CAW Policy Letter #15: Private Entrepreneurs (i.e., Private Insurance Carriers)/Private Insurance Carriers/Mailing Lists Policy/CAW Logo Policy

February 28, 1995


LETTER NO. 15 February 28, 1995

* Private Entrepreneurs, I.E. Private Insurance Carriers

* Mailing Lists Policy

* CAW Logo Policy

To: CAW Local Union Presidents and Recording Secretaries


1. CAW Policy Concerning Benefits or National Union and Local Union Agreements with Private Entrepreneurs, I.E. Insurance Carriers:

From time to time, the National Union and some local unions have been approached by private entrepreneurs, i.e. insurance carriers, proposing to sell directly to our members, various types of products or insurances. For example, these private insurance companies propose to sell life insurance to active or retired workers, weekly disability benefits, or a combination of all or some of these benefits. These are offered as supplementary packages to the benefits already negotiated in our contracts, and are designed for direct payment of premiums by the individual members desiring the coverage. Other products are offered at a discount, if the local supports the sale.

These private insurance carriers seek the approval of their program by the National or Local Union and request joint participation in soliciting individual union members, urging them to buy the insurance offered. They may use the fact that their own employees are unionized to gain union support. They ask to use the CAW logo and the names of union officials on their promotional literature. They seek to use union mailing lists for distribution of their advertising and sales material.
The National Executive Board, at the November 1994 meeting, has determined as a policy that national officers, national staff, and local union officers must not co-operate with or participate in such programs. To do so is to act as an agent of a private business selling these type of benefits to our individual members.
2. Improper Use of Local Union Mailing Lists
The mailing lists of the Union and our CAW logo are valuable assets. In order to protect the interests of our entire membership, union officers and representatives shall not, under any circumstances, turn over a union mailing list to an outsider for use in the promotion or sale of any goods or services that benefit an individual or a private concern. Mailing lists are to be used only to promote the necessary legitimate functions of the National or Local Union and for no other purpose. It is improper for any official or representative of either the National Union or Local Union to permit the use of any mailing list by any third party to promote the sale of furniture, appliances, automobiles, insurance, eyeglasses or any other item, i.e. bank cards, or to enable professionals to solicit the membership.
3. Improper Use of CAW Logo (for the Promotion or Sale of Goods and Services)
The CAW logo is a very valuable asset to our union. In order to protect the interests of our entire membership, national officers, national staff and officers of local unions must not, under any circumstances use the CAW logo in the promotion or sale of any goods or services that benefit an individual or a private concern. The CAW logo is to be used only to promote the necessary and legitimate functions of our union, and for no other purpose.
4. Improper Use of CAW Name
As well, the name of our union, as expressed mainly in its various short forms such as "CAW" or "CAW-Canada" or "Canadian Auto Workers" or "Canadian Autoworkers Union" is an important "trade mark" by which our union is recognized and identified by the Canadian public. We have sought and obtained protection of the term "CAW-Canada" and "TCA-Canada" and "CAW". Misuse or particularly misappropriation of the name of the union could harm our union and its reputation. Accordingly, if any organization, be it a local union or otherwise, wishes to use the letters CAW or name "Canadian Autoworkers" or "Canadian Autoworkers Union" alone, without reference to the local union in question, in order to identify a new entity such as a not for profit corporation, the local union or any other organization, must contact the National Union for approval. As noted above with respect to the CAW logo, the CAW name is to be used only to promote the necessary and legitimate functions of our union and for no other purpose."

In summary, all local unions must refrain from entering into any kind of co-operative arrangement with private enterprises selling goods and services, to individual members or their families. They must also refrain from any improper use of local union mailing lists and the CAW logo and name.

In solidarity,

The following CAW Ethical Practices Codes, published in our Constitution, bear directly on this matter:

Financial Practices
3. There shall be no contracts of purchase or sale or for rendering services which will result in the personal profit or advantage of any officer or representative or employee of the Union. Nor shall any officer, representative or employee of the National Union or any Local Union accept personal profit or special advantage from a business with which the Union bargains collectively.
Business and Financial Activities of Union Officials

Any person who represents the CAW and its members whether elected or appointed, has a sacred trust to serve the best interests of the members and their families. Therefore, every officer and representative must avoid any outside transaction which even gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. The special fiduciary nature of union office requires the highest loyalty to the duties of the office.

2. No officer or representative shall have a personal financial interest which conflicts with his union duties.
3. No officer or representative shall have any substantial financial interest (even in the publicly-traded, widely-held stock of a corporation except for stock-purchase plans, profit-sharing or nominal amounts of such stock), in any business, with which the CAW bargains. An officer or representative shall not have any substantial interest in a business with which the CAW bargains collectively.
4. No national or local officer or representative shall accept "kick-backs", under-the-table payments, valuable gifts, lavish entertainment or any personal payment of any kind, other than regular pay and benefits for work performed as an employee from an employer with which the union bargains or from a business or professional enterprise with which the union does business.
5. The principles of this Code, of course, apply to investments and activities of third parties, where they amount to subterfuge to conceal the financial interest of such officials or representatives. I am enclosing a policy letter adopted by the National Executive Board and attached to it is the Ethical Practices Code which is part of the Constitution which all national and local union officers, and staff, elected or appointed, must adhere to.

Your co-operation in this important policy of our union is appreciated.

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