Areas of Responsibility
DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE GENERAL PRESIDENT
As Indicated in Article VI of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Constitution
Article VI, Section 1(a). The General President shall preside at the Convention of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and conduct the same in conformity with this Constitution. He shall have the deciding vote in case of a tie on any question that is being voted on by the Convention. He shall act to the best of his ability in furthering the interests of the organization. He shall fill any vacancy among the officers of the International Union, subject to the approval of a majority of the General Executive Board.
(b). The General President shall have general supervision over the affairs of the International Union, which shall be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and subject at all times to review and approval of the General Executive Board.
(c). The General President and the other general officers may hold office in subordinate bodies and render services thereto. However, neither the General President nor General Secretary-Treasurer shall receive any compensation, allowances, or fringe benefits from any such subordinate bodies.
(d). The General President may accept a call to serve by the government of the United States; and if such call is made and he believes that it is in the best interests of the International Union to accept, his position and remuneration as now outlined in the Constitution shall not be interfered with and shall continue.
(e). The General President may, without the approval of the General Executive Board, appoint a member of the International Union as Executive Assistant to the General President, who shall receive a salary for the term of his appointment as set forth in Article V, Section 1(c).
(f). The General President may appoint and designate a member of the Union as a Personal Representative who shall act on behalf of the General President as the General President may determine, including the right to attend meetings, interview members, and review the records of any subordinate body of the International Union.
(g). The General President shall be empowered to appoint and fix the salaries of one (l) or more Assistants to the General President to carry on his work if he deems it necessary.
(h). The General President shall have the authority at his discretion to direct that a mail referendum vote, or a supervised secret ballot vote or a secret ballot vote by membership in meeting assembled, be held by the membership of any Local Union or subordinate body, or the membership in any division or craft of any Local Union or subordinate body, or the membership at any place of employment or under any specific contract, or on any other similar basis on any matter, issue or proposition when, in his opinion, the welfare of such membership or the subordinate body or the Local Union or the International Union will be served thereby.
Section 2(a). The General President shall have authority to interpret the Constitution and laws of the International Union, including the authority to interpret the Bylaws of subordinate bodies, and to decide all questions of law thereunder between meetings of the General Executive Board. The General President shall have authority, unless some other procedure is expressly provided in this Constitution, to settle and determine all grievances and disputes submitted to him by Joint Councils, Local Unions and other subordinate bodies, or members, between meetings of the General Executive Board. All interpretations rendered under this Article shall be subject to appeal to the General Executive Board and, thereafter, to the next Convention in the manner and to the extent prescribed in this Constitution. When any action is taken as provided herein between meetings of the General Executive Board such action shall be reported to the next meeting of the General Executive Board for its approval, reversal, or modification, if an appeal has been taken.
(b). When the General President makes a decision or orders a subordinate body to observe the laws, and the subordinate body refuses, the subordinate body shall be subject to suspension or revocation of charter by the General Executive Board or imposition of Trusteeship by the General President. This provision shall also apply to decisions and orders of the General Executive Board.
Section 3. In any controversy with an employer not covered by a Local Union agreement, the Local Union shall make all reasonable efforts to settle the same through negotiation and, if it fails, through a fair arbitration tribunal. If an employer offers to arbitrate, it shall be optional with the Local Union to accept or reject such arbitration. However, if the Local Union rejects arbitration and the matter is brought to the attention of the General President, he shall ask the officers or representatives of the Local Union to appear before him or his representative or in some other manner to explain their reasons for refusal. If the General President is satisfied that the Local Union is not justified in refusing arbitration, then the General President shall submit the matter to the General Executive Board, and if the General Executive Board is of the opinion that the Local Union should arbitrate, it may so decide; whereupon the Local Union shall proceed to carry out the decision of the General Executive Board.
APPROVAL OF BYLAWS OF LOCAL UNIONS
Section 4(a). Bylaws of Local Unions and other subordinate bodies, and amendments thereto, shall be effective upon approval by the General President. The General President shall have the authority to approve amendment(s) retroactive to the date on which the amendment(s) were initially adopted by the Local Union’s membership. However, such retroactive approval shall not be granted where the effect of such action would be to excuse an action taken without adequate authorization as required by the Bylaws approved by the membership. In no event shall Bylaws, or amendments thereto, be approved to a date before they were properly adopted. Retroactive approval shall not be granted unless the Bylaws or amendment is submitted to the General President for approval promptly after its adoption by the membership. Nor shall retroactive approval be granted if the effect is to excuse an action that was not lawful, or was not properly authorized in accordance with the Bylaws as approved by the subordinate body, at the time the action was taken. If the General President fails to approve the Bylaws or amendments thereto, the matter may be referred by the subordinate body to the General Executive Board for its determination.
(b). Local Unions shall not adopt Bylaws or take any action which would impair their ability to meet their financial obligations to the International Union and its subordinate bodies or interfere with the discharge of their obligations to their members in the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements and in conducting the affairs of the Local Union as a solvent organization.
POWER OF GENERAL PRESIDENT TO APPOINT TRUSTEES; DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF LOCAL UNIONS UNDER TRUSTEESHIP
Section 5(a). If the General President has or receives information which leads him to believe that any of the officers of a Local Union or other subordinate body are dishonest or incompetent, or that such organization is not being conducted in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the International Union or for the benefit of the membership, or is being conducted in such a manner as to jeopardize the interests of the International Union or its subordinate bodies, or if the General President believes that such action is necessary for the purpose of correcting corruption or financial malpractice, assuring the performance of collective bargaining agreements or other duties of a bargaining representative, restoring democratic procedures or preventing any action which is disruptive of, or interferes with the performance of obligations of other members or Local Unions under collective bargaining agreements, or otherwise carrying out legitimate objects of the subordinate body, he may appoint a temporary Trustee to take charge and control of the affairs of such Local Union or other subordinate body; provided, however, that before the appointment of such temporary Trustee, the General President shall set a time and place for a hearing for the purpose of determining whether such temporary Trustee shall be appointed; and further provided that where, in the judgment of the General President, an emergency situation exists within the Local Union or other subordinate body, the temporary Trustee may be appointed prior to such hearing, but such hearing shall then commence within thirty (30) days and decision made within sixty (60) days after furnishing of the transcript of testimony; and further provided that in all cases the Local Union or other subordinate body shall be advised of the reason for the appointment. Adequate notice at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing shall be given to the Local Union or other subordinate body involved. In the case of all hearings conducted prior to or after the establishment of a Trusteeship, the General President shall designate a panel composed of uninvolved members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, at least one (1) of whom shall be from the area involved. The General President may, at his discretion, appoint an employee of the International Union to such panel. Such representatives shall make their recommendations to the General President orally or in writing within sixty (60) days after the furnishing of the transcript of testimony, and the decision in the case shall be made by the General President himself, which decision shall be made within fifteen (15) days after such recommendations are received by him, and the decision shall be promptly transmitted to the Local Union or other subordinate body. Appeals, if any, from determinations following such hearings shall be taken directly to the General Executive Board. Appeals, if any, from the decision of the General Executive Board shall be taken to the Convention by only the Local Union or subordinate body affected. Procedures on appeals under this Section, insofar as is consistent with this Section, shall be governed by the provisions of Article XIX. The International Union shall not be responsible for any actions or activities of a Local Union or other subordinate body under Trusteeship unless such actions or activities have been directed or authorized by the Trustee. The General Executive Board may modify or add to the procedures established herein for the purpose of assuring compliance with any applicable law. The time requirements set forth in this Section shall not be mandatory but are only directory.
(b). The Trustee shall be authorized and empowered to take full charge of the affairs of the Local Union or other subordinate body, to remove any or all officers and appoint temporary officers at any time during his Trusteeship, and to take such other action as in his judgment is necessary for the preservation of the Local Union or other subordinate body and its interests. The terms of office of officers so removed shall terminate as of the date of removal. The Trustee shall report from time to time on the affairs and transactions of the Local Union or other subordinate body to the General President. His acts shall be subject to the supervision of the General President. The General President may remove Trustees at any time and may appoint successor Trustees. The General President may also appoint an administrative assistant to the Trustee to assist such Trustee in managing the day-today operations of the Trusteed Local Union.
(c). The removed officers shall turn over all moneys, books, and properties of the Local Union or other subordinate body to the Trustee, who must render a receipt for the same.
(d). Temporary officers and Trustees must be members in good standing of Local Unions in good standing. They must give bonds for the faithful discharge of their duties, satisfactory to whoever appointed them, which shall not be less than the amount of money they are apt to handle.
(e). The Trustee shall take possession of all the funds, books, papers, and other properties of the Local Union or other subordinate body and tender a receipt for same. He shall pay all outstanding claims, properly proved, if funds are sufficient. If the funds are not sufficient he shall settle the most worthy claims, as his judgment dictates, unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution. In the event the charter of the Local Union or other subordinate body is suspended or revoked, all its funds, books, papers, and other properties shall be forwarded to the General Secretary-Treasurer, who shall hold them for the purpose of reorganization. If no reorganization occurs within a period of two (2) years, such funds shall be transferred to the general fund.
(f). In all cases of Trusteeships, the Trustee shall make a report to the General President at intervals of no more than every six (6) months, which report shall contain his recommendations with respect to whether the Trusteeship shall be continued or terminated. The first (1st) such report shall be made within six (6) months after the date of the decision following the hearing on the appointment of a Trustee.
(g). Additionally, the Local Union, or other subordinate body, in regular or special membership meeting, by a majority vote, may petition the General President for the restoration of self-government, provided that no such petition shall be presented at intervals of less than six (6) months starting with the date of the decision following the first hearing on the appointment of the Trustee.
(h). When a Local Union or other subordinate body petitions for restoration of self-government as herein provided, it shall be accorded a hearing which shall be commenced within thirty (30) days and a decision made within sixty (60) days after the receipt of the transcript, which hearing shall be held in the same manner as provided in Section 5(a) of this Article relative to hearings on initial appointment of Trustees.
(i). When it is determined by the General President or the General Executive Board that self-government be restored, the Trustee shall direct an election at such time as he may designate, any other provision of this Constitution or Local Union rules or Bylaws to the contrary notwithstanding. The Trustee shall not install the officers elected at such election until directed to do so by the General President. Upon such installation the Trusteeship shall terminate and the Trustee shall return all remaining funds, property, books, and papers to the appropriate officers of the Local Union or other subordinate body. Subsequent to the release of the Local from Trusteeship a terminal audit shall be prepared. The term of office of the newly elected officers shall be for not more than three (3) years in the case of a Local Union, or four (4) years in the case of any other subordinate body, and the next election for officers shall take place in compliance with the provisions of Article XXII, Section 4 in the October, November, or December closest to and preceding the expiration of the three-year or four-year period, as the case may be following the initial election.
(j). During any Trusteeship, the affairs of the Local Union shall be administered in accordance with the existing Bylaws of the Local Union, to the extent those provisions are consistent with the Constitution and do not prevent the Trustee from accomplishing the objectives of the Trusteeship. The General President shall have the authority to approve a recommendation of the Trustee that a provision of the Local Union Bylaws be suspended in order to redress the problems that caused the Trusteeship.
REMOVAL OF INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND GENERAL ORGANIZERS
Section 6. The General President, when he deems it for the best interests of the International Union, is hereby empowered to remove any International Representative or General Organizer.
Section 7. The official Journal shall be published under the supervision of an editorial staff of not less than two (2) members selected by the General President and approved by the General Executive Board, such staff to work under the direction of the General President, but to be responsible to and guided in its policies by the General Executive Board. A copy of the Journal shall be sent directly to each member in accordance with Article XXIII, Section 6. Copies may be sent to any person, organization, or institution at the discretion of the General President. The General President shall be empowered to employ such help as he may need to carry on this work.
VACANCY IN OFFICE OF PRESIDENT
Section 8(a). In case of the death, resignation, or removal of the General President, the General Secretary-Treasurer shall immediately assume the office, powers, and duties of the General President for the balance of the unexpired term, provided that the General Secretary-Treasurer was elected to that office, or to any other office on the General Executive Board which was subject to union-wide membership vote, in the most recent unionwide election conducted pursuant to Article IV, Section 2. In the event the General Secretary-Treasurer has not been so elected, the at large Vice President who received the greatest number of votes in the most recent union-wide election conducted pursuant to Article IV, Section 2, shall become General President. The General Executive Board shall have the authority to fill by appointment any vacancy resulting from such succession.
(b). In the event that the General President is temporarily unavailable during any period or periods of time, the General Secretary-Treasurer shall exercise all of the powers and duties of the office of the General President during such period or periods of temporary unavailability, except for his powers to appoint and remove which, during such period or periods, shall not be exercised without the prior approval of the General Executive Board.
(c). In the event that the General President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office for a period of six (6) months, the General Secretary-Treasurer shall convene a meeting of the General Executive Board for the purpose of determining if the General President is permanently unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Upon a determination by the General Executive Board that the General President is permanently unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the General Executive Board shall declare a vacancy in the office of the General President which shall be filled in accordance with Section 8(a) of this Article. The resulting vacancy on the General Executive Board shall be filled as provided by the Constitution.
Section 9. The General President shall have the authority to make expenditures from the general fund in amounts not exceeding $25,000 for any single transaction for lobbying and other political purposes, including contributions to candidates for state, provincial, and local offices if such contributions are not prohibited by state, provincial, or local law. Expenditures exceeding $25,000 for any single transaction shall be subject to prior approval by the General Executive Board.
Section 10. There is hereby created the position of General President Emeritus for life which is to be filled by James R. Hoffa. In addition, anything in this Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, James R. Hoffa is hereby granted, conferred, and guaranteed good standing membership in his Local Union and the International Union for the rest of his lifetime, for all purposes, and with all rights and privileges appertaining to such membership as with any other member in good standing without distinction or discrimination upon the payment of the established dues. He shall receive no remuneration or compensation as President Emeritus. The position of General President Emeritus shall not be considered a constitutional office, but rather a specific honor conferred upon James R. Hoffa in appreciation of his many years of devoted and tireless service to the interests of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its members.