council, and the Local 1400 Executive Board may at any time require from any union member or body a full and detailed statement of account of any action or business done in the name of AWU.
(c) No member or staff may enter into any agreement in the name of AWU or CWA without approval of the Local 1400 Executive Board and one of the Executive Council, an Assembly, or a referendum.
(a) The Annual Assembly must be held once per year. Special Assemblies may be called as specified in Section 7 of this Article.
(b) The time and place of the Annual Assembly is set by the Executive Council, provided that it does not occur within the thirty (30) days following the publication of the allocation of votes and delegates or the thirty (30) days following a change of time.
(c) The rules may impose additional conditions on the timing of the Annual Assembly, provided those conditions do not conflict with these Articles.
(d) In the event that an in-person Assembly is impossible or inadvisable, the Executive Council may hold the Assembly electronically.
(e) The Assembly Committee must provide the agenda and Executive Council Chairs must provide their reports to all members no less than thirty (30) days before each Annual Assembly.
(a) The Assembly Committee must maintain a list of proposed agenda items for the next Annual Assembly. Each Assembly has a separate such list.
(b) Any member may add an item to that list by sending it to the Assembly Committee or whatever other mechanism is designated by that Committee.
(c) Members must be able to vote on items up to the point at which the Assembly agenda is prepared (thirty (30) days before the Assembly).
(d) At least the top five (5) items from the list must be included in the Annual Assembly’s agenda.
(a) At least once per year, no more than 13 months after the previous publication, the Election Committee must publish the allocation of Assembly votes and delegates based on membership as of the beginning of the month of publication.
(b) Each Chapter receives 1 vote per member.
(c) The Election Committee must select and publish a constant of proportionality such that, after the computation below:
(1) no Chapter receives more than 1 delegate per 50 members or part thereof, (2) the total number of delegates does not exceed one hundred (100), and (3) any additional requirements as specified in the AWU rules.
(d) Each Chapter receives a number of delegates equal to the constant of proportionality multiplied by the square root of the number of votes allocated to that Chapter, with fractions rounded down. If a Chapter would receive no delegates, it receives one delegate instead.
(e) Delegates are elected in accordance with Article 18, Section 2.
(f) Executive Council members may not serve as delegates.
(g) Each delegate present at the Assembly receives an equal fraction of votes from those allocated to their Chapter.
(h) In the event that a new Chapter is formed, it and the Chapter(s) from which its membership is drawn (if any) must have their votes and delegates (re-)computed based upon the current proportion. This computation is still subject to the above limits, except that it may result in more than one hundred (100) delegates.
Delegate elections must be conducted by each Chapter after the publication of the allocation but no more than ninety (90) days before the Assembly.
(a) Delegates are expected to attend an Assembly in full. Quorum is a majority of delegates.
(b) No conditions, other than those set forth in these Articles, may be imposed on a delegate’s right to attend and vote.
(c) Delegates must be permitted to and have the opportunity to make proposals during an Assembly without their being proposed in advance.
(d) Delegates may not vote, directly or indirectly, by proxy. Delegates may not serve as a proxy for any other member.
(e) Executive Council members in attendance may not vote on any business.
(f) Any vote may be subject to roll call at the request of thirty percent (30%) of the delegates present.
(g) Any vote may be stayed in favor of a Referendum of the full membership at the request of thirty percent (30%) of the delegates present.
(h) an Assembly may not be adjourned except by a majority vote of the delegates present.
(i) The Recording Chair must publish draft minutes of each day of an Assembly within two (2) hours of its recess each evening and draft minutes of the entire Assembly within five (5) days of its adjournment.
(a) Assemblies must be held in sufficiently accessible locations such that all delegates may easily attend.
(b) Travel and accommodations for Executive Council Chairs and delegates must be provided by AWU.
(c) Executive Council Chairs and delegates must also receive a reasonable per diem for expenses incurred in attendance at an Assembly.
(d) The Assembly Committee must make all reasonable accommodations for disability or circumstance(s) of the delegates.
(a) Special Assemblies may be called between Annual Assemblies by the Executive Council or by petition of twenty percent (20%) of the members.
(b) Any call for a Special Assembly must include a proposed location, date(s), and agenda for the Special Assembly at least fifteen (15) days and preferably thirty (30) days in the future.
(c) Special Assemblies should be held electronically, as feasible, or as proposed in a membership petition.
(d) Votes and delegate allocations are those published closest to but not after the date thirty (30) days before the date of the Special Assembly.
(e) Chapters must hold elections for delegates to a Special Assembly in the manner prescribed by the Election Committee.
(a) The Executive Council is a body of members that coordinates work, ensures that all decisions of the membership, Assemblies, and the Local 1400 Executive Board are carried out in a timely and effective manner, and otherwise carries out the administration of AWU between Assemblies.
(b) The Executive Council acts as the decision-making body of AWU between Assemblies, so long as its decisions follow the rules and do not contradict these Articles.
(a) The Executive Council is composed of the Executive Council Chairs.
(b) In the event of a vacancy for any reason, the membership has the power to elect a new Executive Council member by referendum or at any Assembly to serve the remainder of the term.
(c) The membership shall strive to elect members to the Executive Council that reflect the diversity of the membership in all respects. Towards this end, the rules may specify the number of Council members and from which Workplace Units, Chapters, job classifications, employment types, and/or social demographics individual Council members may be elected.
(d) The Executive Council and Interim Executive Council must select from amongst their members one Liaison to sit on the Local 1400 Executive Council on behalf of AWU.
(a) The time and location of Executive Council meetings are set by the Executive Chair. These meetings must occur no less than once per month.
(b) Special Executive Council meetings may be called by a majority of its members.
(c) Executive Council meetings must be open to all members of AWU and any designated liaison(s) from Local 1400. Others may attend at the discretion of the Executive Council, subject to the rules.
(d) The Executive Council may enter executive session in the case of needing to discuss sensitive matters not appropriate for greater visibility (e.g. hearing a victim’s account of harassment). Local 1400 Executive Board members are permitted to observe executive session.
(e) All decisions of the Executive Council must be by majority vote of its members.
(f) Executive Council members may make motions and vote by telephone or other digital technologies, provided all Executive Council members have equitable access to whatever means is employed and reasonable opportunity to vote on all motions.
(g) The Recording Chair must ensure that all actions and decisions of the Executive Council and the votes of each member are reported to the membership in a timely manner.
(a) Upon initial ratification the CWA staff must hold elections for seven (7) positions. The nomination period is at least two (2) days, and the votes must be tallied at least two (2) days after that. The winners form the Interim Executive Council.
(b) The Executive and Vice Executive Chairs are filled by a single (multi-winner) election with the top candidate becoming the Executive Chair and the second place candidate becoming the Vice Executive Chair. Recording and Financial Chairs are filled by two separate single-winner elections. The at-large seats are filled by a single (multi-winner) election.
(c) A member can be nominated for any number of seats, but no member can hold more than one (1) seat at a time. A member elected to multiple seats must select one and thus become ineligible for the other seats, giving the other seat(s) to the runner(s) up as detailed in Article 18, Section 2. In the event of multiple conflicts, the CWA staff determine the order of selection.
(d) The Interim Executive Council acts as the Executive Council until it is disbanded.
(e) The terms of Interim Council members expire after one hundred eighty (180) days, extendable by referendum or an Assembly.
(f) The Interim Council must initiate a special election for the positions of the Executive Council as soon as reasonably possible. Each elected member of the Executive Council replaces one member of the Interim Executive Council and serves a term lasting until August 31st, 2022, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 11, Section 2.
(g) On September 1st, 2021 or after all members of the Interim Executive Council have been replaced, whichever is later, the Recording Chair must disband it, remove this Section from this Article, and announce such to the membership.
The Executive Council Chairs are the Executive Chair, Organizing Chair, Financial Chair, Recording Chair, and other Chairs as defined by the rules.
(a) The Executive Chair must serve as the primary contact person for AWU, enforce the rules and these Articles, report all actions of the Executive Council to the membership and Assemblies, and preside at all Assemblies or arrange otherwise.
(b) The Organizing Chair must help coordinate organizing campaign activities throughout AWU.
(c) The Financial Chair must maintain all bank accounts, account for all receipts and expenditures to the Executive Council, Annual Assembly, and membership in the form of monthly and annual financial reports, and properly and timely file all reports or filings required by federal, state or local law.
(d) The Recording Chair must record and distribute the minutes of Assembly and Executive Council meetings and maintain these Articles and the rules of AWU.
(e) The Executive Council, the rules of AWU, and the Local 1400 Executive Board may define additional responsibilities for the Chairs as needed.
(f) Executive Council Chairs serve in an administrative capacity only, with all the rights and responsibilities of membership, but no special authority over non-administrative matters.
Any member in good standing is eligible for election as a Chair, however no member may serve in more than one (1) Executive Council position at the same time.
(a) The nomination and election of Executive Council members is conducted by the Local 1400 Election Committee.
(b) The Election Committee must notify all members of the positions to be filled and the proper method of submitting nominations at least thirty (30) days prior to the election.
(c) Any member may nominate a member for the Executive Council by sending their nomination to the Election Committee or by whatever other mechanism is designated by the committee.
(d) The Election Committee must maintain a list of nominees for each position and ensure that the list is provided to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the election.
(a) The election of Executive Council members must be held each year during the month of August by vote of the membership.
(b) Each Chair is filled by a separate single-winner election.
(c) A member can be nominated for any number of seats, but no member can hold more than one (1) seat at a time. A member elected to multiple seats must select one and thus become ineligible for the other seats, giving the other seat(s) to the runner(s) up as detailed in Article 18, Section 2. In the event of multiple conflicts, the Local 1400 Election Committee determines the order of selection.
(d) Ballots must be sent by electronic mail not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the date and time set for their return.
(a) Only members of AWU in good standing are eligible to vote for Executive Council members.
(b) The term of office of an Executive Council member is 2 years unless otherwise specified in the rules.
(a) A Chair may resign in writing to the Local 1400 Executive Board.
(b) In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Council must elect an interim replacement by secret ballot vote and a special election held within sixty (60) days.
(c) Special elections are for the remainder of the term.
(d) Chairs may be recalled at any time by the members they serve as described in Article 20, Section 3.
(a) Chapters of AWU are based upon building or geographic area.
(b) Chapters are determined by the Executive Council, the Assembly, or by referendum.
(c) Chapters must maintain an Organizing Committee in order to continue to grow their membership.
(a) Each Chapter must elect a Chapter Coordinator from its members.
(b) Chapter Coordinators must serve as representatives of their Chapter to the Executive Council.
(a) The purpose of Workplace Units is to serve as the foundational unit of AWU and to facilitate organizing for density among workplace teams. They serve as the leverage point of AWU.
(b) Any five (5) or more members who work in the same organizational unit (e.g. department, team, product area) (“Workplace Unit”) may request the formation of a Workplace Unit consisting of all the members in that unit. Workplace Units can span geographic locations and Chapters.
(c) A Workplace Unit has the status of active or inactive. New Workplace Units begin with active status.
(d) Workplace Units may change their status, be formed, disbanded, or otherwise reorganized by majority vote of the affected members, subject to approval by the Executive Council, an Assembly, or referendum.
(a) A Workplace Unit has authority over all matters strictly limited to the scope of its membership provided that its actions follow the rules and do not contradict these Articles.
(a) Each Workplace Unit with active status must elect a Workplace Unit Chair from its members. The term of a Workplace Unit Chair ends upon an approved vote of the Unit to change the status to inactive.
(b) Workplace Unit Chairs must preside over meetings of the Workplace Unit and serve as representatives of their Workplace Unit to the Executive Council.
(a) The rules may define certain requirements for a Workplace Unit to be deemed “active”.
(b) If a Workplace Unit fails to meet the requirements of this section and does not cure that failure within thirty (30) days of an official announcement to that effect, then the Executive Council may dissolve the Workplace Unit by notice to its members.
(a) Stewards are the lifeblood of strong organization and serve as the primary contact persons and organizers for their Organizing Units, defined as Workplace Units and Chapters.
(b) Stewards must assist with fighting grievances, collecting dues, building unity on the job, resolving inter-member disputes, and recruiting and welcoming new members in their Organizing Units.
(c) Stewards work under the direction of the Executive Council and the Local 1400 President.
(d) Stewards must hold Organizing Unit meetings to inform workers of union activities and ensure that the opinions, ideas, and concerns of the workers are brought before Assemblies and Executive Council meetings.
(e) Stewards must recuse themselves from mediating a dispute between two members when they have a conflict of interest; the replacement mediator must be elected by majority vote of the members in the Steward’s group who are not involved in the dispute in question.
(f) Disputes between members that are supervisors/managers and regular employees must be mediated by a member not from either member’s Chapter.
Only members in good standing are eligible to be a Steward. Supervisory members are only eligible to be a Steward as allowed by union rules.
(a) An Organizing Unit member may become a Steward at any time by majority secret ballot vote or by any mechanism approved by majority vote of the Organizing Unit or specified in the union rules.
(b) In the absence of Organizing Units or of Stewards in Organizing Units where there are members, the Executive Council may define Organizing Units and appoint Stewards regardless of Organizing Unit membership. Organizing Units must be defined and Stewards appointed such that each member of AWU falls within the Organizing Unit of at least one (1) Steward.
(a) A Steward may resign in writing to the Recording Chair or by verbal announcement at any meeting of the Organizing Unit.
(b) Stewards can be recalled at any time by the members they serve as described in Article 20, Section 2.
AWU has the following regular work committees:
(a) Education Committee (b) Election Committee (c) Organizing Committee (d) Legislative-Political Committee (e) Membership Committee (f) Community Services Committee (g) Civil Rights & Equity Committee (h) Women’s Committee (i) Assembly Committee (j) Other work committees as determined by the Executive Council, an Assembly, or the membership.
Members of work committees may resign at any time. They may also be removed by majority vote of the Executive Council or the Local 1400 Executive Board, subject to the right of a referendum or an Assembly to overrule the action of the Executive Council.
(a) The Education Committee assists in developing AWU’s education program.
(b) The Election Committee conducts nominations, elections, and referenda as required by Article 18, Section 1.
(c) The Organizing Committee actively identifies our organizing campaigns’ needs and fills them in the long term. The Organizing Committee should seek to have members from every active organizing effort.
(d) The Legislative-Political Committee advances the interests of AWU and its members in the legislative political field, promotes members being registered voters, and involves the members in campaigns of candidates or for legislation in the interests of working people.
(e) The Membership Committee assists the Local 1400 Membership Committee in accepting or rejecting membership applications as needed and manages the onboarding process for all new members.
(f) The Community Services Committee assists in developing all community service programs and maintains and develops communications with AWU’s and CWA’s community allies.
(g) The Civil Rights & Equity Committee develops and promotes the CWA Human Rights program by building a union where members of all cultures, religions, sexual orientations, genders, disabilities, ages, and nationalities feel welcomed, respected, and heard. The committee must study and report to the Executive Council on the ways and means of eliminating discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other basis.
(h) The Women’s Committee educates on health, economic, and social issues that affect women and encourages the involvement of women in the labor movement.
(i) The Assembly Committee plans and executes Assemblies as required by Article 8.
All work committees are responsible to the membership at all times and, unless specified by the rules, each must elect one of its members as a chairperson to preside over meetings and report committee activities and recommendations to the membership, Assemblies, and the Executive Council.
All meetings and any other business of AWU must be conducted under these Articles and the rules of AWU. On questions where these do not apply, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, Twelfth Edition governs.
Reasonable notice must be given prior to any typical union meeting. Attendance at a meeting constitutes waiver of notice.
(a) The Election Committee must ensure that nominations and elections are conducted in accordance with federal law and these Articles, with reasonable opportunity for each member to nominate and vote for the candidate of their choice.
(b) The Election Committee must also conduct any referenda submitted to the membership.
(c) A member (e.g. of the Election Committee) is never eligible for a position in an election they oversee.
(d) All questions concerning the conduct and challenges of elections must be addressed to the Election Committee, subject to the right of appeal to the Assembly and membership of AWU in accordance with Article XV of the CWA Constitution.
(a) All votes must proceed using ranked choice voting, specifically Warren STV (Single Transferable Vote).
(b) In the event of a tie, the tied result must be verifiably randomly selected by the appropriate (AWU or Local 1400) Election Committee from the tied options.
(c) Invalid or ineligible options must be excluded from consideration and do not invalidate the vote unless otherwise specified by the rules.
Delegates to the Assembly are elected in a single multi-winner election. In addition to the allocated slots, the vote must include at least one alternate delegate position, drawn from those not elected to delegate positions, to serve in case of unavailability.
Charges, trials, and appeals must be conducted through the process set out in the CWA Local 1400 Bylaws.
Any Executive Council Member may be recalled in accordance with the provisions of Articles XXI, Section 2, and XXII, Section 8, of the CWA Constitution. A recall petition may be preferred by twenty percent (20%) of the membership to the Local 1400 Executive Board.
A Steward is immediately relieved of duties upon majority vote of the members of that Steward’s Workplace Unit or, in the absence of a Workplace Unit, upon majority vote of the Executive Council.
All other elected positions in AWU are subject to recall at any time by majority vote of the bodies with the right to elect said position and without formal trial proceedings.
(a) A referendum is an AWU-wide vote on any organizational question or action.
(b) The Election Committee must initiate a referendum when directed to do so by the Executive Council, an Assembly, or a petition of ten percent (10%) of the members.
(c) The voting period of a referendum must extend for at least 10 days.
The fiscal year of AWU is the same as Local 1400.
All bank accounts must be administered and maintained by Local 1400.
(a) The Executive Council must propose an annual budget to be ratified by an Assembly or referendum. It is responsible for directing Local 1400 in the allocation of funds according to the ratified budget.
(b) No budget may be ratified that dedicates less than fifty percent (50%) of funds to organizing.
A referendum, Assembly, the Executive Council, or any Workplace Unit may request a full account of all receipts and expenditures from any member or body of members.
(a) The Executive Council must appoint a Finance & Audit Committee.
(b) The Executive Council determines the composition and size of the Committee, except that a strict majority of Committee members must not be on the Executive Council and there must be a minimum of three such members. All Committee members who sit on the Executive Council members serve ex officio.
(c) Committee members serve until they resign to the Executive Council or are no longer members in good standing. Committee members may be removed by an Assembly or referendum.
(d) The Committee must monitor expenses and income, make financial and budgetary recommendations to the Executive Council, and perform or oversee an audit of AWU’s finances at the end of the fiscal year.
(e) The Committee may request, and the Recording Chair or chairperson must promptly furnish, the minutes of any executive session of any AWU council or committee, to be reviewed under executive session of the Committee.
(a) No AWU staff may ever be paid a salary higher than the median wage of the members.
(b) All reimbursed expenses of all AWU staff must be open to audit and transparently reported to the membership and the Assembly.
(c) AWU staff must at all times seek to be frugal in the spending of membership funds for the sake of conducting AWU business.
(d) No member or staff of AWU may use membership funds for personal gain and/or activities and resources not needed for conducting AWU business.
The rules of AWU must be maintained by the Recording Chair as detailed in Article 10, Section 2 and may be amended by referendum or an Assembly.
After adoption, these Articles may be amended by either a two-thirds majority vote referendum or a two-thirds majority vote at an Assembly, subject to approval by the Local 1400 Executive Board, provided the proposed amendment has been introduced at a previous Assembly or advertised by use of a union newsletter, electronic communication, or by U.S. mail at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the date voting takes place.
These Articles Adopted December 22, 2020***.*** *Amended by Special Assembly May 2, 2021.* *Amended by Annual Assembly July 16, 2022.*