About the International Guards Union of America
We are pleased that you have given us the opportunity to introduce our organization to you and your fellow workers. Our Union, the International Guards Union of America (I.G.U.A.) is unique, especially in its Executive Board, which is composed entirely of working guards. This is very important to our membership, as it permits us to use practically all the dues money from our members for their local union's benefit. Our officers are fiscally conservative and, as working guards, are aware of your problems and are dedicated to helping other guards, without reaping monetary gains for themselves.
This has some drawbacks, namely sometimes it doesn't provide us with ample funds and the time to do all the organizing we think should be done however, since forming in 1948, we feel that we have represented our members fairly, and have improved their economic positions considerably, as we will explain. We would like to present to you a brief history of our organization. Prior to passage of the Labor Management Regulation Act (now commonly known as the Taft-Hartley law) most all organized guards belonged to affiliates of the American Federation of Labor or the Congress of Industrial Organization member unions. Our present organization, which was affiliated with the Building Services Employees International Union, CIO, formed its own Independent International Union early in 1948. The Building Services Union loaned us the money to get started, and approximately ten (10) years later, this loan was settled.
International Guards Union of America Original Logo
International Guards Union of America Organization Structure
The Taft-Hartley Law in Section 9(b) (3), forbids Guards, Watchmen and others hired to protect property and employees of an employer from belonging to a Union which admits to membership employees other than such Guards, etc. Since its formation, the International Guards Union of America has, at all times been in complete compliance with the requirements and regulations of the National Labor Relations Act as administered by the National Labor Relations Board.
The Constitution and By-Laws of the International Guards Union of America was originally adopted when it was first organized. It has been amended several times by action of General Convention of its Executive Board. At a meeting which ended on March 1, 1956, the then existing Constitution and By-Laws were completely rewritten and revised again in 1960 to comply with certain provisions of the 1959 Labor Law. At the General Convention of 1961, held in St. Louis, Missouri, it was amended to meet the present day requirements.
The International Guards Union of America now is composed of an International office, which is operated by the International Secretary and the International Treasurer, under the guidance of the International President and the other members of the International Executive Board.
The International Executive Board is composed of the International President; the International Secretary; the International Treasurer and the three (3) International Trustees. The President, Secretary, Treasurer and the three (3) Trustees are elected by the delegates at a General Convention. The Regional Vice-Presidents are elected by the Regional Council of their respective Regions.
A Region of the International is a geographical area of the United States composed of several contiguous States. The boundaries of each Region are determined by the International Executive Board. The Regional Council is composed of the principal officers of each Local within the geographical limits of the Region.
Locals are individual groups of members, which have been chartered by the International Office and are authorized to function as a separate group within a Region. A Local may be composed of members all of whom are employed by a single employer, or it may be composed of members who are employees of several employers. The composition of any Local is left up to the membership of the Local so long as restrictions to membership do not violate the laws of the United States, laws of the State in which it functions or the Constitution and By-Laws of the International. A Local automatically becomes a part of the Region in which it is located.
The administration of the International is carried on through the actions of a General Convention, which is held at least every five- (5) years. Between General Conventions the administration is under the jurisdiction of the International Executive Board. The executive duties are carried on by the International President and the International Secretary, International Treasurer and with the approval of the International Executive Board.
The administration of each Region is carried on by the Regional Council; the executive duties are handled by the Regional Vice-President and the Regional Secretary-Treasurer. Each Region should also have an Executive Board, the members of which should be elected by the Regional Council and should include a Assistant Regional Vice-President and two (2) to four (4) Trustees in addition to the Regional Vice-President and Regional Secretary Treasurer.
Each Region should also have its own Constitution and By-Laws to meet the requirements of the Region, so long as no provisions in it conflicts with any Federal law, any law of the State or States in which it operates and the Constitution and By-Laws of the International.
The administration of each Local is carried on by its Executive Board which is usually composed of all of its elected officers and such other members elected for that purpose in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Local. Normally the elected officers of a Local are: President; Vice-President; Secretary-Treasurer; Business Agent; Sergeant at Arms and three (3) Trustees. In larger Locals, the duties of the Secretary-Treasurer may be divided into two (2) offices: namely Recording Secretary and Financial Secretary.
As we have said before, the International Guards Union of America is in strict compliance with the Taft-Hartley Law. This law protects you in your organizational activities, and from being discharged by an unfair employer. However, this will do you no good, unless you act! Some Guards have started to organize and then the boss suddenly gives them a raise - and they then lost interest in having a Union, but remember, wages are only one part of a contract just as important, and possibly more important than wages, i.e.: Seniority, Grievance Procedures, and opportunity to have a say concerning your job and working conditions among others. Union membership assures you fair treatment, and the many benefits that Guards around the country are enjoying - and have for many years.
To even a casual observer it should be evident that there is a definite and immediate need for organization to secure proper wages - protections against unfair discharge - paid vacations - seniority - sick leave and the many other benefits that organization can give you. However, there are some Guards who are backward about joining a Union because they erroneously entertain the notion that they can be discharged because of Union activities; therefore it is important that the truth regarding the rights of Guards to form, join and maintain a Union be known. YOUR RIGHTS to organize and bargain collectively through an Independent Union are clearly defined in the following excerpts taken from the National Labor Relations act, title, "Right of Employees", Sec. #7. "Employees shall have the right to self-organization through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other material aid or protection." Sec. 9B. "Representation and Elections: No Labor organization shall be certified as the representative of employees in a bargaining unit of Guards, if such organization admits to membership, or is affiliated directly or indirectly with an organization which admits to membership employees other than Guards.
That's the law today! And that is how it was passed in 1947. When put into plain words: All Guard organizations must be absolutely Independent they cannot in any way be affiliated with any other Union which represents other employees who are not Guards.
It is your duty as a good citizen to be able to pay your bills - to raise your family in a decent neighborhood - to keep healthy by having time and money for vacations and recreation. It's your duty to your community to be able to retire independently when you have reached retirement. It's your duty to leave your job - better, for your having worked there. Be a good citizen - join now - it's been our experience that a good Union man or woman, who is fair in his/her dealings with his employer, is the better employee, as evidenced by management's invasion of our ranks for promotion.
There you have it, straight from the shoulder, we've told you our story, the I.G.U.A. can bargain for you, winning better working conditions, plus a wage structure compatible with your job location. This requires negotiating ability and stabilization know how, our I.G.U.A. Officers have both. It can win concessions from your employer on other matters controlled by the Wage Stabilization Board.
As we see it you wouldn't take the time to read this information unless you had some interest in a Union, perhaps something has happened to you or a fellow worker, which you thought was unfair. Whatever, we hope you will take the time to study this information and eventually, if not sooner, you will contact us to help your group form a Local and hold an election. First we must receive applications for membership from more than fifty percent (50%) of the guards at your plant in order for our Union to request an election for representation from the Federal Labor Board. If an election in set up by the Labor Board, it is absolutely essential that more than fifty percent (50%) of the total Guard Force at your plant vote in favor of the Union, in order for you to become affiliated and have your own Local. Past experience has proven that many times some of those Guards who signed applications have changed their minds by Election Day, therefore the election is lost. If a Guard is off sick, his day off, vacation or any other reason, he will be counted by your employer as having voted against a Union; so if a Guard who has signed an application card is off for any reason on the day of election - make every effort to contact him/her and get him/her to vote.
It's only fair that we tell you that your employer does not want a Union - he is happy the way things are going - but are YOU? That's the important question.