HOTEL, FOOD PROCESSING AND CATERING WORKERS UNION CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE I – NAME
The organization shall be called “HOTEL, FOOD PROCESSING AND CATERING WORKERS UNION (HFPCWU)” (hereinafter referred to as the “UNION”)
ARTICLE II – HEADQUATERS
The HFPCWU headquarters shall be put in such a place in Malawi as may be decided from time by the National Quadrennial Congress of Delegates.
ARTICLE III – INTERPRETATION
In this constitution, unless the context otherwise requires:-
- a) “Constitution,” shall mean the constitution of the Hotel, Food Processing and Catering workers union.
- b) “Employee” shall mean the person employed by any of the employers falling in the Hotel, Food Processing and Catering (HFPC) sector.
- c) “Employer” shall mean every legal person/organization/company that has employed another person and falls within the category of (HFPC) sector
- d) “Member” shall mean a worker who has joined the Union and is paying the requisite fees as required by the Union.
- e) “Shop steward” shall mean a member who has been elected/ appointed to carry out duties on behalf of other members and the Union.
ARTICLE IV – OBJECTIVES
The objectives and aims of the Union shall be as follows:
- a) To organize and build effective trade union based on the democratic organization of workers in their work places.
- b) To engage and maintain negotiations with employers in HFPC sector for proper rates of wages and salaries, hours of work and general condition of employment and generally to protect the rights and interests of the workers.
- c) To promote full participation of women in all activities of the Union
- d) To promote legislations of the workers.
- e) To raise funds in order to engage in civic education, social and mutual welfare activities in order to safe guard and advance the economic security and social welfare of the people of Malawi and workers in particular.
- f) To regulate the relations and settle disputes whenever possible between:
- Members and general employers
- The union and other unions
iii. One member to another
- Members to non-members
- g) To affiliate with, subscribe to, or assist any organization having similar aims to those of HFPCWU.
- h) To acquire freehold land or leasehold and premises and erect offices for proper running of HFPCWU.
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP
- a) Membership of the Union shall be open to persons employed in HFPC sector.
- b) Any member who fails to obey the rules of the Union shall be suspended or expelled by the majority of the members present at National Executive Board meeting where by an opportunity shall be given to the suspended member to be heard. If the offence requires urgent attention, the General Secretary in the consultation with the President shall suspend then report the matter to the National Executive Board later.
- c) Any member ceasing to be employed as provided under clause iii (b) shall be regarded as the member of the Union so long as he/she services her/his membership.
ARTICLE VI – SUBSCRIPTION
- a) Initial membership fee shall be decided by the National Executive Board and shall be renewable yearly.
- b) Monthly subscription fee shall be 1% of one’s basic salary
- c) Every non-member of the Union shall be levied 0.5% of his / her annual income the Union in the event that a collective bargaining agreement is concluded between employer and the Union for the services rendered.
ARTICLES VII GOVERNING BODY OF THE UNION
The supreme authority of the Union shall be vested in the national Quadrennial Congress.
ARTICLES VIII – QUADRENNIAL CONGRESS
- a) The Quadrennial Congress shall be held once every four years at the date and venue chosen by the National Executive Board
- b) Every branch shall be entitled to nominate one delegate for every 50 members. A branch with less than 50 members shall be permitted to nominate only one delegate.
- c) Delegate shall be fully paid up members.
- d) Positions to be contested at the national Quadrennial Congress shall be as follows
- Vice President
- Vice General secretary
- Treasurer General
General Secretary shall be an appointed official of the Union whose contract shall be renewable every four years 90 days after the National Quadrennial Congress.
- e) Before the President of the Union gives any opening address and before general discussions take place, the credentials of all branches shall be examined by the Credentials Committee of the Union.
- f) The first item on the agenda shall be adoption on the stranding orders for the conduct of the meeting, as the National Executive Board shall from time to time decide.
- g) The General Secretary not later than two weeks before the Quadratic Congress shall receive reports and nominations for officers to contest from the branches.
- h) The elected officers shall hold office for the period of four years and at the expiry of their term, they shall be entitled to a gratuity to be decided by the National Executive Board.
ARTICLE IX – NATIONAL EXUTIVE BOARD
- a) The conduct of the business of the Union between the Quadrennial Congress shall be vested in the National Executive Board.
- b) The National Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, General Secretary, Vice General Secretary, Treasurer General, Chair Person and Secretary of Women Affairs Committee, and Regional Representatives from the North, Centre and Southern Regions of Malawi.
- c) No person shall serve as a member of the National Executive Board unless he/she is a fully paid up member of the Union.
- d) In the event of resignation or absence of an officer of the National Executive Board, the candidate who secured the next highest number of votes in ballot at the last Quadrennial Congress shall fill the vacancy upon approval of the National Congress Board. If there is no such person then the National Executive Board shall appoint an appropriate member of the Union, subject to confirmation at the first ensuing Quadrennial Congress.
- e) The National Executive Board shall deal with matters within its competency to further the aims and objectives of the Union and its decision shall be binding to all members of the Union.
- f) The President and the General Secretary shall be empowered to call for an extra-ordinary meeting of the National Executive Board in which case:
- Half of the voting members of the National Executive Board shall constitute a quorum at an extra-ordinary meeting.
- All members must receive written notice of an extra-ordinary meeting.
- g) A member of the National Executive Board shall lose his /her post if:
- She/he is absent from three consecutive meetings of the National Executive Board or any other scheduled meeting without reasonable excuse.
- She/he is guilty of conduct inconsistent with the objectives of the Union.
- She/he is incompetent or seriously neglects his/her duties.
- Any member of the National Executive Board wishing to resign from office shall provide one month written notice to the General Secretary.
ARTICLE X – DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
- a) The President
- Shall preside over all the meetings of the Union including the National Quadrennial Congress.
- Shall sign minutes of all meetings presided over by him/her in conjunction with the General Secretary.
- Shall along with the General Secretary and Treasurer General be one of the signatories on all Union matters and accounts.
- Supervise the functions of the union
- b) The Vice President
- Shall act in the absence of the President, he shall carry out any duties which may be assigned to him/her by the President.
- c) The General Secretary
- Shall assume responsibility for the proper administrative duties of the whole Union with direction from National Executive Board.
- Shall convene extra-ordinary session of the National Executive Board and National Quadrennial Congress.
- Shall prepare and circulate the agenda and minutes of the Union’s meetings to appropriate bodies concerned.
- Shall prepare and deliver the General Secretary’s report to the National Quadrennial Congress.
- Shall along with the President and the Treasure General be one of the signatories on all- Union matters and accounts.
- Shall organize and supervise all work at the secretariat.
- Shall together with the President keep the National Executive Board informed of all important matters relating to the affairs of the Union.
- Shall be the recipient and origin of all union’s correspondence and communications, ensuring that all information is directed towards appropriate departments, branches and individuals.
- Shall handle negotiations and grievances where appropriate on behalf of the branch or member.
- Shall together with the Treasure General prepare all financial data and submit them to the appropriate authorities and branches.
- Shall act as spokesperson of the Union.
- d) The Vice Secretary General shall
- Cary out all duties assigned to him/her by the General Secretary.
- Act in the absence of the General Secretary with the exception of signatory on bank accounts.
- e) The Treasurer General shall
- Assume responsibility for the recovery of monies owed by the Union.
- Assume responsibility for the settlement of all debts of the Union.
- Prepare and deliver the audited accounts to the Quadrennial Congress.
- Along with the President and the Secretary General shall be signatory of the union’s accounts.
- f) Regional representatives shall perform the following duties within the region:
- Organize and recruit workers into the Union.
- Conduct Branch elections.
- Supervise branches and report regional developments to the General Secretary.
- Call for inter – branch meetings after consulting the General Secretary.
- Carry out duties which shall be assigned to them by the General Secretary
- g) Branch office Bearers
- Shall perform union duties in respect of the branch’s in line with the Union’s objectives
- Shall report to branch developments to the General Secretary.
- h) Shop stewards
- Shall perform union duties in respect of branch’s concerns in line with the union’s objectives.
- Shall report all branch developments to Branch Office Bearers.
ARTICLE XI – WOMEN’S AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
- a) There shall be constituted a Women’s Affairs Committee in the Union, which shall deal with all women’s activities whose chairperson and secretary shall sit on the National Executive Board
- b) All women in good standing with branches shall be automatically members of the women’s Affairs Committees.
- c) In additional to the general aims and objectives of the union the Women’s Affairs Committee shall have the following duties:
- To organise, unionise and educate all working women towards the promotion of the rights and interests and interests of women workers
- To encourage and promote self-reliance for women workers.
- To work for the total eradication of discrimination against women.
- d) The Union which could be supplemented by donors or special levies shall finance the operations and activities of Women’s Affairs Committee.
- e) The structure and composition of the Women’s Affairs Executive Committee shall be as follows:
- The Chairperson
- The Vice Chairperson
- The Secretary
- The Vice Secretary
- One Woman Representative form the three regions of the country
- f) The Women’s Affairs Committee shall meet not less than twice a year.
- g) The Secretary of the Women’s Affairs committee shall convene the meeting of the Women’s Affairs Committee.
- h) Decision in the Women’s Affairs Committee shall be by a simple majority of the members in session.
- i) Officers of the Women’s Affairs Committee shall hold office for four years.
- j) The Congress of the Women’s Affairs Committee shall be held one day prior to the National Qadrennial Congress.
- k) Delegates shall be composed of women delegates who shall be chairperson and secretary of the branch women’s committee.
- l) The Congress shall elect from amongst the delegates officer of the Women’s Affairs Committee.
- m) The standing committee shall be composed of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Vice Secretary.
- n) Standing Committee shall handle decisions on urgent matters between the regularly scheduled meetings.
- o) The Secretary is responsible for directly contacting the members of the standing committee for consultations on the decisions to be taken.
- p) All decisions taken by standing committee shall be communicated to the rest of the members at the next regular scheduled meeting.
ARTICLE XII TYPES OF BRANCH MEETINGS
(a) Inter-Branch Meetings
- Shall be called once a year by the Regional Representatives of respective regions in consultation with the General Secretary.
- Shall be called more than once a year if need arises and in consultation with the General Secretary.
(b) Branch Executive Committee Meetings
- Shall be convened once a month. Special or emergency meeting shall be called anytime where necessary.
(c) Branch General Meetings
- Shall be called at least once a month. Emergency meetings of a branch shall be called by Chairperson whenever it is deemed necessary.
ARTICLE XII – TRUSTEES
There shall be not less than three and not more than five trustees of the Union whose duties, manner of appointment and terms of office shall be determined by the National Executive Board.
ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION
(a) At least 90 days’ notice of the intention to amend any provision of this constitution must be given to the General Secretary. The notice must specify the provisions to be amended and proposed amendments.
(b) A two-thirds majority of voting members present at an extra ordinary congress shall be required in favour of the proposed amendment in order for it to be effected.
ARTICLE XV – DISSOLUTION
(a) The Union shall be dissolved only by a special resolution of the quadrennial or Extra-Ordinary Congress.
(b) A motion proposing the dissolution of the Union shall be carried, if 80% of the delegates present and vote in a secret ballot, vote in favour of the proposed motion.
(c) In the event of dissolution, the National Executive Board shall appoint a liquidator to wind up the affairs of the Union.
(d) The liquidator shall take the necessary steps to liquidate the debts of the Union from its unexpected funds and any other monies realized from any assets of the Union. The Liquidator’s fee and expenses shall rank, in order of preference, ahead of any disbursement.
(e) After payment of all debts, the remaining assets if any shall be distributed proportionally, based on membership size, to all branches in good standing at the time of dissolution.
ARTICLE XVI – COPIES OF THE CONSTITUTION
Copies of this constitution may be obtained by members upon payment of a sum on money to be decided by the National Executive Board from time to time.