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the next convention, whereupon, unless appealed and reversea,

it becomes final.

The General Executive Board his general

supervision over the affairs of the organization and in two

of the unions has power to authorize strikes and boycotts.

The Amalgamated Textile Workers give it only advisory power

in this respect. When the General Executive Board of either of the two Amalgamated unions considers a question of sufficient importance, a referendum vote must be ordered, and a two-thirds vote decides.

The Ladies' Garment Workers do not indulge in refer

endum votes except under rare circumstances.

There are three

questions on which a vote of the general membership must be

taken, namely:

whether the union shall withdraw from the

A. F. of L., in what city a convention shall be held,


whether or not the recommendations of the General Executive

Board after the trial of a general officer, for violation of

the constitution or acts prejudicial to the best interests

of the organization, shall be approved.

The two Amalgamated unions make more generous pro

vision for use of the referendum, both in the general or

ganization and also locally.

A convention cannot amend the

constitution without submitting the proposed amendment to

a referendum vote.

During the interim between conventions,

any local union may propose an amendment, which, if proper

ly seconded by five other local unions, must be submitted

to a vote of the general membership; if approved by a ma

jority vote it becomes law.

The General Executive Board

must, as already stated, order a referendum on important questions. In the local union, all acts of the Local Executive

Board are subject to ratification by the organization.


provisions are intended to make the officers responsive to the

will of the general membership.

In local organization there are appreciable differ

ences among the three unions, in spite of marked similarities.

The essential feature of all three is that all branches in a

given locality are, to quote from the constitution of the

Ladies' Garment Workers, "effectively bound together so as to mutually strengthen each other." Each organization, how

ever, has its own method of attaining this essential local

industrial solidarity and so must be treated separately.

The amalgamated Textile Workers have the simplest


Seven or more persons employed in the textile in

dustry may organize a local union, which must be approved

by the General Executive Board before a charter is issued.

In each city there can be only one charter.

Should distinc

tive branches of the industry organize separately, the General Executive Board, so the constitution provides, "shall form said branches into one Local under a Joint

à Bourd. The one charter for the Local in that city shall

thenceforth be held by said Joint Board, and said Joint

Board in consultation with the General Office shall have

the power to grant charters to branches in that city."

Taking up the Amalgamated clothing Workers next,

we find that seven or more persons employed in the making

of clothing may likewise organize a local union, which can

only be chartered by approval of the General Executive


While there may be more than one local union in the

same locality, they are "effectively bound together" under

a & Joint Board.

In Milwaukee, for instance, there are only

two locals, the Cutters' Local and the Tailors Local, with a total membership of 1700,1 bound together under a

Joint Board.

In Chicago, on the other hand, there is a

Cutters' and Trimmers' Local, a local for women employes,

and several tailors' locals, i. e., one for coats, one for vests, and one for trousers, all bound together under a Joint Board. Locals are formed according to the requirements of the particular locality, and are sub-divided as

conditions may require, but the Joint Board insures local


A typical way of subdividing the local union is to

organize shop branches, and elect a Shop Chairman and Shop


The local unions elect delegates to the Joint Board,

with membership as the basis of apportionment.

In prac

tice, an attempt is made to see that the delegates of the

local union are elected in such a way that the various

shops are fairly represented.

1. Information supplied by office of Joint Board, Milwaukee, ,

April 26, 1920.

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