IWW FJU Bylaws
Bylaws Cheat Sheet (Not Actually Part of the Bylaws, Just a TL;DR Summary)
- Union Name
- We’re chartering as the “New York City Printing and Publishing Workers Industrial Union Branch 450”
- There are many bureaucratic reasons for this, but simply put, the structure of the IWW requires us to do this
- That said, the IWW FJU will continue operating as is — focusing on organizing freelancers in news media and welcoming all of them wherever they may live
- Voting is necessary for all matters using the union’s name or funds
- To manage voting, we’re going to use the platform Loomio: https://www.loomio.org
- The way voting works:
- A proposal is shared over the listserv
- If seconded, the proposal moves onto Loomio, where it can be discussed, amended, etc. for three days
- After three days, the actual voting period is opened for another three days
- If the proposal receives more than 50 percent of the vote, it passes
- The way emergency voting works:
- An emergency proposal, with explanation, is shared over the listserv
- If seconded, the emergency proposal moves onto Loomio for a 12-hour discussion period
- After 12 hours, the actual voting period is opened for 12 hours
- If the proposal receives more than 50 percent of the vote, with at least 10 percent of the membership participating, it passes
- All officers are elected, unpaid, and recallable by vote
- Secretary: Responsible for all administrative matters
- Treasurer: Responsible for all financial matters
- Delegates: Responsible for handling dues
- Organizing Department Liaison: Responsible for keeping in touch with the IWW
- Anti-Harassment Policy
- Basically, don’t be a dick
- Specifically, don’t be:
- Any other kind of bigot
- Violations of this policy will:
- First, be brought up to the violator to resolve
- Second, if violations continue, be referred to the IWW’s Gender Equity Committee
Industrial Workers of the World
New York City Printing and Publishing Workers
Industrial Union Branch Bylaws
Name and Structure
- The name of this body of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) shall be known as the NEW YORK CITY PRINTING AND PUBLISHING WORKERS INDUSTRIAL UNION BRANCH 450 (NYC IUB 450).
- The NYC IUB 450 shall be composed of actual wage workers who produce or distribute printed or digital matter, including but not limited to journalists, writers, editors, strategists, photographers, videographers, graphic artists, researchers, programmers and printers within the publishing industry, whether employed on a permanent or freelance basis.
- The NYC IUB 450 shall nurture workplace and industry organizing efforts among workers employed in the printing/publishing industry.
- The NYC IUB 450 shall encourage the growth of industrial union strategies, up to and including the formation of new Organizing Committees and Industrial Union Branch bodies.
- Membership in the NYC IUB 450 shall be open to all IWW members who produce or distribute printed or digital matter, including but not limited to journalists, writers, editors, strategists, photographers, videographers, graphic artists, researchers, programmers and printers within the publishing industry, whether employed on a permanent or freelance basis.
- Members who cease working in the publishing industry, and are instead working in another industry for 30 days or more, must transfer to the proper Industrial Union and its corresponding Industrial Union Branch or their local General Membership Branch.
- Members who hold jobs in more than one industry may simultaneously be members of more than one Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch with full rights to democratic participation in said bodies, provided that they are actual workers in said industries, and provided further that they pay all dues and assessments required by each Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch of which they are members.
- The geographic jurisdiction of the NYC IUB 450 shall include members living or working within a 50 mile radius of New York City.
- IWW members working in publishing who live and work outside of the geographic jurisdiction of the NYC IUB 450 may at the mutual agreement of the member and the NYC IUB 450 opt-in to becoming a temporary member of the NYC IUB 450 branch until such a time when a closer Industrial Union Branch can be chartered. The NYC IUB 450 will work with the member to assist with the local Industrial Union Branch chartering process. Because all business meetings of the NYC IUB 450 are done via conference call and voting is done via online platform, the members are able to fully participate in all NYC IUB 450 business.
- Dues shall be assessed at the current North American Regional Administration rates.
- Initiation fees shall be equal to one month’s dues.
- Dues are not meant to be a barrier to entry, only a means for the NYC IUB 450 to independently support its organizing. Whether or not members pay dues, they are welcome to participate in all organizing activities not explicitly prohibited by the IWW Constitution.
- Per the IWW North American Regional Administration Constitution:
- “A member who has not paid dues for the two month period prior to the current month is considered in Bad Standing and is not entitled to any rights or benefits in the IWW until they have been paid. A branch may vote to allow a member in Bad Standing to participate in branch business meetings with voice, but no vote.”
- “After 3 months in Bad Standing, a 5 month period of unpaid dues prior to the current month, members are considered to be on inactive standing and cannot take part in business meetings.”
- Per the IWW North American Regional Administration Constitution:
Initiation Fees and Dues
- Monthly business meetings of the NYC IUB 450 shall be held by conference call.
- A quorum of 10 percent of the NYC IUB 450 members in Good Standing, or five members in Good Standing — whichever is largest — must be present in order to conduct the monthly business call.
- There shall be a minimum of one business call of the NYC IUB 450 per month, at a well-advertised date and time. The Secretary-Treasurer may authorize additional business calls or meetings during the month as needed.
- While motions can be made and seconded on the monthly business call, voting will not occur during the call, but will instead occur on a designated digital platform, such as Loomio.
- IWW members from other Industrial Unions and nonmembers may be given a voice during the meeting at the NYC IUB 450 members’ discretion.
- Voting shall occur only on a designated platform, such as Loomio.
- The quorum for voting shall be 10 percent of the NYC IUB 450 members in Good Standing, or five members in Good Standing — whichever is largest.
- Per the IWW North American Regional Administration Constitution:
- Per the IWW North American Regional Administration Constitution:
- The online voting process is a modified version of Robert’s Rules of Order for the purpose of meeting the required IWW reporting criteria. Stages of the online voting process are as follows:
- A motion is proposed on the designated communication channel, such as the email list or the monthly branch business meeting call.
- The motion is seconded by another NYC IUB 450 member.
- Upon receiving a second, a minimum three-day discussion period will begin via a thread created on the designated voting platform and the link is shared via the email list. During this period, the motion can be debated.
- During the discussion period, members of the NYC IUB 450 may offer “friendly” amendments to the motion, which may be accepted or rejected at the discretion of the member who initially made the motion. The vote shall be on the amended version of the motion.
- During the discussion period, alternative motions may be added for consideration if seconded. Within the discussion period, these alternative motions may be withdrawn by the members that moved them and/or may be amended at the discretion of the member who made the alternative motion.
- Upon the conclusion of the discussion period, a three-day voting period will begin via a poll on the designated voting platform. If any alternative motions were made, the vote shall be ranked choice, including each alternative motion, as well as an option for “No Action.”
- Members may change their vote at any time prior to the conclusion of the voting period.
- An affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting is required in order to pass the motion.
- In a scenario requiring a more immediate response, a motion for an emergency vote may be moved:
- The motion intended for the emergency vote must include a thorough explanation for why the voting process should be expedited.
- If seconded, the emergency vote follows the normal stages described above, however, the discussion and voting periods are reduced to 12 hours each.
- The quorum for emergency voting shall be 10 percent of the NYC IUB 450 members in Good Standing, or five members in Good Standing — whichever is largest.
- An affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting is required in order to pass the emergency proposal.
- The NYC IUB 450 shall elect a Branch Secretary-Treasurer (BST) for a one-year term, to begin on January 1. Nominations for the Branch Secretary-Treasurer will open at the November monthly business call, with formal elections taking place in December via the designated voting platform. The duties of the Branch Secretary-Treasurer shall be appointed to the individual(s) receiving the highest number of votes. Departing Branch Secretary-Treasurers are expected to spend at least one month training their replacement.
- No member may serve as the Branch Secretary-Treasurer for more than three consecutive terms. A member may run for Branch Secretary-Treasurer again at the end of their third term only if no alternate candidate can be found.
- As needed, the NYC IUB 450 can elect multiple Branch Secretary-Treasurers, choose to split the position into Branch Secretary and Branch Treasurer, and/or elect assistants to the Branch Secretary-Treasurer(s) for the purpose of helping distribute the workload.
- The NYC IUB 450 shall elect branch delegates for one-year terms, to begin on March 1. Nominations for delegates will open at the November monthly business call, with formal elections taking place in December via the designated voting platform. Delegates may also be elected throughout the year as deemed necessary, provided that they are approved by a vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting.
- The NYC IUB 450 shall elect an Organizing Department Liaison for a one-year term, to begin on January 1. Nominations for the Organizing Department Liaison will open at the November monthly business call, with formal elections taking place in December via the designated voting platform. The duties of the Organizing Department Liaison shall be appointed to the individual receiving the highest number of votes. Departing Organizing Department Liaisons are expected to spend at least one month training their replacement. The Organizing Department Liaison shall report monthly to the Organizing Department Board via webform and shall join the Organizing Department Board email list.
- All NYC IUB 450 officers must be in and remain in Good Standing as defined by Article V Section 1 of the IWW Constitution. If any officer falls more than two months behind on their dues, they shall be given the option of catching up or being replaced.
- All officers are required to report monthly in writing and should attend the monthly NYC IUB 450 calls.
- All officers are subject to recall by a passing vote of more than half of the total number of members in Good Standing.
- The Branch Secretary-Treasurer shall:
- Be the responsible custodian of all branch records, funds and supplies;
- Issue such supplies to delegates in the branch and receive reports from them;
- Maintain such records of these transactions as Bylaws or organizing programs require;
- Report all such business to the General Secretary-Treasurer at least monthly;
- Transmit to the General Secretary-Treasurer copies of all minutes of meetings and of the Branch Secretary-Treasurer’s own monthly financial report submitted to the branch;
- Endeavor to keep all members in Good Standing and aware of all referenda.
- Report at least monthly to the General Secretary-Treasurer on the activities and prospects of the branch.
- Report at least monthly to the branch’s assigned General Executive Board member.
- Complete all necessary legal filings, such as 990 and LM filings.
- Develop and maintain a contact sheet of the NYC IUB 450 members (phone number, email address, mailing address).
- Check in with and coordinate with any standing committee chairs, organizing or otherwise, and ensure their regular timely reports. Discuss what needs the committee has and communicate those needs to delegates.
- Open and maintain bank accounts for organizing projects, if directed by the NYC IUB 450 via an affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting.
- Delegates shall:
- Initiate new NYC IUB 450 members;
- Collects dues for the NYC IUB 450;
- Provide the Branch Secretary-Treasurer with a Delegate Report by the 1st of each month.
- Maintain regular contact with those on their contact sheets at least once a month.
Duties of Branch Secretary-Treasurer and Delegates
- The NYC IUB 450 shall maintain a bank account in their name for the purposes of organizing and union expenses. It shall be the responsibility of the the NYC IUB 450 Branch Secretary-Treasurer to keep a balanced ledger of this account and to act as liaison between the NYC IUB 450 and our bank.
- The primary purpose of maintaining a bank account is to supplement the financial needs of the NYC IUB 450 organizing projects.
- The NYC IUB 450 Branch Secretary-Treasurer shall make financial records available for inspection within a reasonable amount of time upon request by any NYC IUB 450 member or member of the General Executive Board.
- The NYC IUB 450’s fiscal year shall be July 1-June 30.
- The NYC IUB 450 shall perform a yearly fiscal audit in July.
- The audit committee shall be made up of three NYC IUB 450 members who are not elected officers (Branch Secretary-Treasurers, Assistant Secretary-Treasurers, delegates). If not enough NYC IUB 450 members who are not officers are available, the audit committee may include members of any chartered branch of the IWW.
- In order for an organizing campaign to be officially recognized by the NYC IUB 450, the following criteria must be met:
- An affirmative vote to endorse the organizing campaign by more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting;
- The appointment of a campaign organizing committee of at least three NYC IUB 450 members who will consult with the workers within the campaign and mentor them regarding the IWW’s resources and methods.
- At each monthly business call, this organizing committee will be responsible for reporting all aspects of the organizing drive which they oversee. All reports should be submitted in writing prior to the call in order to be included in the agenda and meeting minutes.
- The organizing committee may additionally include organizers from other IWW chartered branches as needed.
- In organizing campaigns that have been officially recognized by the NYC IUB 450, three or more members in the same workplace who are actively working to build majority union representation where union conditions do not prevail shall constitute a job branch of the NYC IUB 450.
- Freelancers with shared unique industry-specific interests shall be considered by the NYC IUB 450 to be “members in the same workplace.”
- The IWW Freelance Journalists Union (FJU), which originated from the New York City General Membership Branch in 2018, shall be an officially recognized job branch of the NYC IUB 450.
- Because the FJU is a multi-city organizing campaign, the NYC IUB 450 will share jurisdiction over the FJU with other Industrial Union 450 branches as they are chartered, so long as those branches have three or more FJU members.
- In geographic areas where no Industrial Union 450 branches have been chartered, the NYC IUB 450 and FJU will coordinate with local General Membership Branches and/or IWW members-at-large to recruit new FJU members and work toward chartering a local Industrial Union Branch.
- FJU members who live and work outside of the geographic jurisdiction of the NYC IUB 450 may at the mutual agreement of the member and the NYC IUB 450 opt-in to becoming a temporary member of the NYC IUB 450 branch until such a time when a closer Industrial Union Branch can be chartered.
- Job branches may elect their own internal committees and delegates.
- In organizing campaigns that have been officially recognized by the NYC IUB 450, three or more IWW members in the same workplace where union conditions prevail and where majority union representation has been established shall constitute a job shop of the NYC IUB 450.
- Job shops may elect their own internal committees and delegates.
- Standing committees can be appointed for projects of the NYC IUB 450, such as fundraising, communications, training, and outreach. This does not include campaign organizing committees, which are addressed in the Organizing section of these bylaws.
- Standing committees are expected to have a chair and a set of goals approved by the NYC IUB 450.
- Standing committees will be asked to report monthly during the NYC IUB 450 business meeting call. All reports should be submitted in writing prior to the call in order to be included in the agenda and meeting minutes.
- The role of a standing committee chair will be to issue monthly reports, discuss the status of the standing committee with the Branch Secretary-Treasurer and Organizing Department Liaison, and indicate where they need help with their work. They will also communicate with the Branch Secretary-Treasurer and Organizing Department Liaison about any upcoming events.
- NYC IUB 450 members will honor all union endorsed boycotts and strikes, IWW or otherwise.
- NYC IUB 450 members will not cross any union picket line, IWW or otherwise, especially union picket lines at publications. This includes digital picket lines.
- Proposed amendments to these bylaws must be submitted in writing and endorsed by at least 10 percent of the NYC IUB 450 members in Good Standing in order to be eligible for a vote.
- Any article of these bylaws may be added or amended through an affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting.
- All parts of the NYC IUB 450 bylaws conflicting with the IWW Constitution are null and void.
- These bylaws shall be provided to new members and made available upon request to any IWW member.
- The NYC IUB 450 endorses the Safer Spaces Policy found in the Selected Resolutions section of the IWW Constitution.
Industrial Workers of the World Safer Space Policy
The Industrial Workers of the World is a union committed to the emancipation of the working class. The working class is diverse and as a union we recognize that oppression is many layered. As such, we strive to keep our common places free from oppressive action, behavior, and language.
These oppressive actions and words include but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any expression of disrespect and/or intolerance of size, gender identity, sexual identity/expression, (dis)ability, age, educational level, and cultural background. Because we want to learn from and educate each other, we will each be responsible for addressing these issues in ourselves and others. This policy is not about censorship, but rather opening a dialog in a respectful way that can result in all members feeling safe and free to fully participate in their union’s activities.
If a member feels this policy is being / has been violated, the following steps should be taken:
- Reference the policy to the whole group: for example, “In the IWW, we have a ‘Safer Space Policy’ that all members are mutually responsible to uphold. I feel this policy has been violated by talk of ‘[comments made].’ Please keep the Safer Space Policy in mind.”
- If the policy is still being violated, the issue should be brought up to the person in violation directly and/or the chair, an officer, a delegate, or a member whom you would like to act as an advocate on your behalf so that an effective plan of action can be instituted.
- If you have no allies locally and invoking the ‘Safer Space Policy’ fails, reach out to the Gender Equity Committee for assistance at [email protected].
If a member feels like this policy is being violated and is uncomfortable bringing this up personally, they are encouraged to seek an ally of their choosing to advocate for them. In a meeting, a person can ask for a point of personal privilege to take a break and discuss this with the necessary parties. Meeting chairs, officers, delegates, and members should be conscious of this policy and address issues as they arise.
Further, space shall be defined as any office, meeting, event (including trainings, celebrations, social gatherings, etc.), internet platform (including listservs, facebook, we.riseup, twitter, etc.) that is IWW sponsored, which includes any body formally recognized by the IWW, such as General Membership Branches, Regional Organizing Committees and Regional Administrations, Industrial Union Branches, other committees, and any accountable sub-formation of the aforementioned bodies.
Bylaws approved August 8, 2019