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Frequently Asked Questions
Concerning Affiliations

Here are a number of questions we're commonly asked about how UE runs. UE is a unique union. Founded by a group of independent unions in 1936, UE's constitution is designed to allow the pooling of resources while ensuring and protecting local autonomy and democracy. Under the slogan, "The Members Run This Union," UE has maintained the same principles to this day. If you're interested in more information, use our online form or call us at 412-471-8919.


If we affiliate with UE, do we
have to turn over our treasury?
  • No! In UE, each local and its members retain title to and control of their own funds and property, including the treasury.

Would we have to be part of a larger,
amalgamated local union?
  • No! In UE, each independent union that affiliates is chartered as a separate local union.

What do you mean by local autonomy?
  • In UE, each local and its members have the right to:

    • Elect or remove their own officers and delegates;

    • Negotiate and ratify collective bargaining agreements;
    • Maintain and amend a local constitution according to democratic principles;
    • Run the day-to-day affairs of the local union.

(For more information about UE, see "Who We Are")

What kind of support do local unions get?
  • Each local has a fulltime organizer assigned to them, and are part of a larger district that meets regularly to report on local union struggles, hold workshops and discuss issues and problems. In addition, locals have access to:

    • Research Department
    • Legal Department
    • Education Department
    • Organizing Department
    • Publicity Department
    • Political Action
What does all this cost?
  • As long as dues are at or above a minimum level of $15.50 a month, local unions are free to set their own dues level. As of May, 1999, per capita to the national union is $11.00 a month and district per capitas are between $1 and $2 a month.


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