Constitution

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CONSTITUTION OF THE TRADES UNION INTERNATIONAL OF WORKERS IN THE BUILDING, WOOD, BUILDING MATERIALS AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES PREAMBLE

The Trades Union International of Workers in the Building, Wood, Building Materials and Allied Industries (hereafter referred to as UITBB) is composed of national trades unions or trades union organizations of working people in the building, wood, building materials and allied industries, which apply for membership of it and undertake to respect this Constitution.

As an affiliate of the World Federation of Trade Unions, the Trades Union International of Workers in the Building, Wood, Building Material and Allied Industries unites within its ranks the organizations of workers in the industries concerned, without discrimination based on origin, gender, religion, political or ideological opinions, nationality or the economic and social system under which working people live.

It shall fight against capitalist exploitation and any other form of exploitation and injustice, for social progress, human dignity, trade union rights and democracy, for peoples’ right to self-determination and for peace.

Any national trade union organization representing workers in the industries concerned may become a member of the UITBB, regardless of the international affiliation of its national centre.

Its affiliates shall have the right to join with other regional, continental and international organisations in accordance with the interests of their members. It shall accept associate members, which will participate in and contribute to the activity of the UITBB.

Regional industrial organisations may affiliate with the UITBB and obtain the status of associate members. Considering that the basic interests of workers in the building, wood, building materials and allied industries are the same in all countries, the UITBB shall steadfastly work at all levels towards achieving and strengthening the most comprehensive unity of action for the realization of the trade-based and trades union demands of the working people whom it represents.

Through action the UITBB shall help to create the right conditions for a dynamic, efficient and united international trade unionism in our industries.

ARTICLE I
DENOMINATION
The UITBB’s official title is:
TRADES UNION INTERNATIONAL OF WORKERS IN THE BUILDING, WOOD, BUILDING MATERIALS AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES
The main office of the UITBB is in Helsinki (Finland). It may be changed by a decision of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE II
FUNDAMENTAL AIMS
The UITBB:
– shall develop relations of broad cooperation and trust and undertake common actions with all trades union organizations in the building, wood, building materials and allied industries in the spirit of mutual assistance and solidarity in favour of workers and in defence of their interests;
-it shall regularly inform affiliated and associate unions of actions taken by organizations in its industries;
– shall contribute to the strengthening of the capacity for action and the consolidation of trades union organizations, and to the extension and defence of trade union rights;
– shall take initiatives to promote international cooperation and unity of action at all levels in the interests of workers in the industries concerned;
– shall promote coordination of trade union struggles to prevent workers from being made to compete against one other;
– shall help to bring unions within any single multinational together to protect workers’ interests;
– shall support the struggle of workers in the building, wood, building materials and allied industries against the power of capitalism and monopolies;
– shall oppose any kind of discrimination based on origin, gender, ideological opinions or religious beliefs.

In order to help the solution of the industrial, economic and social problems of workers in various industrial branches represented in the Trades Union International, the UITBB shall organize special conferences, seminars and delegations or choose other forms of activity, in conformity with the decisions made by the Conference of the UITBB or its leading bodies and according to specific spheres of interest.

ARTICLE III
AFFILIATION
Any organization can apply for membership of the UITBB to its Secretariat, which submits the application to the next meeting of the Executive Committee. The decision of the Executive Committee shall become effective immediately and shall be submitted to the following Conference for ratification.

Relations between UITBB and affiliated organizations shall be based on mutual respect and on the principles of total equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of any organization. Each organization affiliated to the UITBB shall have the right to independently elaborate its own policies, programme and activities. Individual trades union organizations can also join the UITBB as associate members. The procedure for admittance to the UITBB as associate member is the same as for affiliated organizations.

Organizations which are not members of the UITBB can join in its actions.
They may participate in discussing all questions and taking decisions relating to the actions, which they have joined. To this effect, bilateral agreements on cooperation shall be established between these organizations and the UITBB by mutual consent.

ARTICLE IV
STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE UITBB
The International Conference. The highest body of the UITBB is the International
Conference. It shall be convened, in principle, every four years by the Executive
Committee.

An extraordinary Conference may be convened at the request of half of the member organizations or if the Executive Committee so decides. All affiliated organizations shall have full rights to participate in the Conference and their representation shall be determined by the Executive Committee. Affiliated organizations shall be informed of the holding of the Conference at least six months in advance, or, in case of an extraordinary Conference, at least four months in advance.

The time, place and agenda shall be fixed by the Executive Committee. Organizations not affiliated to the UITBB may be invited to attend the Conference; they may send their representatives or observers who may speak at plenary sessions of the Conference as well as at meetings of industrial branches. The Secretariat shall make a list of these organizations and submit it to the Executive Committee for confirmation.

The Conference shall have among others the following tasks:
– to examine and discuss the reports of the Executive Committee and other reports on the problems of workers in the building, wood and building materials industries which are included in the agenda of the Conference;
– to discuss and take decisions on the resolutions and documents presented;
– to discuss and take decisions on the amendments to the Constitution, and to fix the levels of membership fees (on the basis of the criteria established under article V);
– to elect the members of the Executive Committee;
– to elect the members of the Auditing Committee;
– to discuss any other questions included in the agenda on the initiative of the Executive Committee or of organizations affiliated to the UITBB.

As an expression of trade union democracy, the decisions of the Conference shall, after a wide-ranging and comprehensive discussion, be adopted unanimously, or if necessary by simple majority vote.

Voting at the Conference shall be by show of hands, unless any organization calls for a roll call vote. The resolutions and other documents adopted by the Conference shall be binding on the UITBB’s leading bodies in their activities.

The Executive Committee. During the period between two Conferences, the UITBB shall be directed and administered by an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be the body of collective leadership of the UITBB. The Executive Committee shall be composed, in principle, of 20 (twenty) members elected by the Conference. In order to enable the Executive Committee to have direct contact with the various regions of the world, it is desirable to elect its members with this fact in mind. This shall also apply to the different industries represented within the UITBB.

At its first meeting after being elected by the Conference, the Executive Committee shall elect from among its members: The President and Vice-Presidents of the UITBB, taking into account wherever possible geographical considerations, the General Secretary and the Secretary/ies. The Vice-Presidents shall be appointed to represent and to promote the UITBB on different continents.

During the period between two Conferences, the Executive Committee may appoint new Secretaries who shall be full members of the Executive Committee up to the following
Conference. Should a member of the Executive Committee, elected by the Conference, become unable to carry out his/her function, the affiliated national organization may replace him/her by another member whose nomination must be confirmed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a year. A session shall be convened at least two months in advance.
The Executive Committee’s tasks include the following:
– to take steps to put the resolutions adopted by the Conference into practice; to evaluate and analyse the situation in the building, wood, building materials and allied industries, as well as the conditions of workers in these industries, and on this basis to take specific steps at all necessary levels;
– to decide on the plan of work of the UITBB for the following year and to adopt the budget;
– to study the report of the Auditing Committee on the administration of finances;
– to decide on requests for affiliation, which shall be submitted for confirmation to the next Conference;
– to receive an account of the activities of the Secretariat.

The Secretariat. The Secretariat, which consists of the President, General Secretary and the Secretary/ies, shall be in charge of the running work of the UITBB. It shall be responsible for its activities to the Executive Committee. Its work is to implement the decisions made by the Conference and the leading bodies of the UITBB, to maintain permanent contact with affiliated organizations as well as other national and international organizations of the industries concerned throughout the world, to issue publications of the UITBB and to administer its finances.

The General Secretary shall direct the day-to-day work of the Secretariat. He shall represent the UITBB in its relations with international inter-governmental and nongovernmental bodies.

The Auditing Committee. The Auditing Committee shall consist of three members elected by the Conference. It shall control the financial administration of the UITBB and shall regularly report on its activities to the Executive Committee and the Conference. In the absence of an Auditing Committee, the Executive Committee shall appoint a person to be in charge of policy and management of finances. This person’s task will be to verify the management of finances and to report to the Executive Committee and the Conference on the financial situation.

ARTICLE V
UITBB FUNDS AND THEIR CONTROL
The UITBB receives its funds from membership fees, donations, voluntary contributions, etc.
The membership fee laid down by the Conference is calculated on the basis of EURO 0.65 for developed countries and EURO 0.07 for developing countries per union member per year.

The Executive Committee may, upon application by an affiliated organisation, alter that affiliate’s level of membership fee in accordance with the affiliate’s situation, based on the following criteria:
– level of membership
– state of resources taking into account current financial circumstances
– any other criteria deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee

Organizations affiliated to the UITBB shall pay their membership fees (by bank transfer, cheque, cash, etc.) directly to the UITBB. The UITBB shall conclude bilateral cooperation agreements with associate organizations.

ARTICLE VI
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UITBB
An affiliated organization shall have the right to withdraw from the UITBB. The organization in question must give notice, in the manner it considers the most suitable, to the Secretariat or the Executive Committee of the UITBB.

ARTICLE VII
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Organizations with associate member status shall participate in the International Trade Conference with all the rights enjoyed by organizations with the status of affiliated members.

Associate organizations can be members of the Executive Committee, in which they shall participate with consultative status. Members of organizations with associate status cannot be elected to the functions of President, Vice-President, General Secretary or Secretary of the UITBB. Associate organizations shall contribute to the funds of the UITBB through a membership fee, the amount of which shall be fixed in common agreement between the
UITBB and the associate organization.

ARTICLE VIII
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution is subject to amendments by the Conference on a proposal by either the Executive Committee or affiliated organizations. Proposals for amendments to the Constitution must be submitted to the Secretariat not later than five months before the
Conference. The Secretariat shall inform the affiliated organizations of proposed amendments not later than three months before the Conference.

Amendments to the Constitution require to be voted by a two-thirds majority of the delegates to the Conference.

Adopted by the 14th Conference of the UITBB, 25. September 2006, in Athens
Edited by the UITBB Secretariat, POB 281, FIN – 00101 Helsinki, Tel. +358-9-6931130,
Fax +358-9-6931020, www.uitbb.org