January 10, 2008: Change continues to be on the agenda in Chicago Local 726 as Members of the Fighting for the Future Team plan to re-introduce bylaws changes they made last January.
They’re at it again because they won a protest at Joint Council 25 over how Local 726 officers conducted the vote. This year, there has to be a verified count on the bylaws proposals, instead of a rigged voice vote.
Fighting for the Future is pushing for members to get a say on who bargains their contracts. Last year Fighting for the Future led a campaign to vote down a tentative agreement that failed to protect members’ jobs. Local 726 members voted down the deal twice and won improvements. This year, Fighting for the Future is proposing three changes:
- Include rank-and-file members on bargaining committees;
- Protect members’ voting rights by mandating advance notification from Local 726 on membership status for voting purposes;
- Increase membership participation in the local by setting a new meeting time for general membership meetings.
Vince Tenuto sees the bylaw changes this way: “It’s about making members’ voices heard. Leadership isn’t just who sits up front at the hall, it’s about members having a say on how our local runs. The officers ran a piss poor vote count last year and we made sure they were held accountable. The Joint Council backed us up. Now the membership has a real chance to vote these bylaw changes up at our March 2008 meeting. We can make Local 726 officers work for the members.”