Constitution of the Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA)
As confirmed by the membership in July 2010
Aticle 1: Name and Structure
Section 1. This organization shall be known as Workers Solidarity Alliance.
Section 2. The Workers Solidarity Alliance shall be comprised of wage workers, the unemployed, and those objectively a part of the working class.
Section 3. Members may organize themselves into Local Groups, Regional Organizations, Commissions and Committees.
Section 4. Local Groups and Regional Organizations shall be self-regulating and may determine their own structure so long as this is consistent with the principles and Constitution of the organization, and with democratic decision making, by majority vote when consensus cannot be reached.
Section 5. A meeting of the Local Group may only make decisions binding on the group if a quorum is present. A “quorum” is defined as a simple majority of all the current members of the Local Group.
Section 6. Local Groups and Regional Organizations shall be organized on a regional basis. All members of Local Groups and Regional Organizations shall be members of the organization.
Section 7. Local Groups and Regional Organizationsshall make their geographic jurisdiction known to the Coordinating Committee and shall include only those people living and working within that jurisdiction. Local Groups and Regional Organizationsshall be known as the Workers Solidarity Alliance [geographical jurisdiction] Group or Workers Solidarity Alliance Regional Organization.
Section 8. Local Groups shall be able to determine their own dues and structure so long as this does not conflict with the payment of dues and the structure of the organization nationally.
Section 9. Local Groups may divide at any time they so choose and shall decide between themselves new jurisdictions. The Coordinating Committee shall be promptly notified of such changes.
Section 10. Commissions and Committees may be created to organize and carry on work in given industries and areas of interest, for mutual aid and defense, to publish and distribute literature, and to deal with such problems as may arise within the organization.
Section 11. Commissions shall be self-regulating but shall work openly and in cooperation with Local Groups, Regional Organizations and the Coordinating Committee. Committees shall be subordinate to the bodies which create them.
Section 12. Commissions shall be able to set their own dues and structure and determine their areas of work so long as these decisions do not conflict with ongoing work under the jurisdiction of other bodies within the organization and payment of dues to the organization.
Section 13. Local Groups, Regional Organizations, Commissions and Committees shall be responsible for their own debts.
Article 2: Membership
Article 2 Section 1A
Where branches exist, applicants will be reviewed and voted on before being accepted by the branch. Where no branch exists, applicants will be accepted barring objections by the general membership, wherein a vote would occur. All applicants will have a 90 day collaborative period where the organization and the applicant will work together, determine our level of unity, and decide whether to take up membership, extend the collaborative period, or work together without membership to be decided by the branches or general membership. Regional delegates will engage those applicants where no branches exist.
Section 2. No body may have less than three (3) members. Whenever a body falls below that number, the remaining members shall relinquish all funds and supplies to the Coordinating Committee.
Section 3. All members shall have only one vote on any question. All members shall have equal voice and standing within the organization. All members shall receive the help and support of the organization in times of hardship and trouble.
Section 4. All new applicants shall apply for membership as individuals. Organizational affiliations to the W.S.A. shall be on an individual membership basis, except as waived by W.S.A. membership vote.
Section 5. In the event that a constituent body secedes, is suspended from, or expelled from, the organization, all members of this body shall come under review by the Coordinating Committee.
Section 6. Members who violate the Constitution or “Where We Stand” of the Workers solidarity Alliance or act contrary to the interests of the organization may be expelled. No member may be expelled without written notification sent by certified/return receipt mail. This will follow an ample discussion period and an opportunity to offer a defense. Only a Continental Conference, after a hearing, may expel a member, by a majority vote, and only if the accused member has had sixty (60) days prior notice.
Article 3: Responsibilities & Work of the Coordinating Committee
Section 1. The Coordinating Committee shall include the Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer, who shall be elected by the general membership by a referendum vote. There shall also be one regional delegate elected by the members in each of the four regions. If there is a tie vote in the election to any position other than Corresponding Secretary, the current Corresponding Secretary shall decide by drawing lots. If there is a tie vote in the election of Corresponding Secretary, the current Treasurer shall decide by drawing lots.
Section 2. The Coordinating Committee shall exist to carry on the work of the organization between conferences, coordinate the work of the various constituent groups, adjudicate disputes between these bodies, organize conventions, coordinate and oversee publishing and generally keep the organization moving and united.
Section 3. Any member shall have voice before the Coordinating Committee. Any member may request a written explanation of procedure from any member of the Coordinating Committee and shall be provided with same promptly.
Section 4. The Corresponding Secretary will act as coordinator and recording secretary of the Coordinating Committee, and of the motions and votes of its individual members on all matters which come before it.
Section 5. The Coordinating Committee may suspend, on the basis of charges brought by Local Groups and Regional Organizations, but cannot expel, any individual, Local Group, Regional Organizations, Commission or Committee.
Section 6. The Treasurer shall be responsible for providing the membership with regular reports of the organization’s finances. The National Treasurer shall dispense funds only for activities mandated by the organization and shall reimburse members promptly for expenditures mandated by the organization.
Section 7. Coordinating Committee will be responsible to the members of the organization when they are gathered in convention or through referendum. The Coordinating Committee will organize such conventions at least annually and shall issue referendums at the request of ten (10) percent of the membership.
Section 8. Members of the Coordinating Committee may be recalled by referendum initiated by ten (10) percent of the membership.
Section 9. The term of office of the Coordinating Committee begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st of the same year.
Section 10. No member shall serve in the same position on the Coordinating Committee for more than two successive terms.
Article 3A:Commissions & committees
1. Membership is open to all WSA members for one or any of WSA Commissions. All members will be a member of one or more WSA commissions and are encouraged to act in them to the best of their ability. These commissions are responsible for developing the educational and organizational resources necessary for the full participation of WSA members in such struggles, mutual aid and defense, to publish and distribute related literature, and to deal with such problems as may arise within the organization. The Commissions must work to give inactive interested members the resources necessary to build up their abilities, confidence, and connections necessary to help the member become engaged with or initiate mass struggle. Each Commission is charged with creating curriculum and trainings for WSA members to develop capable organizers in their field.
2. Commissions shall be self-regulating but shall work openly and in cooperation with Local Groups, Regional Organizations and the Coordinating Committee. Committees shall be subordinate to the bodies which create them. Local branches and Regional Organizations will have the autonomy to choose amongst prioritized WSA struggles, and propose new ones to the organizations for consideration.
3. Commissions shall be able to set their own dues and structure and determine their areas of work so long as these decisions do not conflict with ongoing work under the jurisdiction of other bodies within the organization and payment of dues to the organization.
4. Each Commission or Committee shall issue short general monthly reports to the general members and work in coordination with the Coordinating Committee. Quarterly a more detailed report on activities will be given to the general membership.
5. Within each struggle WSA members will work to confront and challenge intersecting oppressions should the opportunity arise, whether racial, sexist, homo or transphobic, and attack the connections of oppression and exploitation.
6. WSA collectively prioritizes work in struggles that is collectively self-managed by the members effected by the struggle, engages in direct action to achieve its aims, which has the potential for transformation of collective consciousness in struggle, and which brings us closer to autonomous class organization and revolution. Direct participation is preferred to outside solidarity, and WSA prioritizes the struggles which have the potential to build or develop mass movements organized around collective interest.
7. New Commissions may be proposed and old ones removed by a vote by the general membership, either through referendum or a vote at a Continental Conference. Struggles in WSA commissions are an organizational priority to be based on collective activity, strength, and strategy of the membership.
Article 4: Conferences
Section 1. Continental Conferences shall be held at least once a year in order to set policy, coordinate work, review the organization’s work and progress, deal with problems between constituent bodies, approve or redirect the work of the constituent bodies and the Coordinating Committee, and consider such problems as may come before the membership.
Section 2. All Coordinating Committee, editors and editorial groups and activists are encouraged to report to the conferences or send a report if they are unable to attend.
Section 3. Continental Conferences shall be open to all members of the organization and all members will have voice and vote.
Section 4. Suspended members or groups shall have voice, but no vote, at conventions until their suspension has been lifted by the body. Persons causing the suspension of members or groups shall have voice, but no vote, on issues relevant to such suspensions.
Section 5. Agendas, convention materials, information on voting and attendance shall be circulated by the Coordinating Committee, well in advance of any conference.
Section 6. Conferences will be held in locations accessible to the majority of members and at such times of year that the majority of members can attend.
Section 7. Provisions will be made for members who cannot afford to travel long distances, for day care, and for disabled members well in advance of every conference.
Section 8. Members may send proxies to anyone they feel will adequately represent them at conventions as long as their representative is a paid-up member not under suspension.
Section 9. Conferences shall be self-regulating regarding resolutions, structure, length of sessions and scope as long as democratic procedure prevails and a majority of those present agree.
Section 10. The Corresponding Secretary shall solicit nominations for the Coordinating Committee, prior to each year’s conference, with additional provision being made for nominations during the convention and mail-in nominations after the convention. The election of the Coordinating Committee, will take place after nominations have been received and accepted, and return ballots must be postmarked four (4) weeks after being mailed by the Coordinating Committee. The Corresponding Secretary shall decide any tie votes by drawing lots.
Section 11. Members of the organization who wish to dissent from the decisions of a conference can appeal the decisions of the conference through a referendum within two months of the close of the convention. Referendums may be requested by ten (10)
percent of the membership and will be overseen by the Coordinating Committee, or by a special committee comprised of aggrieved members and representatives of the Coordinating Committee.
Article 5: Dues
Section 1. Members shall pay dues directly to the Treasurer.
Section 2. The allocation of the organization’s funds will be decided by the membership in convention and will be overseen by the Coordinating Committee. Reports on said allocations will be made to the membership directly.
Section 3. Dues will be based on a fiscal year beginning January 1 and ending December 31 and will be paid quarterly.
Section 4. Dues shall be $18 per quarter for an employed person making the equivalent of at least $8 per hour for a full workweek but less than $12 per hour. Dues shall be $24 per quarter for an employed person making the equivalent of $12 or more per hour for a full workweek. Dues shall be $12 per quarter for an employed person making the equivalent of a full workweek paid at more than $5 per hour and less than $8 per hour. Dues for a full-time student or homemaker, a retired or unemployed person, or an employed person making the equivalent of under $5 per hour for a full workweek shall be $7 per quarter.
Section 5. Dues shall not be waived for any member of the organization except when involved in a strike or lockout.
Section 6. Persons who fall two quarters behind in dues shall be considered suspended. Persons will be notified of the amount of dues they are required to pay per quarter when they are tentatively accepted for WSA membership. Persons who do not pay dues at all after having joined the organization shall not be considered members of the organization. Members who fall one year behind in dues will be dropped from membership. Members are responsible for notifying the Treasurer if their quarterly wage changes sufficiently to affect their dues.
Article 6: Amendments & Conflicting Parts
Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution can only be made after debate and discussion within the organization. Such debate and discussion will be open, cordial and serious and will be based on actual problems at hand.
Section 2. Changes in the Constitution will be undertaken by members meeting in convention or referendum, but only after sixty (60) days prior notice. The Coordinating Committee, shall see to it that such changes as are made are implemented promptly.
Section 3. All NEW conflicting parts of the Constitution shall be considered null and void until the membership decides on alternate procedures at the next conference. In the meantime, the Coordinating Committee, shall oversee the affected parts of the Constitution.
Article 7: Regional Conferences
Section 1. Local Groups, Regional organizations, commissions, and committees may call such conferences as are needed in order to strengthen and coordinate work, plan for conferences, and settle disputes between members or constituent groups.
Section 2. Regional conferences shall involve all affected members and the Coordinating Committee. All members of the organization shall be eligible to speak. All members of affected local groups, district organizations, commissions and committees shall be guaranteed equal voice and vote.
Section 3. Regional conferences shall be self-supporting and self-regulating. Nothing they decide upon or do shall in any way commit the organization to a policy or activity.
Section 4. Members wishing to dissent from the decisions made at Regional conferences shall have the opportunity to express this dissent in follow-up mailings and at the national conference following the district conference.
Section 5. Regional conferences shall decide on an appropriate way to make agreed upon resolutions known to the membership of the organization. Those members wishing to dissent from such agreements and resolutions shall have equal access to the membership.
Article 8: Editors & Editorial Groups
Section 1. Editors and Editorial Groups shall be responsible to the groups which have selected them, the membership meeting in convention, and to the Coordinating Committee.
Section 2. All publications, websites and forums initiated by the W.S.A. shall exist to fulfill certain stated goals and objectives. These publications, websites and forums shall be overseen by the Coordinating Committee. Editors and Editorial Group exist to see that these goals and objectives are met.
Section 3. All publications will clearly state that they are published and overseen by the organization.