The General Membership:
- is the source of all decisions and policies of the Union
- elect delegates to the International and Local Conventions
- elect Local, International, Division and Unit Officers
- review the work of all levels of the Union
- instruct the Unit Executive Board on programs and policies that they want
- review and approve all actions of the UEB.
Once decisions are made by this democratic process, all levels of the Union, including the General Membership must abide by those decisions. Democracy insures that all decisions are open to debate and are voted on by the appropriate bodies.
However, democracy also means that the majority rules. Once a decision is approved in a democratic vote, that decision must be followed by all members including those who voted against the decision. There may be criticism, and the decision may be reviewed, and opened to another vote at the appropriate time. However, until that time, the decisions made by a democratic body are binding on the membership.
The individual member of the ILWU has a tremendous responsibilty. You as a member should participate in making policies and in the work of the ILWU because it is the membership who run our Union. You should participate in your Unit activities and in Unit meetings.
You should keep informed of the work of the Union by reading the Union’s newspaper, the VOICE of the ILWU, your Unit bulletin and other letters that are mailed to you. You should abide by Union policy and help to carry out Union programs. It is really up to you whether or not the ILWU will continue to be a great Union!