lclaa en espanol

Constitution


LABOR COUNCIL FOR LATIN AMERICAN ADVANCEMENT

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES & NATIONAL BY-LAWS


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Adopted by


THE FIRST NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
April 11-13, 1975

Revised

SECOND NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
April 13-16, 1978

THIRD NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
May 9-11, 1980

FOURTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
April 23-25, 1982

FIFTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 23-26, 1984

SEVENTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 24-27, 1988

TENTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 3-6, 1994

ELEVENTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 24, 1996

TWELVE NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 19-23, 1998
San Juan, PR

THIRTEENTH NATIONAL MEMBERHIP MEETING
August 9 – 13, 2000
Chicago, IL

FOURTEENTH NATIONAL MEMBERHIP MEETING
July 31 – August 4, 2002
Dearborn, MI

SIXTEENTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 2nd – 5th, 2006
San Antonio, TX

SEVENTEENTH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
August 4th – 8th, 2008
Orlando, FL


DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

Latin Americans are mostly working people.  Therefore, we have a need for jobs with adequate pay, schools to educate our children, decent housing and fair access to these things in the richest country in the world.

We Latin Americans have found the labor movement to be the most effective ally in the achievement of our needs and aspirations as working people.

As Latin American trade unionists, we have found that the organizational and political experiences we have gathered in our unions place us in a position to make a substantial contribution to both the Latin American community and to the labor movement in general.

The traditional enemies of the aspirations of workers to a decent life are also, in the main, the enemies of the aspirations of the Latin American people.  It is, therefore, our intention to unite for a common goal in repelling the oppressive aims of such negative forces.  To achieve these objectives we must first improve communications and cooperation amongst ourselves, then between ourselves and the Latin community in general and, particularly, between ourselves as trade unionists and the rest of organized labor as a whole.

Accordingly, it is in this spirit that the LABOR COUNCIL FOR LATIN AMERICAN ADVANCEMENT is created in the pursuit of achieving social dignity, economic and political justice and a decent standard of living for every Latin American worker, and as a vehicle to attain the respect and equality to which every citizen of this great nation is rightfully entitled.


ARTICLE I

Name

This organization shall be known as the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).


ARTICLE II

Aims and Objectives


The aims and objectives of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement shall be to work within the labor movement and other organizations with compatible goals and ideals to encourage voter registration, voter education and greater participation by workers in America of Latin descent and their families in the American political process; to maximize support for economic and social policies and legislation that are essential to advance the mutual interest of trade unions by ensuring equal benefits and protection of union membership for all workers, regardless of national origin, sex, religion or race.

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement will not endorse candidates for political office.

3. The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement will not endorse, promote or encourage candidates for positions or office within the labor movement.


ARTICLE III

Membership


Any union member who is in good standing with his/her union or any union member who has retired in good standing, who believes in the principles and policies of the trade union movement and is willing to abide by the By-Laws and Declaration of Principles of this organization shall become a member by qualifying under the standards and requirements of this organization at the time of his/her application for membership.

Any member who is accepted by a local or state chapter is eligible to participate in the business meetings of such chapter.  For purposes of casting a vote for election of officers of a local or state chapter or National Board, a member must have a minimum of three (3) months in good standing.



Associate and student members shall be those persons upon whom membership is granted in accordance with the National By-Laws of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. Associate and student members shall not be eligible to serve as national or State Chapter officers or members of the executive board. Associate and student members shall be entitled to attend membership meetings, shall have the right to voice and vote and will be recognized at such meetings by the presiding officer.  Two Associate Members may serve on the Chapter Board, but may not serve as officers on the Chapter Board

All members shall abide by these By-Laws, Robert's Rules of Order, and other internal rules as may be adopted by the National Executive Board.  Cases of discipline and suspension shall be conducted by local chapters.  The National Executive Board shall act as the Board of Appeals with the right of appeal to the next National Membership Meeting.  The Board of appeals shall conduct appropriate hearings not later than ninety (90) days after receipt of written changes for discipline cases.

Annual dues shall be set by the National Executive Board and paid on an annual basis or as otherwise established by the National Executive Board. In 2000, the National Executive Board set the annual dues at $20.00 for regular and associate members.  $10.00 for retirees and $5.00 for students.  In 2004, the National Executive Board set the annual dues for all officers and National Executive board members at $150.00.  The National Executive Board shall have the power to suspend the payment of dues as they deem appropriate. The member shall pay his/her dues directly to National LCLAA by March 31st of each year in order to be considered a member in good standing and eligible to run for office in their local or state chapter or for National Executive Board. Where no chapter exists, such member shall have the status of member-at-large with all rights under the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement National By-laws.

The National office, within 90 days of receipt, will reimburse to the chapters 50% of all dues received along with a roster of the names who paid dues. The money will be sent to the closest chapter to the member’s home location unless otherwise indicated by the applicant.  No reimbursement  will be made to a chapter for renewal memberships submitted to the National Office after June 30th  of each year

Retiree dues shall be one half (1/2) the amount of a regular and associate member dues. Student dues shall be $5.00 per year and should be paid directly to the chapter. The chapter will keep retiree and student dues with no rebate to the national office. A list of retiree and student members shall be forwarded to the national office.


ARTICLE IV

National Executive Board


The National Executive Board shall be elected by the National Membership Meeting from among the membership in good standing of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. The Past Presidents and the Executive Director shall be ex-officio members of the National Executive Board.  The duties of the National Board shall be:

The National Executive Board shall direct the affairs of the organization and shall be empowered to transact all necessary business in the intervals between the National Membership Meetings and such other business as may be in the best interest of the membership at large.  The National Executive Board shall also be empowered to apply and implement structural changes that the Committee of the Future may recommend in between sessions of the National Membership Meetings, and which would significantly strengthen LCLAA and contribute to the attainment of its overall goals, policies, and programs.

The National Executive Board shall designate the work, duties and responsibilities of Standing Committees.

The National Executive Board shall meet at least one (1) time a year and shall transact its business only at regular and special meetings.

The National Executive Board shall have the authority to fill vacancies in the National Executive Board or in any other elected office except for a vacancy in the office of the President, which shall be automatically filled by the Executive Vice-President.  Such vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term.

The National Executive Board shall be limited to forty-five (45) elected positions including the President, Executive Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer and six (6) Vice-Presidents. The Executive Director is excluded from this limit since he is an ex-officio member of the National Executive Board.

National Officers and Executive Board Members shall be automatic delegates to the National Membership Meeting.

All Past Presidents shall be ex-officio members of the National Executive Board.



ARTICLE V

Executive Committee


There shall be an Executive Committee of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. It shall consist of the Executive Officers and the six (6) Vice Presidents


ARTICLE VI

Advisory Board


There shall be an Advisory Board that shall be appointed by the National Executive Board on the recommendation of the Officers.  LCLAA Chapter and LCLAA State Council Presidents may be appointed to the Advisory Board.


ARTICLE V1I

Officers


Officers of this organization shall be elected by the delegates at National Membership Meetings and said Officers shall also be members of the National Executive Board.

The Officers shall consist of a President, an Executive Vice-President, six Vice-Presidents, and one Secretary-Treasurer.


ARTICLE VIII

Duties of Officers

The President shall preside at all meetings, including National Executive Board Meetings; he/she shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees except the Nominating Committee; shall appoint all committees; shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed in these By-Laws or assigned to him/her by the national membership or the National Executive Board; and shall help coordinate the work of the officers and committees.

The Vice-Presidents shall act as aides to the President.  In the absence of the President, the Executive Vice-President shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the President.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of President by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise, the Executive Vice-President shall automatically become the President for the unexpired term.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping and reading accurate records of the proceedings of all meetings; maintaining an accurate record of the membership; preparing for the use of the presiding officer a complete “order of business,” showing in order what must come before the membership and/or the National Executive Board for action; shall receive and keep a detailed record of all membership fees and donations, and shall stipulate the source of income; shall record and report all disbursements; shall report to National Membership Meetings and to the National Executive Board; shall receive and deposit all funds in a bank designated by the National Executive Board and maintain accurate records thereof, together with an accurate record of all disbursements; shall maintain books covering financial operations, assets and liabilities; and shall sign such papers, instruments, drafts and checks as are incidental to the office or as directed by the National Executive Board; and shall perform all other duties incidental to the office or directed by the National Executive Board.

The Executive Committee will meet in the absence of the full board.  The Executive Committee will only meet when business must be conducted and a meeting of the full board can not be convened due to time constrain.  The Executive Committee will have the authority to act on finances, policies and decisions affecting the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

Three consecutive unexcused absences to properly called meetings without proper and justifiable cause shall constitute grounds for the immediate vacancy of any elective position.  Except for emergency meetings, a Thirty (30) day meeting notice shall be mailed to those required to be in attendance.  Such vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Executive Board.


ARTICLE IX

National Membership Meetings


Beginning in the year 2002, a National Meeting of the general membership shall be held every two (2) years, with elections to be held every (4) years.  National conferences may be held in those years when a national membership meeting is not scheduled, or as may be necessary.

Special meetings may be called by the President or petitioned by at least one-third (1/3) of the members of the National Executive Board.  The only business that may be transacted at a special meeting is that for which the meeting was called.

Written notice of any meeting of the national membership shall be given at least sixty (60) days prior to the meeting.  In the event of an emergency, not less than fifteen (15) days written notice.

Resolutions to the National Membership Meeting shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting.  Late resolutions will be directed to the National LCLAA officers at the National Membership Meeting to determine if the resolution will be considered by the LCLAA Resolutions Committee.

Representatives to the National Membership Meeting shall be elected by local LCLAA chapters, international unions, AFL-CIO state central bodies, selected AFL-CIO local central bodies and local unions on the basis of the formula outlined in Section 7 of this Article.

Representatives shall be entitled to voice and vote and the concept of “One Person-One Vote” will be observed.  There will be no voting by delegation or by membership strength.

Selection of Representatives to attend National Membership Meetings will be based on the following formula:

LCLAA Local Chapters or Local Unions
Up to fifty (50) members        -   8 representatives
51-100 members             - 12 representatives
101-1000 members            - 16 representatives
Over 1000 members             - 20 representatives

International Unions
1,000,000 members and over    - 15 representatives
700,000-1,000,000            - 12 representatives
500,000-700,000            - 10 representatives
250,000-500,000            -   8 representatives
100,000-250,000            -   6 representatives
Under 100,000 members        -   4 representatives

AFL-CIO State Central Selected Local Central Bodies     - 4 representatives

National LCLAA will not be responsible for the expenses of representatives and/or observers to any National Membership Meetings.

ARTICLE X

Nominating and Election Committee


A Nominating and Election Committee shall be appointed by the President, with the approval of the National Executive Board, at least sixty (60) days prior to the National Membership Meeting where elections will be held.

It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to recruit and nominate a slate of board members and officers to the membership for election or re-election in accordance with the established procedures.  Other nominations may be made from the floor at the National Membership Meeting.

It shall be the responsibility of the Nominating and Election Committee to notify all members in good standing of the proposed slate, at least thirty (30) days prior to the National Membership Meeting.  Such notice shall be by mail and shall state the following information:

(a) Date of National Membership Meeting;
(b) Time and place of National Membership Meeting;
(c) Number of board members to be elected.

No member of the Nominating and Election Committee shall be a candidate for office.

In the event that any member of the Nominating and Election Committee shall become a candidate for office he/she shall immediately resign from this committee.

No member shall be eligible for election to a national, state or chapter office of this organization unless he/she shall have been in continuous good standing with the National LCLAA, a local and state chapter, where they exist, and his/her union for a period of twenty-four (24) months immediately preceding the election.  A member in good standing is a member who has paid their dues by March 31 of each year. This criteria will not be applied to the establishment of a new state or local chapter. This criteria will not be applied where none of the nominated candidates meet the criteria at state or local chapter election.  In these cases the matter will be referred to the National Office of LCLAA for resolution.


ARTICLE XI

Term of Office


Beginning in the year 2002, the National Executive Board Members and Officers shall serve a term of four (4) years, starting on the first day of elections at the National Membership Meeting, and shall continue to serve until their successors are elected.

All properties and assets of the organization in possession of each outgoing officer must be relinquished to his/her appropriate successor, or to a designated representative of the National Office of LCLAA.


ARTICLE XII

Standing Committees


All Chairpersons and members of Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the National Executive Board.  Each standing committee consist of at least three (3) and no more that seven (7) members who are in good standing with their unions and this organization.  Complete records and reports of each Committee shall be made and kept by the Committee Chairperson and made available to the National Executive Board upon reasonable request.

There shall be ten (11) Standing Committees, as follows:

(a)  Fundraising Committee
(b)  Political Action Committee
(c)  Membership Committee
(d)  Educational Committee
(e)  Community Liaison Committee
(f)  Special Issues Committee
(g)  Task Force Committee
Women’s Committee
Committee of the Future
Social and Economic Justice Committee
Finance Committee

Committees as may be deemed necessary in connection with National Membership Meetings shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board.


ARTICLE XIII

Local and State Chapters


Local and State Chapters of LCLAA will be chartered by the National Office subject to compliance with the National By-Laws, State and Local Chapter membership guidelines approved by the National Executive Board, and other policy decisions of National LCLAA.

LCLAA State and Local Chapters shall affiliate with the appropriate AFL-CIO bodies at their respective state and localities.  In the case where a LCLAA State Chapter does not exist, the AFL-CIO guidelines shall govern which Local Chapter in the State is entitled to such affiliation.  The guidelines shall also govern in those cases where the jurisdiction of an AFL-CIO Central Labor Body encompasses more then one existing LCLAA Chapter.

State and Local Chapters must fully comply with the National By-Laws, the State and Local Chapter guidelines, and national policy decisions of National LCLAA.  Failure to comply will subject the State or Local Chapter to discipline and/or removal of charter by the National Executive Board, following investigation of the alleged failure to comply.

ARTICLE XIV

Oath of Office


Please raise your right hand and repeat after me:

“I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR TO UPHOLD THE PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES OF THE LABOR COUNCIL FOR LATIN AMERICAN ADVANCEMENT AS PRESCRIBED BY OUR DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND NATIONAL BY-LAWS AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT.

“THAT I CARRY OUT THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE OFFICE TO WHICH I HAVE BEEN ELECTED TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AND TO ALWAYS ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES OF THE LABOR COUNCIL FOR LATIN AMERICAN ADVANCEMENT.

“THAT I WILL TURN OVER TO MY APPROPRIATE SUCCESSOR IN OFFICE AT THE CLOSE OF MY OFFICIAL TERM ALL THE PROPERTIES AND ASSETS OF THE ORGANIZATION IN MY POSSESSION.

“ALL OF THIS I SOLEMNLY PROMISE, SO HELP ME GOD”


ARTICLE XV

Amending Procedures


These By-Laws may be amended upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, present and voting at any National Membership Meeting of the organization, provided that a copy of the proposed amendment shall have been circulated to the National Executive Board and to the LCLAA Chapters at least sixty (60) days prior to the Membership Meeting at which the amendment is offered for adoption, and a copy of same is thereafter filed with the Secretary-Treasurer and available for inspection by all members.


*Disclaimer: Where there are discrepancies between the English vs. Spanish Declaration of Principles and Bylaws of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the English revised version shall be deemed the official version of this document.