March, 2016

ILWU 400 Constitution, By-Laws and Shipping Rules


This organization shall be known as Local 400, Marine Section, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (Canadian Area) hereinafter known as the Local.

The headquarters of the Local shall be Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The industrial jurisdiction of the Local includes workers aboard ships, ferries, tankers, dredges, launches, water taxis, tugs, barges and other vessels as well as workers in related occupations. The geographical jurisdiction includes the waterways of Western Canada and the Arctic.

The objectives of this Local are to unite all workers eligible for membership for the following purposes:
a) To establish through collective bargaining, the best possible wages and working conditions for workers in our jurisdiction;
b) To assist other unions whenever possible in the attainment of their demands and in their resistance to attacks on their wages and working conditions;
c) To engage in political action to the fullest extent of our energy and resources, so that our economic and social gains may be protected, consolidated, and extended;
d) To educate our members as to our role and responsibilities working for unity within the labour movement locally, nationally, and internationally. We believe an injury to one is an injury to all;
e) To strive within our Local and in all our collective agreements to eliminate any and all manifestations of discrimination based on race, nationality, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation and physical handicap;
f) To fight all violations of democracy; to uphold the principle that all have an equal right to the opportunities, the security, and the leisure necessary to enjoy life.

The structure of the Local shall make it possible for the members to democratically direct the Local. General Membership meetings will be held at least quarterly at the Maritime Labour Centre on the second Tuesday of March, June, September, and December. Additional meetings may be called by majority vote at a membership meeting, by the request of a minimum of twelve members, or by the Executive Committee. The Local’s business shall be conducted in accordance with motions passed at regular membership meetings and by membership referendums. Because democracy means more than voting “yea” or “nay” to decisions already made, there shall be effective channels of communication to encourage maximum rank and file participation. Members shall have the means to examine, criticize and improve the Local structure, to express ideas, and initiate policy and in general to contribute to the advancement of the Local.
The Local Union is structured to provide for on-the-job union representation at each workplace under collective agreement, and representation from each workplace in the decisions of the Local Union.
The Executive Board of the Local Union will ensure that at least one meeting a year is held for members of each workplace represented by the Local Union, and at least one meeting per year in each port outside the Lower Mainland where Local Union members work and live. Such meetings may be called by a General Membership Meeting, by the Executive Committee, or at the request of five our more members from a workplace.


It shall be the duty of all members to:
a) Abide by the Constitution, objectives, By-Laws, and Shipping Rules of the Local.
b) Attend at least one union meeting a year and vote in all elections.
c) Furnish the Local with a current address and phone number and notify the Local of any changes.
d) Pay promptly all fines, assessment, and dues properly charged to them by the union.
e) Report to the Local office during industrial disputes.
f) Perform picket duty when requested to do so.
g) Work actively for the welfare of Unionism, for the Local and the Membership. This includes, but is not limited to, participation in a “phone-calling chain” system, which shall be used to keep the membership informed on issues of current importance. Members may contact the union and request that they have their names be removed from the “phone calling chain” system.

In order to become a regular member of Local 400, a person must be employed by a company under agreement with Local 400, must have completed sixty (60) days with the company, and must pay an initiation fee of $750.00. However, these provisions may be waived for organizing purposes.
To be inducted in to the Local, new members must attend a regular membership meeting and take the membership pledge:
“I (name) do solemnly promise to accept as my own the objectives of Local 400 ILWU. I shall observe the Constitution, By-Laws, and Shipping Rules and shall neither by word nor deed knowingly bring discredit on the Union or its members.” Members working in outports will be inducted in those centres.
(a) To maintain membership in good standing in Local 400, each working member shall pay monthly dues of One Hundred and Ninety Dollars ($190.00). This rate is set on March 1, 2016.
(b) Members on W.C.B. maximum wage loss benefits or on Weekly Indemnity shall pay 50% of the full monthly dues per month.
(c) Members on WCB Pension or on Long Term Disability shall pay dues of $25.00 per month from March 1, 2016. Member’s currently on WCB Pension or LTD will be grand fathered in and continue to pay current rates ($10.00).
(d) Person more than three months in arrears in dues shall be dropped from membership. Person dropped from membership who return to work in the industry will be accepted back into membership only after sixty (60) days work and payment of the initiation fee.
(e) A member who is in good standing who leaves the industry will on application to the Local receive a withdrawal card.
(f) To be reinstated to good standing, ex-members on withdrawal who are dispatched from the Hiring Hall must complete a job of twenty-four (24) hours or more. They must then report back to the Union within two (2) calendar days of the last day worked, in accordance with “Shipping Rules, Reliefs #4”.
(g) Members and non-members working and/or on lay-days for one hundred and sixty-two hours (162) in a calendar month shall pay full working dues. Members and non-members working less than one hundred and sixty-two (162) hours shall pay working dues of two and one-half percent (2.5%) of their gross wages, with the minimum amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) up to the maximum of one hundred and ninety dollars ($190.00) per month.
(h) Members in good standing retiring from work will on application receive Honourary Membership and will not be required to pay dues. Honourary members may attend meetings and speak on
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issues. They will not have the right to vote or to stand for office.
(i) No Local assessment or change in dues structure to come into effect until approved by a majority in a referendum ballot.

Executive Committee

  1. There shall be elected biennially in the month of June, an Executive Committee composed of the following:
    A President, a Vice-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and sixteen (16) Committee Members. Any member in good standing, not in arrears in dues on nomination day, will be eligible to stand for election.
  2. The election of an Executive Committee shall be by referendum ballot to all members in good standing (and not in arrears when they receive a ballot) under the methods provided for in By-Law No. 4.
  3. In addition to members elected at large, the Executive Committee will include at least two members nominated from and elected by referendum ballot of members working for each company.
  4. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to:
  • Review the work of full-time employed officers of Local 400;
  • Generally supervise the activities of Local 400;
  • Study ways and means for the improvement of meetings;
  • Make recommendations to the membership regarding any matter of policy and generally to take such action as will advance the interests of the Union as a whole, and the membership of Local 400 in particular;
  • Actively participate in the “phone calling chain” system.

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once every month. A quorum shall be five or more Executive Committee members. Members who miss three consecutive meetings without contacting the union will be dropped from the Executive Committee.

Members may attend Executive Committee meetings and may have a voice on issues.

Negotiating Committee
It shall be one of the duties of all negotiating committee members to be actively involved in the “phone-calling chain”, to keep the membership informed as to the progress and issues of contract negotiations.
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Governing the Duties and Salaries to Be Paid Elected Officers
Employed on A Full-time Basis

a) The duly elected President of Local 400 shall devote his/her entire time to the duties of the office.
b) The salary of the President may be increased by the Executive Committee on the basis of increases gained for the membership.

Duties of the President:
The President shall be the Executive head of Local 400 and Chairman of the Executive Committee. He/she shall exercise general supervision over all the affairs of Local 400 and shall direct the work of other full-time employed officers. He/she shall preside at all Executive Committee meetings, unless prevented by sickness or other bona fide reason. He/she shall co-ordinate and administer the affairs of Local 400 in co-operation with the Executive Committee, and sign all official documents. He/she shall be responsible for the strict enforcement of the Local Constitution, By-Laws, Rules, Regulations, Working Agreements and general policy of Local 400. Together with the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 400, he/she shall sign all cheques drawn on the account of the Local. He/she shall present a written report to the membership at the termination of his/her term of office showing:
(a) General state of Local 400;
(b) Dispositions of membership and Executive Committee decision;
(c) Recommendations for the future welfare of Local 400.
He/she shall be responsible for all agreement negotiations undertaken on behalf of the membership of Local 400 and shall see, personally, or otherwise, that all grievances arising out of the working agreements are adjusted. He/she shall, upon request of the majority of the Executive Committee, provide all correspondence, records, documents and property of Local 400 in his/her possession.
His/her decision on all matters shall stand, unless and until varied or reversed by the Executive Committee.

a) The duly elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local 400 shall devote his/her entire time to the duties of the office.
b) The salary of the Secretary-Treasurer may be increased by the Executive Committee on the basis of increases gained for the membership.

Duties of the Secretary-Treasurer:
The Secretary-Treasurer shall be the Secretary of the Executive Committee. He/she shall have charge of and preserve all books, documents, records and effects of Local 400 and the Executive Committee. He/she shall record all proceedings of Executive Committee and
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membership meetings. He/she shall keep a true accounting of all receipts, expenditures and funds of Local 400 and shall make a written report of this work to the membership for the biennial May meeting.
He/she shall deposit all monies belonging to Local 400 in a bank or credit union named by the Executive Committee and, on request, shall make an accounting of all monies to the Executive Committee.
His/her books and accounts shall be audited for the biannual meeting. Copies of all such audits shall be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the ILWU (Canadian Area).
He/she shall also act as a union representative, and, to that end, shall represent members in negotiations and grievances and otherwise provide services as assigned by the President and instructed by the Membership.

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Governing the Nomination and Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members

The duly elected officers and executive members of Local 400 shall hold office for a term of two (2) years.

Nominations of candidates shall take place in the month of June at a meeting that is as representative of all sections of the membership as may be possible. At least thirty (30) days notice of such meeting shall be given to the membership.

Any member nominated for office, who is in attendance at the meeting, shall verbally accept or decline the nomination. Any member willing to stand for office who is not in attendance at the meeting must file with the Secretary-Treasurer prior to the nomination meeting written willingness to stand.

For the purpose of conducting elections, a committee of at least three (3) readily available members, shall be elected by and from the members attending the meeting at which nominations take place. No member accepting nomination for any office shall be eligible to serve as a member of the election committee.
(a) Immediately following their election, the members of the election committee shall meet and elect one of their members as Chairman of the Committee.
(b) The election committee shall, in consultation with the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 400, prepare a list of all members who are in good standing, not in arrears, and eligible to vote according to the records of Local 400. Members in arrears who pay current dues prior to the ballot count deadline shall receive a ballot.
(c) The Election Committee shall scrutinize all the election statements of the candidates to ensure there are no false reports or misrepresentations.
(d) Election statements by candidates shall only contain the candidate’s employer, position with employer, history in the industry, union activity, and their own union policy priorities.
(e) The election statements shall not exceed one-hundred and fifty (150) words.
(f) The return address prescribed by the election committee to which ballots should be returned shall be a post office box as may be available only to the Chair of the committee and at no time shall such place of safe-keeping be opened by the Chair unless accompanied by at least one other member of the election committee.
(g) The election committee shall designate a closing date for the purpose of returning the ballot, which shall be not less than thirty (30) days and not more than forty-five (45) days from the posting of the ballot.
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(h) Immediately following the closing date of the ballot, or as soon thereafter as possible, the election committee shall take from the designated place of safekeeping all ballots deposited therein, and tabulate the votes cast for each candidate.
(i) Members may vote for any number of candidates up to sixteen. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected and so declared by the Chairman of the election committee immediately following the counting of the ballots.
(j) The Chairman of the election committee shall make a full report of the results of the election to each member of Local 400 by circular letter.

Each candidate for office shall be entitled, if he/she so wishes, to have a representative present when the ballots are counted. Such representative, however, shall not be permitted to interfere in any way with the work of the election committee.

In the event of a tie vote, the winner shall be determined by secret ballot at the next regular membership meeting.

Elected officers and executive committee members shall be installed in office as soon as possible after their election.
Governing By-Elections for Officers and Executive Committee Members

A referendum ballot shall be held to replace the President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer. At the general meeting where resignation is submitted, the chair shall declare that nominations will take place at the next general meeting.

In the event of a vacancy, the Vice-President shall replace the President or Secretary-Treasurer until an election is held.

In the event the positions of both President and Secretary-Treasurer become vacant, the Executive Committee shall recommend a member to replace either position until an election is held.

In the event the Executive Committee of sixteen (16) members is reduced to twelve (12) members or less, a referendum shall be held to bring up the total to sixteen (16).

By-elections will not be held after January 1st in the year of the biennial.
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A Women’s Committee consisting of not less than three (3) members shall elect a chairperson from its members. The committee shall:
a) Identify, evaluate and report to Local meetings on issues and matters of particular concern to women and all members.
b) Encourage Local participation in women’s conferences and seminars dealing with trade union concerns.
BY-LAW 7 – Safety Committee.
A Safety Committee consisting of not less than three (3) members shall elect a chairperson from its members. The committee shall:
a. Identify, evaluate and report to Local meetings on issues of particular concern regarding safety to all members.
b. Encourage Local participation in safety conferences and seminars dealing with safety concerns.
Any member crossing a picket line, deliberately acting to undermine trade union conditions, or otherwise bringing the union into disrepute shall be brought before a Disciplinary Committee for trial upon charges being laid by not less than two (2) members in good standing. The Disciplinary Committee to be comprised of five (5) members in good standing elected by the members attending a regular meeting. (In the event any member of the elected Disciplinary Committee ships out or is otherwise unavailable, the Committee shall have the right to co-opt members in good standing to fill the vacancies. Members shall not be co-opted if they are prejudiced in any way on the matter under investigation and consideration.) Any decision of the Disciplinary Committee must be adopted by a regular membership meeting.
A member found guilty and fined, suspended, or expelled, may appeal as set out in Article XII of the Constitution of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (Canadian Area).
The Constitution and By-Laws may only be revised or amended by a majority vote in a referendum ballot. Such ballot to be conducted according to procedures outlined in By-Law No. 5. Before a motion to revise or amend these By-Laws is sent to referendum ballot a notice of motion to that effect must be presented at a regular membership meeting and must be supported by a majority voting at the next regular membership meeting.

A. The purpose of these rules is to provide a fair and orderly system of rotary shipping.
B. Any member desiring to propose new Shipping Rules, or amendments to existing ones, shall give notice of such changes at a General Meeting and these changes will be dealt with at the June and December meetings. If a change or amendment requires an immediate decision, the President and the Secretary-Treasurer are empowered to bring such changes to the next General Meeting.


(a) No member to register or compete for shipping while on company payroll or in bad standing with the Local and this to be strictly adhered to at all times.
(b) Members on indefinite layoff and whose laydays have run out are eligible to register on the Board. Members with recall rights may exercise these rights only by terminating any other employment to which they had been dispatched.
(c) No one to be registered for a job unless dues are paid up to the date of registration.
(d) No member to remain on the Shipping Board unless his or her dues are paid up by the end of each month. A fifteen (15) day period of grace is allowed.
(e) Any member who repeatedly fails to perform duties which are reasonably required of a job to which he or she was dispatched or anyone who repeatedly fails to show up at sailing times or to complete normal sailing schedules, and anyone who repeatedly abuses or threatens other members they are working with, either due to health problems, abuse of intoxicating substances, or incompetence shall not be re-registered for employment nor dispatched until such time that he or she demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Local Union that the problem has been corrected.

(a) No member shall register for any rating without showing proof of discharges for the particular rating he or she chooses.
(b) Any job that is posted on the board and any member who wishes to change their registration must do so twenty-four (24) hours before the call is to be made.

All registration shall be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and members must come to the Hall to register if he or she lives in the Greater Vancouver area.

(a) When a job is dispatched and the person on the top of the board, through his/her own actions is ineligible for hire, it shall be deemed that the person has not availed
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himself/herself of the opportunity to bid for the job.
(b) Any member who has been on top of the shipping list for fifteen (15) regular dispatch days* and has had the opportunity during this time to compete for a job in his/her category and has not availed themselves of this opportunity, shall have his/her card removed from the shipping board and shall have to re-register to further compete for work.

  • Fifteen regular dispatch days do not include weekends or holidays.
    (c) Any member who is at the top of the board and who is not available for off calls shall not be penalized.
  1. All registration shall be made at a place in full view of the membership present in the Hall.
  2. Any member receiving medical care which prevents his/her registering shall have his or her card dated as of commencement of such care, and on doing so shall retain his or her place on the shipping list. Such members shall report to the dispatcher within three (3) days of discharge from doctor or hospital, with a letter from the doctor specifically stating dates under care.
  3. All shipping done through the Union Hall shall be on a rotary basis, and this shall be the only system used.
    Members unable to attend the Dispatch Hall may compete for jobs by telephone. The Dispatcher will record jobs on the dispatch tape when these are received. To compete for jobs by telephone, members must record their willingness to compete for a job on the dispatch tape. This record will be played in the Hiring Hall at the time a job is dispatched.
  4. Any member doing volunteer work for the Union may leave his or her card with the dispatcher to compete for job opportunities.
  5. Assignment slips to be made out in duplicate, one for the Union files and one to be presented to the Officer-in-Charge. On vessels where there is a Ship’s Delegate, the member dispatched will show his/her dispatch slip to the Ship’s Delegate. Such slips to be stamped by the Union and contain the name of the ship, rating, registration number and date of assignment.
  6. (a) Any member assigned to a ship must at all times immediately report to the ship at the time and place designated on the assignment slip and also carry out any other instructions pertaining to the assignment which the dispatcher may give.
    (b) Members in receipt of a dispatch slip who request to be re-registered without following the dispatch instructions must show cause or re-register at the bottom of the dispatch board.
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    (c) The dispatcher will then contact the members who were present at the dispatch and issue a dispatch slip to the “top” member who had competed for the job.
  7. If an assigned member is rejected on reporting for the job the reasons for such rejection to be written on the assignment slip and the member to be required to report back immediately to the dispatcher. In such cases the member to keep his or her place on the Shipping List.
  8. The dispatcher, at the conclusion of each dispatch, shall place the names and registration numbers of all men shipped on a board conspicuously displayed in the Hall.
  9. The dispatcher shall retain the shipping cards of all persons shipped, and in the case of relief jobs, the cards will be posted in a relief file until completion of the job.
  10. Dispatch book to be available to all members.
  11. Shipping calls to be made at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Open calls to be made immediately when no member is available.
  12. In the event a Union member is not available for a job to be filled, the dispatcher shall use his/her discretion in selecting a competent person to fill the position.
  13. No member to be shipped in any capacity except that which they are registered for, or for which they show reliable qualifications. There shall be no discrimination in any rating unless a special skill is required. In the event of an emergency the dispatch is to be left to the dispatcher’s discretion.
  14. Upon being dispatched as either C/D.H. or D.H. a member will retain that position for a period of not less than 90 days before being transferred. Subject to mutual agreement by both parties.
  15. Any immediate or emergency calls shall be posted on receipt of same, when possible thirty minutes shall be allowed before the job is called.
  16. While registered on the Shipping Board members may take three hundred and sixty (360) hours of relief work in total and still retain their place on the Board. The number of hours worked on any relief job to be marked clearly on member’s registration card. When the total of these hours exceed three hundred and sixty (360), the member must re-register on the bottom of the Board. In cases where a member feels he or she has just cause to leave a job prior to the completion of the relief for medical or compassionate reasons, he or she must provide proof of same in order to retain his or her place on the Shipping Board.
  17. (a) A member returning before his or her thirty (30) days employment is completed must have proof from the Ship’s Delegate that they were laid off. In the event there is no delegate then the dispatcher must check with the company involved. Any member
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    shipped as a relief shall have his or her card removed from the Board and placed in a relief file. If laid off within thirty (30) days, he or she must report to the dispatcher in order to retain his or her place on the Shipping Board. In the event of more than one (1) relief sent to a job, the first man registered on the Board shall be the last man off the job. Nothing in this clause shall be construed to deny any member his/her right to take accrued laydays as stated in the Union contract and in accordance with established routines governing all members on any given vessel.
    (b) Once a relief is finished and laydays exhausted, the relief may register at the Hall per Section 4. A relief constitutes a job involving the replacement of one or more regular crew members on their regularly scheduled work. A relief becomes a permanent position when one of the persons relieved has terminated or another steady position has been created.
  18. Any member who does not complete his/her relief job when another relief is called, must re-register.
  19. Any member completing a relief job must report to the Hall within two (2) calendar days of the last day worked exclusive of weekends and statutory holidays to retain his or her place on the Shipping Board. Members not complying with this rule will be registered at the bottom of the Shipping Board.
  20. Once a relief job is finished and the member involved has been paid off and has received his/her termination, he/she may register for another job, but in any case shall have no right to return to the job except through the facilities of the shipping rules.
  21. Any member wishing to take time off, other than for compassionate reasons (onus or proof shall rest with the member asking for relief) shall take off at least one (1) week.
  22. Any member who goes on sick leave or takes compassionate leave within thirty (30) days of being dispatched, his/her shipping card shall remain on the board provided he/she has not had the opportunity to return to the job.

  24. That any member misrepresenting himself/herself knowingly to the dispatcher for a job be stricken from the Shipping List and appear before the Trial Board for disciplinary action in accordance with the Constitution.
  25. Should evidence of collusion to contravene these rules exist, the party or parties concerned shall be brought on charge.
  26. (a) The Trial Board will be drawn from three (3) Local members in good standing. The accused member will be given two (2) weeks written notice of hearing. The Trial Board shall make a recommendation which will first be voted on by the Executive Board whose recommendation shall be voted on at the next General Membership Meeting and that
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    decision shall be final.
    (b) Any member missing his or her ship or any member who, by malicious action aboard the ship, brings the Union into disrepute shall be automatically suspended for a period of thirty (30) days. Any second offence by the same member shall result in ninety (90) days suspension. Ship’s delegate or Union member shall send a full report and charges of misdemeanour within sixty (60) days. Any further offence by the same member shall be referred to the Trial Board for stronger discipline.
  27. No member shall be shipped, registered, allowed in the Union Hall or attend Union meetings while obviously under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
    (i) Any member who violates the above provision shall be asked to leave the Hall by either the President, Secretary-Treasurer, staff, or any member of the Local. Failure to comply with this request will result in a minimum (30) day suspension from using the facilities of the Union Hall.
    (ii) If a member is requested to leave a Union Meeting because he/she is obviously under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or drugs, and when the Chair requests such member to leave and is upheld by a vote of members present, should such member refuse to leave, his/her card shall be taken off the Shipping Board, and the member must re-register.
  28. Any member altering or using a counterfeit shipping card to cheat or mislead the rotary shipping system to be subject to charge.
  29. No member awaiting trial shall be placed on the Shipping List. If found not guilty, then he/she shall be registered as of the date he/she first reported for registration. In the event there are no members available for work and a job is called a member on charge may be shipped at the discretion of the dispatcher. However, he/she must report to the Hall to face charges at completion of the voyage.
  30. Any member violating the rotary system of shipping shall be referred to a Trial Board.
  31. Any member who feels that he or she has been done an injustice on being refused registration because of bad standing in the Local, or is not satisfied with the fashion in which any particular dispatch was conducted, or who feel he or she has been abused or victimized by any or all of the aforementioned rules or regulations, shall have the right to appeal to a Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee shall consist of three (3) readily available members whose decision must be ratified at the next membership meeting. If the grievance is upheld and his/her position on the Shipping Board is in question, he/she shall be registered. Appeal must be filed within seven (7) days of the alleged grievance.
  32. The retention of membership while attending school full time is a privilege granted by the Union. Anyone who while attending school crosses a legal picket line at that school or in any other way brings the Union into disrepute, shall be stricken from the membership rolls.
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  33. In the event a vessel is temporarily laid up, the crew member shall have the right to go back on the vessel provided they do not take another job in the industry or register on the Shipping Board.
  34. In the event a vessel changes ownership or registry, but its jobs are still to be shipped from the Union Hall, existing crew members to be given preference if they wish to remain with the vessel.
  35. (a) Any member who has, or accepts, a job outside the jurisdiction of Local 400, shall be issued a withdrawal care upon accumulation of over ten (10) day work in a calendar month.
    (b) Members accepting employment with a Non-Union Company in the Marine Industry may retain their membership up to six (6) months providing organizing has been designated. After the six (6) month period has elapsed, the full time officers and the Executive Board will review the situation and may grant an extension.
  36. (a) Any non-member who takes a pierhead jump must report to the Union Hall at the termination of the voyage and resign from the vessel.
    (b) In cases where a member takes a pierhead jump or after-hours call to accommodate or protect the Union, he or she may be allowed to remain on the ship if he or she so desires and is able.
  37. Other Unions calling Local 400 for temporary jobs shall be construed as under the jurisdiction of Local 400.