Proudly Representing Security and Police in America Since 1948
We are pleased that you have provided us the opportunity to introduce our organization to you and your fellow coworkers. Our union, the International Guards Union of America (I.G.U.A.) is unique, especially in its Executive Board, which is comprised entirely of working guards. This is very important to our membership, as it permits us to use practically all the dues money from our membership for their local’s benefit. Our officers are fiscally conservative and, as working guards, share your concerns and are dedicated to assisting 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 that we think should be done however, since forming in 1948, we feel we have represented our members fairly and improved their economic positions considerably, as we will explain. We would like to present to you a brief history of our organization. Prior to the passage of the Labor Management Relation Act (commonly referred to as the Taft-Hartley Act) many organized guards belonged to either an American Federation of Labor or a Congress of Industrial Organization affiliated union. Our present organization was originally affiliated with the Building Services Employees Union, CIO, until we formed our own, independent international union in early 1948. The Building and Services Employees Union loaned us the money to get started and approximately ten (10) years later, the loan was settled.
I.G.U.A 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 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 the General Convention of its Executive Board. At a meeting which ended on March 1, 1956, the then existing Constitution and By-Laws were completely re-written 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 is now comprised 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 comprised 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 during the General Conventions. 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 comprised of several contiguous States. The boundaries of each region are determined by the International Executive Board. The Regional Council is comprised of the principal officers of each Local Union within the geographical limits of the Region.
Local Unions 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 Union may be comprised of members all of whom are employed by a single employer, or it may be comprised of members who are employees of several employers. The composition of any Local Union left up the membership of the Local Union so long as the 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 Union. A Local Union automatically becomes affiliated with the region in which it is located.
More About Our Organization Structure
The administration of each region is carried on by its Executive Board which is usually comprised 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 Union. Normally, the elected officers of a Local Union are: President Vice-President Secretary-Treasurer Business Agent Sergeant at Arms and three (3) Trustees. In larger Local Unions, the duties of the Secretary Treasurer may be divided into two (2) offices namely, Recording Secretary and Financial Secretary.
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 their boss suddenly promises them a raise then they lose interest in having a Labor Union. But, remember, wages are only part of what a contract can provide just as important -potentially more important- than wages are: Seniority, Grievance Procedures, Healthcare, Secure Retirement, and the opportunity to have a say concerning your job and working conditions. Union membership affords workers fair treatment and the many other 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 ensure proper wages, protections against unfair terminations, paid vacations, seniority, sick leave, and the many other benefits that organization can provide. However, there are some Guards who are ‘backwards’ about joining a Labor Union because they erroneously entertain the notion that they can be discharged because of Labor Union activities. Therefore, it is important that the truth regarding the rights of Guards to form, join and maintain a Labor Union be known. Your rights to organize and bargain collectively thorough and Independent Union are clearly defined in the following excerpts taken from the National Labor Relations Act state, “Employees shall have the right to self-organization through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other converted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other material aid or protection (Section 7).” “No labor organization shall be certified as the representative of employees in 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” (Section 9).
That’s the law today! And that’s how it was passed in 1947. When put into plain words: All Guard organizations must be absolutely independent. They can not be affiliated with any other Labor Union that represents 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 reach retirement age. It’s been our experience that a good union person who is fair in his/her dealings with his/her 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, win better working conditions, a wage structure compatible with your job location and more. This requires negotiating ability and stabilization know how, and our I.G.U.A. Officers have both. Your Union, the I.G.U.A., can help you to win concessions from your employer on other matters controlled by the Wage Stabilization Board.
As we see it, you wouldn’t take to the time to read all this information unless you had some level of interest in a Labor Union. Perhaps something has happened to you or a fellow coworker that you thought was unfair. Whatever the issue, 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 Union and hold an election. First, we must receive applications for membership from more than fifty percent (50%) of the Guards at your plant. Then the I.G.U.A. can request an election for representation from the Federal Labor Board. If an election is set up by the Federal Labor Board, it is absolutely essential than 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 Union. Past experience has shown that many times some of the Guards who signed applications change their mind by election day and, therefore, an election is lost. If a Guard does not vote because it is his/her regular day off, (s)he is off due to sickness, is off due to vacation or any other reason, (s)he will be counted as having voted against joining the Labor Union. So, if a Guard who has signed an application is off for any reason on the day of the election, make every effort to contact him/her and get him/her to vote.