INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA
ETHICAL PRACTICES CODE
The following Ethical Practices shall apply to the representatives of the International Union in Canada, all Canadian District Councils, Local Unions, all subordinate bodies and to every employee, member and officer whose action may affect the interests of the members or the union.
The Constitution of LIUNA and applicable
Canadian law protect the democratic rights of the members of LIUNA to
participate fully, without fear, abuse, intimidation in all Union affairs. To
that end, the following principles shall be respected.
(a) Each member shall be entitled to a full share in Union self-government. Each member shall have the full freedom of expression and the right to participate in the democratic decisions of the Union. Subject to reasonable rules, regulations and qualifications, each member shall have the right to run for office, to nominate through duly established constitutional procedures and to vote in free, fair and honest elections. In a democratic union, as in a democratic society, every member has certain rights but she or he also must accept certain corresponding obligations. Each member shall have the right to criticize the policies, actions and personalities of the Union and its officials; however, this does not include the right to undermine the Union as an institution; to vilify other members of the Union or its elected officers or carry on activities with complete disregard of the rights of other members and the interests of the Union; to subvert the Union in collective bargaining which may include dual unionism, except as permitted by the Local Union or to abuse the processes or obstruct the operations of the Union by bringing repetitive, frivolous complaints or charges
Local Union membership meetings, District Council delegate meetings and
Canadian Conventions shall be held regularly, with proper notice of time and
place and shall be conducted in an atmosphere of fairness.
All Union rules and policies must be fairly and uniformly applied and all
disciplinary procedures shall be fair and shall ensure the provision of natural
justice to each member.
The Union shall ensure that its operations shall be conducted in a
democratic and fair manner. Corruption, discrimination or anti-democratic
practices and procedures shall not be permitted.
Union funds are held in trust for the benefit of the membership. The
membership is entitled to assurance that Union funds are not dissipated and are
spent for proper purposes. The membership is also entitled to be reasonably
informed as to how Union funds are invested or used.
The Union shall conduct its proprietary functions, including all
contracts for purchase or sale or for rendering housekeeping services in
accordance with the practice of well-run institutions, including the securing of
competitive bids for major contracts where appropriate.
The Union shall not permit any of its funds to be invested in a manner
which results in the personal profit or advantage of any officer or
representative of the Union or any member of their immediate family of an
officer or representative.
(c) There shall be no contracts for purchase or sale or for rendering services that result in the personal profit or advantage of any officer or representative of the Union. Nor shall any officer, representative or employee of the International Union, District Council, or any Local Union receive personal profit or special advantage from any action of any officer or representative of the Union.
Neither the International Union, District Council nor any Local Union
shall make loans to its officers, representatives, employees or members, or
members of their immediate families, for the purpose of financing the private
business of such persons.
No official, representative or employee of the International Union,
District Council or Local Union, nor any Union trustee of a benefit fund, shall
receive fees, salaries or other benefits of any kind from a fund established for
the provision of health, welfare or retirement benefits, except for reasonable
reimbursement provided for in a collective agreement, trust agreement, or
which has been expressly approved by the Board of Trustees
No official, employee or other person acting as an agent or
representative of the International Union, who exercises responsibilities or
influence in the administration of health, welfare and retirement programs or
the placement of insurance contracts, shall have any compromising personal ties,
direct or indirect, with outside agencies such as insurance carriers, brokers or
consultants doing business with the health, welfare and retirement plans.
Union appointed Trustees shall use their best efforts to ensure that
complete records of financial operations of all health, welfare and retirement
funds and programs shall be maintained in accordance with the best accounting
practice. Each union trustee shall require that each such fund be audited
Union appointed Trustees shall make available all such audit reports for
inspection by members of the Union covered by the fund.
Business and Financial Activities of Union Officials
7 (a) Any person who represents LIUNA and its members, whether elected or appointed, has a duty to serve the best interests of the members and their families. Every officer and representative must avoid any outside transaction which creates an actual or potential conflict of interest
The membership list, out-of-work lists and other mailing lists of the
Union are valuable assets. In order to protect the interests of our
membership, members, officers and representatives shall not, under any
circumstances, turn over any list of Union members to an outsider for use in the
promotion or sale of any goods or services that benefit an individual or private
concern. List of Union members are to be used only to promote the necessary
legitimate interests of the Union and for no other purpose. It is improper for
any official or representative of the Union without the express prior written
consent of the General President to permit the use of any list of Union members
by any third party to promote the sale of any goods or services or to enable
persons, corporations or labour organizations to solicit the membership.
No officer or representative of the Union shall have a personal financial
interest which conflicts with his or her Union duties,
Except for stock purchase plans, profit sharing or retirement plans, no
officer or representative of the Union shall have any substantial interest in a
business with which LIUNA bargains collectively.
No officer or representative shall accept payments of any kind, valuable
gifts, lavish entertainment, any personal payment of any kind other than regular
pay and benefits for work performed as an employee from any employer with which
the Union bargains collectively or from a business or professional enterprise
with which the Union does or seeks to do business or in any way be party to any
financial misconduct or impropriety. Nothing in this section is intended to
prevent the acceptance of gifts or entertainment in accordance with reasonable
practices which do not compromise the integrity or independence of the officer
The principles of this Code apply to investments and activities of third
parties where they amount to a subterfuge to conceal the financial interests of
such officials or representatives.
No Union member, officer, representative or employee and no trustee of
any benefit fund shall engage in “barred conduct”. “Barred conduct” is
defined to include:
knowingly permitting any member or associate of any organized crime
syndicate to exercise control or influence in the conduct of the affairs of the
knowingly associating with any member or associate of any organized crime
(b)(i) for purposes of this article, “knowingly associating” shall mean:
(a) an individual knew that the person with whom he or she was associating was a member of an organized crime syndicate;
the association related directly or indirectly to the affairs of the
the association was more than fleeting or casual;
committing any criminal act which may adversely impact the Union or its
(d) knowingly obstructing or interfering with the LIUNA Canadian Complaints Officer, the General Executive Board Counsel – Canada (“GEBCC”), the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer or the Appellate Officer or any officer of the International Union under this Code, employee under the LIUNA constitution or agent of the GEBCC in the execution of their duties under this Code.
9 (1) Any member in good standing
(hereinafter referred to as “complainant”) may prefer charges alleging that
an officer, representative or member of the Union has violated this Code by
providing same to the Recording Secretary of the Local Union who shall within
two (2) days of receipt provide a copy of the charges to the member (hereinafter
referred to as the “respondent”) whose conduct is the subject of the
allegations. The charges must be signed by the member laying the charges and
indicate the provisions of the Code to be relied upon and must set forth the
specific violation(s) or wrongdoing(s) alleged to have been committed and the
dates of the alleged occurrence(s) and a copy of the charges shall be filed with
the GEBCC simutaneously.
(2) Charge(s) referred to in paragraph 1 above must indicate whether the complainant takes the position that the Executive Boards of the Local Union or the District Council or any members thereof are directly interested or involved in the charge(s) and thereby disqualified from hearing the charge(s). If so, the Recording Secretary shall provide a copy of the charges to the GEBCC within 48 hours of receipt, together with the material facts on which the complainant relies in support of the position that members of the Executive Boards of the Local or District Council are disqualified from hearing the charge(s).
receipt of the complaint, any respondent shall, within five (5) days, notify the
Recording Secretary of the Local Union, whether he or she takes the position
that the Executive Boards of the Local Union or the District Council or any
members thereof, are directly interested or involved in the charges and thereby
disqualified from hearing the said charges. If so, the respondent shall also
provide a copy of his or her response to the Recording Secretary, who shall,
within 48 hours, advise the GEBCC of the position of the respondent and the
material facts for the position.
neither the complainant nor respondent take the position that any member of the
Executive Board of the Local Union is disqualified from hearing the charges, the
charges shall be heard and determined pursuant to the provisions of Article XII
of the Local Union Constitution unless the GEBCC otherwise decides to exercise
jurisdiction over the matter.
(5) Where either the complainant or respondent take the position that the entire Executive Board of the Local Union is disqualified from hearing the charges, the charges shall be heard and determined by the Executive Board of District Council. Where the complainant or respondent take the position that the entire Executive Board of the District Council is disqualified, the charges shall be heard and determined by the Canadian Independent Hearing Officer as herein provided. The GEBCC shall determine that either the Executive Board of the Local Union or the Executive Board of the District Council is disqualified from hearing the charges. Furthermore, the GEBCC, pursuant to the provisions of Article XII of the Uniform Local Union Constitution or Article XII of the Uniform District Council Constitution may in its discretion refer the charges to the Canadian Independent Hearing Officer.
(6) Except as
may be otherwise expressly provided under the Code and Disciplinary Procedure, a
charge alleging a violation of the Code to be heard by a Local Union or District
Council Trial Board shall be governed by the procedures and rules stated in
Article XII of the Uniform Local Union Constitution or Uniform District Council
Constitution, as the case may be, and by the Rules of Procedure for all LIUNA
Trial Board Hearings as have been issued or as may be changed from time to time
by the LIUNA Appellate Officer.
General Executive Board Counsel – Canada (“GEBCC”)
10 (1) LIUNA shall engage the services of
outside counsel, after consultation with the Canadian affiliates, highly
regarded for his or her integrity, Canadian labour relations experience and
diligence, to serve as the GEBCC.
(2) For the purposes of enforcing this Code, all of the investigative and prosecutorial powers described in the LIUNA Constitution, Uniform Local Constitution and Uniform District Council Constitution are hereby delegated to the GEBCC. The GEBCC may bring or prosecute charges for any conduct whether occurring before or after the adoption of this Code where the conduct in question is or was in contravention of the applicable standard of conduct in effect at the time of the alleged misconduct and which conduct is relevant to the continued performance of duties of any member, officer or representative. The GEBCC may bring or prosecute the aforementioned charges as a result of the charges filed with him, his own investigation or as a result of complaints made to him pursuant to Article IX.
(3) Pursuant to Article IX(6) of the International Union Constitution, the General President, may personally or through the GEBCC or his representative selected and designated by the GEBCC inquire and investigate into the manner in which the affairs are administered by subordinate bodies, their officers or members and to examine the books, records, papers, accounts, securities, purported agreements or understandings and any other documents in the custody of the said subordinate bodies or any officer, official, employee or member thereof and require personal appearance of any officer, official, employee or member as he, in the judgment of the GEBCC, may deem necessary to such investigation or inquiry. Before any inquiries are made of any officer, representative or member whose conduct is the subject of the complaint, the member shall be advised that he need not answer any questions, provided the member understands that the International Hearing Officer may draw negative inferences from the refusal to respond, and that any statements made may be recorded in writing and offered in evidence at any subsequent hearing. All members shall have the right to be represented by counsel and to have a fair understanding of the nature of the examination which is to be conducted by the GEBCC.
in this Article shall in any way derogate from the rights and duties of the
General President pursuant to Article IX(6) of the Constitution of LIUNA
11(1) The GEBCC shall have the right to delegate any or all of its investigative authority to a Canadian Complaints Officer or to other competent individual. The Canadian Complaints Officer shall be responsible to and report to the GEBCC on the subject matter under investigation.
Canadian Complaints Officer shall be appointed by LIUNA and shall be an
International Representative, union officer or other such person, highly
regarded for their integrity, diligence, and experience in Canadian labour
to the direction of the GEBCC the Canadian Complaints Officer shall investigate
and may attempt to resolve any complaint.
(4) No statement made to the Canadian Complaints Officer shall be relied upon in any hearing, held to deal with the charges, nor is the Canadian Complaints Officer a competent or compellable witness at any hearing held under this Code, except to the extent the complaint may relate to the violation of Article 8(d) of this Code.
(5) The Canadian Complaints Officer shall report on their investigation to the GEBCC within thirty (30) days of receiving the assignment of the complaint or such longer time as may be authorized by the GEBCC.
to the approval of the GEBCC where the Canadian Complaints Officer is able to
resolve the matter, any agreement or understanding reached shall be recorded in
a Memorandum of Settlement signed by the complainant and respondent with a copy
provided to the GEBCC.
(7) The GEBCC,
after his own review or the review of the Canadian Complaints Officer, shall
have the authority to dismiss or resolve administratively a charge, objection,
protest or appeal where the GEBCC finds that the charge, objection, protest or
appeal would not warrant the action of the International Union General Executive
Board or Local Union or District Council Trial Board, even if the facts recited
in the charge, objection, protest or appeal were true or where the GEBCC finds
that the charge raises a matter not properly the subject of disciplinary
(8) At any
time within six (6) months after receipt of the report of the Canadian
Complaints Officer, the GEBCC may give notice that he or she intends to proceed
to a hearing of the charge or charges before the Local Union or District Council
or, if those entities are disqualified, before the Canadian Independent Hearings
Officer. Notwithstanding the foregoing the GEBCC may prefer charges independent
of any trial board proceeding. If, within the six (6) month period, the GEBCC
does not give notice that he or she intends to proceed to hearing, the GEBCC
shall advise the complainant and the respondent that no further action will be
taken and the complaint shall be dismissed.
Independent Hearings Officers (CIHO)
12(1) After consultation with Canadian
affiliates, LIUNA shall appoint a Canadian Independent Hearings Officer who
shall be a person noted for their integrity, judgment and experience in Canadian
labour relations. LIUNA may appoint more than one Canadian Independent Hearings
Officer to serve in various regions of Canada.
Canadian Independent Hearings Officer shall preside over and provide rulings in:
(a) all charges brought by the GEBCC pursuant to this Disciplinary Procedure or where the Local Union or District Council Executive Board is disqualified within the meaning of Article 9 of this Code.
all proposed trusteeships or supervisions.
all nomination and election protests brought by any aggrieved member; and
14 At any disciplinary hearing conducted before the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer, the following procedures shall apply:
the parties shall have at least thirty (30) days notice of any hearing in
order to prepare a defence;
the parties may be represented by counsel at any hearing;
a fair and impartial hearing shall be conducted under the rules and
procedures generally applicable in Canadian labour arbitration proceedings and
in accordance with the rules of natural justice and all decisions made will be
based upon the balance of probabilities. The burden of proof shall be on the
a member who believes that a charge filed against him or her is not
specific enough to enable a full answer and defence, may request full disclosure
and particulars of the alleged offence by correspondence to the complainant,
where the complainant has carriage of the charge, or to the GEBCC, has carriage
of the charge.The CIHO shall have the discretion to determine whether additional
disclosure or particulars is warranted. Where no or insufficient particulars are
provided within such time as the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer may
direct, the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer may, in his discretion,
dismiss the complaint. Time limits may be determined with respect to this
process by the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer;
the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer shall have the authority in the
same manner or fashion as the General President pursuant to Article IX(6) of the
International Union Constitution, to require the production of the books,
records, papers, accounts, securities, purported agreements or
understandings and any other documents in the custody of the said
subordinate bodies, or any other officer, official, employee or member thereof
and require personal appearance of any officer, official, employee or member.
Any failure to comply with the directions of the Canadian Independent Hearings
Officer may be considered by the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer in
assessing whether such individuals or entities should be subject to the
imposition of discipline or the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer may refer
the matter to the GEBCC for filing any appropriate charges;
all testimony and other evidence shall be received by the Canadian
Independent Hearings Officer under oath or as otherwise permissible in any
if any officer or member, other than the respondent refuses to testify or
to provide evidence before the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer for any
reason not supported by a valid claim of privilege, discipline may be imposed by
the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer on such person for that reason alone;
where an officer, representative or employee is charged with an offence
under the Criminal Code of Canada that is relevant to the continued
performance of duties on behalf of the Union, the Canadian Independent Hearings
Officer, following a hearing, shall have the authority to suspend the officer,
representative or employee, with pay, pending the disposition of the charges
through to and including all appeals thereof. At the option of the accused, no
other proceedings under this Code dealing with the conduct which is the subject
of the criminal charges shall be proceeded with until such time as the criminal
proceedings and any appeals arising therefrom have been determined;
any discipline imposed by the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer or
other final decision of the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer shall be
subject to appeal by either the complainant or respondent to the International
Appellate Officer; and
for purposes of this Article, trusteeship/supervision proceedings and
election/nomination protests are not deemed to be disciplinary and shall be
subject to such other rules of procedure as a CIHO shall determine.
an appeal is filed with the International Appellate Officer pursuant to the
LIUNA Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure, the procedures applicable therein to
the Appellate Officer shall apply to any appeals. The Appellate Officer shall
apply the law of Canada wherever applicable.
an appeal is taken in a timely manner, it shall have the effect of staying any
decision or remedy awarded by the Canadian Independent Hearings Officer.
However, notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing, where any officer has
been found guilty and suspended from office because of a violation of this Code
in the performance of their duty, the officer shall remain suspended from
holding such office with pay, pending the decision of the Appellate
in this Code shall be deemed to conflict with any prevailing federal or
provincial Labour Relations Act or
other statute and, in the case of any such conflict, the terms of the
appropriate statute shall prevail.
Code recognizes and incorporates in full the provisions of paragraph 5 of the
LIUNA Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure as they pertain to the LIUNA Appellate
Officer. In addition to the jurisdiction of the Appellate Officer as set out in
paragraph 5, the Appellate Officer shall also have jurisdiction over appeals
from decisions of the CIHO in regards to election and/or nomination protests.
Code shall form part of the International Union Constitution and shall prevail
in Canada over the provisions of the International Union Constitution, the
Uniform Local Union Constitution and the Uniform District Council Constitution,
including the LIUNA Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure/the LIUNA Ethical
Practices Code which conflict therewith. For purposes of clarity, this Code
shall operate in Canada in place and stead of the said LIUNA Ethics and
Disciplinary Procedure/the LIUNA Ethical Practices Code, except as may otherwise
be expressed in this Code.
Published free of charge as
a service to our Canadian brothers and Sisters by
Laborers for JUSTICE. Not
for republication on any web site without the express written permission of Jim
Laborers for JUSTICE
55 S. Northwest Highway
Palatine, Il 60067