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Progressive Miners of America
PMA

which later became the Progressive Mine Workers of America (PMWA)
      The Progressive Miners of America ( PMA ) was organized on September 1, 1932 in Gillespie, Macoupin County, Illinois.
1932 Constitution cover  
Constitution
of
District No. 1
 
Progressive Miners Of America
Organized Sept. 1, 1932

 
Adopted At
Gillespie, Illinois
October 8, 1932

 
 
 
 
 
(on back cover) ~ Printed By W. J. Hoffman, Belleville, Illinois
This booklet measures 3 3/8 inches wide by 5 1/4 inches high with 32 pages of text
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Constitution, District No. 1
Progressive Miners Of America
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PREAMBLE
      There is no truth more obvious, than that without coal there could not have been such marvelous social and industrial progress as makes the present day civilization. It is also true and obvious, that the Miners of America could not have advanced, socially and industrially, had it not been for the courage, honesty and the fighting qualities of the men who toil in the pits, giving always, but seldom receiving the fruits of their labor and self sacrifice. Believing that those who work in the Mines are entitled to the full social value of their Labor, and that the will of the majority of the rank and file of this organization should be final and binding on those they employ, we are forming an International Constitution for the men, and by the men, that will lead to the ultimate goal of all the Miners on the North American continent becoming members of the Progressive Miners of America.
 
ARTICLE I
Name
      This Organization shall be known as the First District of the Progressive Miners of America, and shall work under and be subject to the jurisdiction of the International Union.
 
ARTICLE II
Object
      Section 1. With the Preamble as our declaration and as our watch word, we will strive
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to organize the miners of the country; we will penetrate every territory, hitherto, unorganized, wherever there are coal miners. We will proceed on this basis to wage a militant struggle for our rights against the employers. Simultaneously, we will strive to educate our members and the workers of other industries to recognize the need of independent working class political action, as an additional weapon in this struggle.
 
      Section 2. Regardless of creed, color, or nationality, every working miner must become an integral part of our Union. To this end we propose to educate the miners against the old practice of discrimination. Our organization will render its support and show its solidarity with all workers in their struggles in other industries, as well, as with the working class internationally.
 
      Section 3. To secure equitable old age pensions, workmen's unemployment insurance and health insurance; and to amend and enact such other legislation as will be beneficial to our members and other labor organizations.
 
      Section 4. To increase the wages and improve the conditions of our members; to prohibit the use of deception in securing strike-breakers, and to prevent the the employment of privately-owned armed guards. Also to demand the 6 hour day and 5 day week, by legislation, joint agreement and strikes,
 
      Section 5. To unite the women and to educate them on the struggles of the workers politically and industrially, and to organize
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them into the Women's Auxiliary; also to educate the youth.
 
ARTICLE III
Jurisdiction
      Section 1. The District Union shall be composed of workmen eligible for membership in the Progressive Miners of America, and shall be divided into five Board Member Districts and Local Unions.
 
      Section 2. All Board Member Districts and Local Unions shall be under the jurisdiction of and subject to the laws of the International and District Unions.
 
ARTICLE IV
Board Member Districts
      Board Member Districts shall consist of such territory and be given such numbers as shall be assigned them by the District Executive Board and they may severally adopt such laws for their government as do not conflict with laws of our International or District Organizations or our joint agreements.
 
ARTICLE V
Local Unions
      Local Unions may adopt such laws for their government as do not conflict with laws of our International, or District Unions or joint agreements.
 
ARTICLE VI
Officers
      Section 1. The officers of the District Union shall consist of one President, one Vice-President, one Secretary-Treasurer, three Auditors who shall serve as Tellers, one Special Ac-
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countant, and one Board Member from each Board Member District.
 
      Section 2. The District President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer, together with the five Board Members, shall compose the District Executive Board.
 
      Section 3. All legal investigation and compensation work shall be left to the District Executive Board and the Local Unions.
 
ARTICLE VII
Qualification of Officers and Other
Representatives
      Section 1. Any member in good standing in our Organization, and who has been employed at some active work in and around the mines for five years, and who has been actively employed employed at our trade or by the organization for two years previous to his nomination and election, shall be eligible to hold office in the District Union. But no officer shall succeed himself, and shall not serve more than two consecutive terms in any branch or branches of the Organization, until such time as he has served for a period of at two years at some active work in or around the mines. coal washers or coke ovens.
 
      Section 2. The qualifications relative to serving two years at our trade previous to nomination and election shall not apply where it can be proven that a member has been idle due to victimization for his union activities, or where it can be proven that he has been idle through no fault of his own.
 
      Note: This article shall not apply to Local Union officers.
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ARTICLE VIII
Duties of Officers
President
      Section 1. The President shall sign all bills and official documents when satisfied of their correctness. He also shall serve as temporary Chairman over all regular and special District Conventions.
 
      Section 2. He with the consent of the Executive Board shall fill any vacancy that may occur in any District office, provided that any vacancy so filled shall not be for a longer period than one year. In the event the term of the officer or officers to be filled by appointment is longer than one year an election shall be held within 60 days.
 
      Section 3. He shall have the power, with the consent of the Executive Board to appoint such organizers and office workers as may be necessary to conduct the affairs of the District Organization, but no organizer or office worker shall be allowed to remain on the District staff longer than four years, and no organizer or office worker shall be allowed a voice or vote in any convention.
 
Vice-President
      Section 4. The Vice-President shall work under the instructions of the President and the District Executive Board.
 
Secretary-Treasurer
      Section 5. The Secretary-Treasurer shall have charge of and preserve all books and documents and effects of the District office and also the official seal, except such records as properly belong to the President and Vice-President.
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      Section 6. He shall record or cause to be recorded, the proceedings of all District Conventions and meetings of the District Executive Board.
 
      Section 7. He shall receive and receipt for all moneys due the District Union, pay all bills and current expenses, unless otherwise ordered by the President, or Executive Board, and shall keep copies of all important correspondence sent out and received by his office.
 
      Section 8. He shall submit to the Locals, semi-annually, a statement showing the salary and expenses of each officer and employee, and detailing the receipt and disbursement of all money belonging to the District Union. The receipts from each Local Union shall be compiled separately and totaled.
 
      Section 9. He shall give a bond of $25,000, which must be approved by the Executive Board and deposited with the President. He shall not have more than $15,000 subject to his order at any one time.
 
      Section 10. He must deposit all funds in excess of $15,000 in banks designated by the Executive Board, giving interest bearing certificates of deposit, subject to the order of the District Executive Board.
 
      Section 11. He may with the consent of the District Executive Board employ such assistants as may be necessary to conduct the affairs of his office. When possible such assistants to be members of the organization.
 
      Section 12. He shall perform such duties as are elsewhere herein provided and may be assigned him by the President or District Executive Board.
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      Section 13. He shall cause monthly individual "Exoneration Blanks" to be printed and distributed to all Local Unions, with instructions to the Financial Secretary-Treasurer to the effect that same shall be filled out completely and in full by all members who wish exoneration from the payment of per capita tax and assessments; and with the further instructions that such blanks shall be sent by the Local Secretary with his report to the District Secretary-Treasurer not later than the 25th of the month for the preceding month.
 
      Note: Individual "Exoneration Blanks" shall be signed by the applicant in his own hand, giving his residence, age, and where and when he worked last. Any one failing to fill out "Exoneration Blanks" for three consecutive months shall be be suspended and cannot be reinstated except by paying the regular initiation fee and taking the obligation.
 
      Section 14. He shall furnish all Local Unions with the name of a reputable surety company in which their officers who are intrusted with the finances of the Local Union shall be bonded. Any Local refusing to comply with this section shall be declared delinquent by the District Executive Board.
 
      Section 15. He shall transmit the semi-annual pass word to the Local Unions entitled to same, immediately on receiving it from the International Secretary-Treasurer.
 
      Section 16. The President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer shall submit a joint report to the regular District Convention.
 
      Section 17. The Executive Board shall hold
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in trust for the Progressive Miners of America all moneys deposited by the Secretary-Treasurer in the name of the Executive Board, but under no circumstances shall said money be drawn, except on written order of two-thirds of the members of the Board. Provided they shall not have the power to make any investments or loans unless approved by a referendum of the membership.
 
      Section 18. The Executive Board shall be convened upon order of the President or by the Secretary-Treasurer at the request of a majority of the members thereof. The Board shall convene at least once every three months.
 
      Section 19. The Auditors shall audit the books and accounts of the District Secretary-Treasurer semi-annually and submit a report of their findings to each Local Union and shall have same printed in the "Progressive Miner."
 
      Section 20. The Tellers shall meet meet at headquarters and tabulate the votes cast for District Officers by Local Unions. A complete tabulated report shall be immediately published in the "Progressive Miner."
 
      Section 21. The Tellers shall decide the legality of the vote of any Local Union, and their report shall be an official announcement of the election to the respective offices of the candidates receiving a majority of legal votes as shown on the report. Should they for any reason refuse to tabulate the vote of any Local Union, their reason for doing so must in every instance be shown in their report, and all contests growing out of their report, shall be filed with the District Executive Board.
 
      Section 22. All votes taken by the District
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Board shall be by unit vote, the President voting only in event of a tie vote.
 
      Section 23. If for any reason the tellers decide that the vote of a Local Union has been incorrectly tabulated or improperly filed due to any technical reasons, the tellers shall immediately notify the President of said Local Union in order that a proper procedure may be complied with, and if satisfactory explanations and corrections are made by the Local Union the vote of the Local shall be counted and tabulated.
 
      Section 24. Candidates at their own expense shall have the right to have watchers at headquarters when the vote is being tabulated. Local Unions also shall have the same right during the tabulation of the referendums. The watcher shall be allowed to check the vote when same is being tabulated and at the conclusion of the tabulation the Tellers shall give the Watchers a correct tabulation of the election or referendum in writing.
 
ARTICLE IX
Officer's Salaries
      Section 1. The salary of the President shall be $1700 per annum; Vice-President $1700 per annum; Secretary-Treasurer $1700 per annum; Auditors $5.65 per day when employed; organizers $5.65 per day when employed; Board Members $5.65 per day when employed.
 
      Section 2. In addition to the above salaries the officers hall receive, for room, rent and meals their actual expenses, not to exceed $3.00 per day; and it is understood that meals and room rent shall not be paid when the officers can reside and procure meals at
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home; and it is further understood that the city where the District Office is situated will be considered as the home of the resident officers.
 
ARTICLE X
Nomination and Election of Officers
      Section 1. The President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Auditors, Special Accountant, Board Members, Trial Board and Scale Committees, shall be elected by a referendum vote of the members except as elsewhere herein provided; the candidates for the respective positions receiving a majority of legal votes cast shall be declared elected. In the event of no majority prevailing the two candidates receiving the highest vote shall be the nominees in the run off election which shall be held at once.
 
      Section 2. The term of office for District officers shall be two years.
 
      Section 3. All members in good standing in all branches of the Organization for at least three months prior to election day shall be eligible to vote. This does not apply to new
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organized Locals.
 
      Section 4. The District Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare nomination blanks and send them to the Local Unions not later than 12 weeks before the date of the election, and the Local Secretary shall fill in the names of the members nominated by the Local Union for the various offices and forward same to reach the District Secretary-Treasurer's office not later than 7 weeks before the date of the election.
 
      Section 5. The District Secretary-Treasurer shall within 7 days thereafter notify all members who have been nominated and ask if they are candidates, but no person shall be notified or be a candidate who has not been nominated by a sufficient number of Local Unions representing at least 1500 members. Except Board Members, Members of the Trial Board and Scale Committees, when Local Unions representing at least 500 members shall be sufficient for nomination.
 
      Section 6. Any nominee notified in accordance with Section 5 of this Article who desires to become a candidate must have his official notice attested by the officers of this Local Union, and return said notice to the District Secretary-Treasurer at once.
 
      Section 7. The District Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare ballots giving the names and places of residence of those accepting nominations. The nominees being placed on the ballots in accordance to the number of membership by which they are nominated, the highest at the top and so on down. Also showing the position for which the various nominees are candidates, and forward them to the Lo-
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cal Unions not later than four weeks prior to the date of election, in sufficient numbers to supply each member. Three "Tally Sheets," two "Return Sheets," and one envelope for "Return Sheet" must accompany the ballots sent each Local Union.
 
      Section 8. Local recording Secretaries must notify their members by posting notices and otherwise, one week prior to the date set for nomination and election.
 
      Section 9. Each Local Union shall designate at a regular meeting of the Local, where its election shall be held, and place so designated shall be the official voting place of such Local Union, and under no circumstances shall the votes of any Local Union be tabulated in any p;ace other than the place designated by the Local, and no member shall be allowed to interfere with the Tellers during tabulation.
 
      Section 10. Each Local Union shall elect from among its members a committee of not less than three to act as Local Tellers, whose duty it shall be to supervise the election; and when requested, instruct members how to vote, and tabulate the votes cast by the members for District Officers, and enter on the "Return Sheet" furnished by the District Secretary for that purpose the total number of votes cast for each candidate. the correctness of the "Return Sheet" must be attested by the signatures of all Local Tellers.
 
      Section 11. Should it be proven that more votes are recorded on the "Return Sheet" than were actually cast by the membership the District Tellers shall notify the Local President as per Section 20 of Article VIII, and if fraud
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is found, those responsible shall be punished by being suspended for six months and not allowed to hold office or serve on any committees in the Organization for a period of 99 years; and this penalty shall be applied in any case where fraud has been proven in nominations, elections, or in the organization.
 
      Section 12. After the votes have been tabulated and the "Return Sheets" attested they shall be turned over to the Recording Secretary whose duty it shall be to see that the "Return Sheets" are properly sealed and enclosed in a special envelope furnished by the District Secretary-Treasurer's office. The Recording Secretary shall also post one "Return Sheet" in some conspicuous place in the meeting place or at the pit head.
 
      Section 13. When the "Return Sheets" reach the District Secretary-Treasurer's office he shall examine the envelopes to see if they are intact, make a proper record of their receipt and deposit them unopened in a securely locked receptacle provided for that purpose. In the event that the Secretary-Treasurer finds anything irregular in regards to the return envelopes he shall immediately notify the Local President and if possible give the Local Union an opportunity to correct the irregularity.
 
      Section 14. The District Tellers shall not count the votes of any Local Union that has cast more votes than the number of members such Local paid per capita tax on to the Dis-
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trict Union for the month preceding the one in which the election is held unless a satisfactory explanation for doing so accompanies the "Return Sheet"" of the Local Union so voting. Neither shall they count the votes of any Local Union that is not in good standing with all branches of the Organization, or whose "Return Sheet" is not attested as required by Section 10 of Article VIII.
 
      Local Unions who are in arrears (with the exception of new Locals) for three months or more will be considered in bad standing.
 
      Section 15. All contests in connection with the vote of any Local Union must be filed with the District Teller not later than 10 days after the report of the District Tellers has appeared in the "Progressive Miner;" contests may be filed by any member, Local Union or Unions.
 
      Section 16. The Local President of all Local Unions shall be required to carefully preserve all ballots, tally sheets, and return sheets which have been cast for District Officers by their respective Local Unions, for a period of six months after the date of the election.
 
      Section 17. Local Tellers shall be held personally responsible for any irregularities that may take place in their Local Unions during the election of District Officers.
 
      Section 18. It shall be the imperative duty of Local election Tellers to make a complete report of any election or referendum at the first meeting of their Local Unions following the election. It shall also be the duty of the Recording Secretary to make a complete record of same in the minutes of said meeting.
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Tellers or Secretaries failing to comply with this section shall upon conviction be subject to the penalties as provided in Section 11 of this article.
 
      Section 19. Any candidate at his own expense shall be allowed to have watchers during the period of voting and tabulation of same in Local Unions, and the Tellers shall give the Watcher or Watchers a correct tabulation of the Election in writing.
 
      Section 20. Board Members shall be elected on the District Ballot by the membership in their respective Board Member Districts.
 
ARTICLE XI
Recall of Officers
      Section 1. A Trial Board for the purpose of trying, removing, suspending, or otherwise penalizing District Officers, shall be created by electing one member from each Board Member District in the District Election.
 
      Section 2. Charges must be preferred in writing by at least three Local Unions, representing not less than 1000 members, to the Secretary of the Trial Board. (The Trial Board shall meet immediately after elections and organize and have its officers' names and addresses printed on the District roster.)
 
      A trial must be held within 15 days after charges are received, and a decision must be handed down within 15 days after the finish of the trial.
 
      In the event that the Trial Board, by majority decision, decides that the officer or officers should be removed or suspended, such removal or suspension shall take place at once.
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      If the removed or suspended officers demand, the Trial Board shall cause a referendum of the membership to be held at once, said referendum to be accompanied by a complete history of the case and decision, with instructions to all Local Unions to read same at some Local meeting within 30 days, that has been advertised or posted for not less than three days, stating in such advertisement and posting what will take place at said meeting. After the history and decision has been read and discussed the vote shall be taken and report made to the Secretary of the Trial Board on blanks furnished for same.
 
      If a majority of the membership voting in the referendum vote to sustain the decision of the Trial Board then the suspension or removal becomes final and binding. But if a majority of the membership voting in the referendum does not vote in favor of the decision the officer or officers shall be reinstated and compensated for all time lost.
 
ARTICLE XII
Conventions
      Section 1. The next regular District Convention shall be held subject to the discretion of the District Executive Board, and the regular District Conventions shall be held on the same date, bi-ennially thereafter at such place as may be determined by the preceding convention; provided that the date of holding such convention may be advanced or postponed upon a resolution to that effect adopted by the District Executive Board and approved by a majority vote of the members voting in a referendum.
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      Section 2. Representatives to the District Conventions shall be elected directly from their Local Unions, and shall have one vote for each one hundred members or less, and one additional vote for each one hundred members or majority fraction thereof, but no delegate shall have more than five votes.
 
      Section 3. Local Unions shall pay the per diem, expense and transportation of their delegates to District Conventions.
 
      Section 4. No Local Union shall be entitled to representation that is in arrears for per capita tax or assessments for three months preceding the month in which the the Convention is held and which has not in every particular complied with the Constitution of the District Union and of the International Union to which it is attached. This is not to apply to newly formed Locals.
 
      Section 5. The District Secretary-Treasurer shall furnish the Local Unions with credential blanks in duplicate, which must be attested as required on the blanks. The duplicate shall be retained by the delegates and the original forwarded to the District Secretary-Treasurer.
 
      Section 6. Delegates to District Conventions must be elected at official meetings of Local Unions after the call for the Convention is received and has been read to the Local Union. The Local Recording Secretary shall post notices, signed by himself and the Local President, at the mine at least three days prior to such meetings, stating that delegates are to be elected on a certain day. Delegates must receive a majority vote of the members present at such meeting.
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      Section 7. When any delegate's credentials are to be contested, notice of such contest shall be sent to the district Secretary-Treasurer as soon as possible, prior to the date of the convening of the convention; but any delegate whose credential is contested may be unseated at any time during the convention.
 
      Section 8. The District President shall act as temporary Chairman of all conventions of District 1. Immediately on convening of conventions a permanent Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be elected to serve for the duration of the Convention.
 
ARTICLE XIII
Special Conventions
      Section 1. Special District Conventions shall be called by the President when so instructed by the District Executive Board, or upon the request of 10% of the membership petitioning for special conventions.
 
      Section 2. Petitions demanding special Conventions must state the reason or reasons why such convention is desired, and it shall be the duty of the President to state the said reason or reasons in the call for the Convention.
 
      Section 3. Special Conventions shall not have the authority to consider any matter other than that which is specifically stated in the call for the Convention.
 
      Section 4. All Convention Committees shall be elected by the delegates on the floor of the Convention. Each Board Member District shall have at least one representative on any major Convention Committee.
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      Section 5. The District Secretary-Treasurer shall compile in properly printed form all resolutions, credentials and other material submitted by Local Unions prior to the opening of the Convention. All delegates attending said Convention shall be supplied with copies of all printed material.
 
ARTICLE XIV
Revenue
      Section 1. The Revenue of this District shall be derived from the Local Unions, viz: twenty-five cents per month per capita tax, and by assessments as may be authorized by the District Executive Board after such assessments have been approved by the majority vote of a referendum.
 
      Section 2. No assessments shall be placed upon the membership by the District Executive Board until such time as such assessment has been approved by a majority vote of a referendum, and all assessments shall be a per cent on gross earnings less mining expenses of all members.
 
ARTICLE XV
Strikes
      Section 1. When trouble of local character arises between the members of any Local Union and its employers the mine Committee and officers shall endeavor to effect an amicable adjustment, and failing they shall immediately notify the next officer in authority, as may be prescribed in the joint agreement.
 
      Section 2. Where no joint contract exists the Local Union Officials shall notify first the District Board Member, who shall immediately investigate the cause of the complaint. Fail-
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ing to effect a peaceable settlement on a basis that shall be just and equitable to the aggrieved member, and finding that a strike would best conserve the interest of the local effected, he may, with the consent and approval of the District Officers, order a strike.
 
      Section 3. Local Unions striking in violation of the above provisions will not be recognized and sustained by the District Officers.
 
      Section 4. Officers and other employees, except attorneys, shall not be allowed to draw any salary when the majority of their membership are on strike, lock out or suspension.
 
ARTICLE XVI
Cards
      Section 1. No member of the Organization who holds a transfer card showing him to be a member in good standing shall be debarred or hindered from obtaining work on account of race, color, creed, nationality, or political affiliations. Any Local Union violating this section shall be fined twenty-five dollars ($25.00), and fine shall be paid into the District Treasury.
 
      Section 2. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare and send out a quarterly statement of all Locals three months or more in arrears for dues and assessments, and no Local Union shall refuse to accept a transfer card from any Local Union unless it appears on said list, or the International delinquent list. All dues, assessments and fines shall be collected by the check-off system or its equivalent.
 
      Section 3. Any member of the Organization found guilty of trafficking in or abusing the use of the Transfer Card shall be con-
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sidered guilty of fraud and penalized likewise.
 
      Section 4. Any member leaving one mine and securing employment in another shall be given three days to present his card by the mine committee or checkweighman before being compelled to sign a check-off order for or pay his initiation fee.
 
ARTICLE XVII
Dropped Members and Applications
      Section 1. Any member of the Progressive Miners of America leaving the mine for other vocations in life must pay to the Local 75 cents per month, out of which shall be paid the International and District per capita tax.
 
      Section 2. Any person three months in arrears for dues or assessments shall be dropped from the Organization and can only be re-admitted as a new member.
 
      Section 3. Anyone applying for admission, as a new member or reinstatement, shall sign a written or printed application, giving his description,. stating where he worked last, his experience in and around coal mines, and also if he was ever a member of this Organization, if so when and where; and agreeing to pay the initiation fee required.
 
      Section 4. An applicant shall be considered to be in good standing in the Progressive Miners of America, when he has paid all of his initiation fees, and has taken the obligation, except in case the applicant has religious scruples against taking the obligation. In such case the obligation shall be waived, provided the applicant gives notice of his objection to taking the obligation at the time his application for membership is filed. Applicants
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must pay dues and assessments for the month in which they start to work.
 
ARTICLE XVIII
Initiation Fees
      Section 1. The initiation fee for a practical miner shall be $5.00; experienced bottom laborer $5.00; member's sons from 16 to 21 years of age shall be admitted free; member's sons over 21 years of age, $5.00; inexperienced bottom laborers, other than member's sons, or member's widow's sons $100.00; top laborers with two years experience, $5.00 top laborers with less than two years experience, $75.00; member's sons becoming delinquent must pay $5.00.
 
ARTICLE XIX
Exoneration and Local Officers.
      Section 1. Members shall be exonerated from the payment of dues when they have worked less than 40 hours in the calendar month.
 
      Section 2. All Local Officers shall be elected annually on the last meeting in December and assume office the first meeting in January, and shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present.
 
      Section 3. Local officers, Pit Committeemen and Trustees shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms, and shall not run again for any local office until he has been out of office for a period of one term. This will not bar him from being a candidate for a higher office in the District or International Union.
 
      Section 4. No persons shall hold two elective offices in the Organization at the same
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time. This section shall not apply to Mine Committeemen or Checkweighmen.
 
      Section 5. No less than three miners actually engaged at the point of production shall constitute all Pit Committees.
 
      Section 6. Only members who contribute to Checkweighmen shall be eligible to vote for their election.
 
      Section 7. Checkweighmen shall be members of the Progressive Miners of America, and shall keep a record of all men employed in and around the mine, and perform such other duties as may be assigned them by the men who employ them.
 
      Section 8. The Local Union Officers shall consist of one President, one Vice-President, one Recording Secretary, one Secretary-Treasurer, and three Trustees.
 
      Section 9. All Local Officers entrusted with the finances of the Organization must give bond to insure a faithful performance of their duty.
 
      Section 10. The Local Seal shall remain in the custody of the Local Recording Secretary and that officer shall be responsible for any misuse of the same.
 
      Section 11. All Transfer Cards must be purchased from the International Secretary-Treasurer, who shall send out a monthly statement to Local Unions showing the number of transfer cards sold, and giving each book number and the number of the Local purchasing same. All Transfer Cards must be purchased by the Local Recording Secretary, who must make an entry in his minute book showing serial number of the book of transfer cards received.
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      Section 12. The Transfer Card must show the member receiving it has paid all obligations up to and including the month it was issued, also the class of labor he was employed.
 
ARTICLE XX
Charges and Methods of Trial
      Section 1. When any local officer or any member is accused of violating any of the Organization's laws or any transgression against the organization or any of its officers or members, the charges must first be lodged with and prosecuted before the Local Union of which the alleged offender is a member and the decision of the Local Union shall close the case so far as that tribunal is concerned.
 
      Section 2. But should the accused or the accuser be dissatisfied with the decision of the tribunal first trying the case, either shall have the right of appeal to the next higher tribunal in authority, and so on until a final decision is reached.
 
      Section 3. The tribunals of the Organization for trial of Local Officers and members shall be :
      1. Local Union Trial Board whose decision in the event of conviction shall be approved by a majority vote of the Local Union voting in a referendum.
 
      2. The Trial Board of the next highest branch of the organization , and so on to the Trial Board of the International Union, whose decision shall be final. Provided, that no appeal shall be taken to the International Trial Board except in the event of the expulsion or more than six months suspension of a member.
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      Section 4. All appeals must be taken within 30 days after a decision has been handed down by a tribunal and received by the defendant.
 
      Section 5. All charges preferred and appeals taken must be done in writing.
 
ARTICLE XXI
Death Benefits
      Where a member who has been in good standing for a period of thirty days in any Local Union in this District and has been employed in and around the mines for a period of thirty days, is killed or from any cause dies, there shall be paid from the District Treasury the sum of $75.00. Such sum of $75.00 shall be paid by the District Secretary-Treasurer upon receipt of official death claim report on form furnished by the District Secretary-Treasurer, sign by the President, Financial Secretary-Treasurer, and Recording Secretary of the Local Union of which deceased was a member, accompanied by a certified copy of the death certificate, and in case the deceased is a practical miner such proof must be accompanied by his certificate of qualification as a miner or reason for not producing same. Payment shall be made by the District Secretary-Treasurer by check to the order of the Financial Secretary-Treasurer of the Local Union. the officers of the Local are herby charged with the payment of such sum to the persons entitled thereto under this section. Payment shall be made as follows: First, reasonable and legitimate funeral expenses and expenses of last sickness; second, the balance if any, shall be paid (a)
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to the widow of such deceased member providing such widow has been living with such deceased member as his wife up to the time of his death. (b) If no such widow survives, then such balance shall be paid to the surviving children, share and share alike. (c) If no such widow or children survive then to the parents of such member, share and share alike. If but one parent survives, then to such surviving parent, alone. (d) If there be no such widow, children or parents surviving, then to the brothers and sisters of such deceased member, share and share alike. (e) If such deceased member leaves surviving hem no relatives named above then any unexpended balance shall be returned by such Financial Secretary Treasurer, to the district Secretary-Treasurer, provided, however, that if has no relatives as specified above he may designate by legal will the person or persons to whom he desires to have the unexpended balance paid. If no such specified designation is made in said will, then the unexpended balance shall revert to the District Organization. (f) No part of such $75.00 shall be diverted from the purpose above named nor shall any officer or member of any Local Union be entitled to any part thereof for services rendered said deceased during his lifetime or in connection with his funeral nor shall any part thereof be paid for any purpose other than as above expressed.
 
      Local Unions shall report all death claims on blank applications furnished by the District Office for that purpose, and shall answer and certify to all facts concerning each death. All
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applications for benefits as provided for in this section must be accompanied by a certified copy of death certificate from the attending physician or coroner.
 
      Any member drawing his transfer card out of a Local Union in this district and going to work in any other district will not be entitled to the death benefit provided for in this section until he has re-deposited his card in a Local Union in District No. 1 and again become eligible to receive the benefit under our laws relating thereto.
 
      Section 2. A fund shall be created to pay the above death claim by assessing each member one per cent of his gross earnings, less mine expenses.
 
      Section 3. This fund is to be kept in a separate account by the Secretary-Treasurer, and reported separately, and in no case expended for any other purpose, than for payment of death claims.
 
      Note: The above has been adopted subject to the approval of the membership by referendum, to be held at the time of the first District election, which shall be within 60 days.
 
ARTICLE XXII
Miscellaneous
      Section 1. any member of the Organization who resorts to Civil Courts to redress any alleged wrongs done him by the Organization before exhausting his rights in the courts of the Progressive Miners of America shall be suspended for two years and shall not be reinstated until the the suit entered in the Civil Courts is withdrawn.
 
      Section 2. No Local Union shall be allowed
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to initiate any person or otherwise receive them into the Organization while there are members of the Progressive Miners of America making application for work and who are capable of doing the work.
 
      Section 3. The competency of the miner or other employee shall in all cases be determined by both the Union and the coal company.
 
      Section 4. The District Secretary-Treasurer shall have the agenda of the convention printed in all convention calls.
 
      Section 5. When possible all convention calls must be sent to Local Unions at least 30 days prior to the convening of the Convention.
 
      Section 6. Seven members shall constitute a quorum for any Local Union meeting.
 
      Section 7. Anyone not a member of the Progressive Miners of America shall not be permitted to address a convention of the Progressive Miners of America until he shall have had permission to do so by a majority vote of the delegates.
 
      Section 8. At the regular election of Local Unions they shall elect a Trial Board of five members whose duty it shall be to receive and try cases as per Section No. 1, Article XX.
 
      Section 9. Educational meetings for the purpose of discussing the constitutions, contracts, organizational problems, and other kindred subjects should be held by Local Unions at least once every two months.
 
      Section 10. The Scale Committee from this District shall be composed of two members from each Board Member district, to be
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elected by a referendum vote, their names to be placed on the District ballot in the Regular District Election. The Scale Committee shall be assembled at the direction of the District President.
 
      The question of representation for strip miners, engineers, solid miners, and mechanical miners shall be left to the Scale Convention for adjustment.
 
      Section 11. Anyone a candidate for election or nomination shall be prohibited from electioneering personally or through or by others. Any candidate shall have a right to announce his candidacy for nomination in the "Progressive Miner," or by personal announcement to the Local Unions, or both. But he shall positively be prohibited from using any money, attending any meetings of the Progressive Miners, or otherwise to speak or to have others speak in the interest of his candidacy. Neither shall he use the columns of any press other than that of the "Progressive Miner," in the interest of his candidacy. And he shall further be prohibited from having or allowing others as well as himself to use the press, or any pamphlets, cards, etc., in the interest of his candidacy.
 
      Any one convicted of electioneering as set forth above shall be prohibited from holding any office in the organization for two years.
 
      Section 12. The interpretation of this Constitution, between Board meetings, shall be the duty of the District Executive Board.
 
      Section 13. This Constitution shall be in effect until modified or changed by a regular
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or special district constitutional convention and approved by a majority vote of a referendum.
 
BURIAL SERVICE
      The following burial service is to be used at funerals of deceased members of the Progressive Miners of America:
 
      "Brother Workmen -- We are assembled here today to pay a sad tribute of love to our departed friend and brother. This solemn occasion speaks forcibly or our mortality. We can say with the Palmist: 'What is man that thou art mindful of him or the son of man that thou visiteth him, for man that is born of woman is full of trouble and sorrows. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down. Our years of labor are brought to an end. Our dust shall return to the dust it was, and our spirit to the god who gave it.
 
      "Again brother workmen, we are reminded that we, too, are but mortal and will soon break the tenement of clay and depart for our hereafter and it behooves each one of us to follow a line of conduct that will bring about a closer friendship, one that is true to God and man.
 
      "All our beautiful surroundings tell us of God's greatness and goodness, of the universe, in which we are children of His creation.
 
      "But why should we be sad and mournful, when God can give us consolation while living here on earth, for His promise is that we shall meet again in the realms above for the Word of God teaches us that we shall meet again after death.
 
      "And now, our brother workman, we pay
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the last sad rite and tribute of respect, the last one we can pay you in this world, placing on your grave these evergreens as a token of respect, that thy memory shall be with us always, though thou hast paid the debt and gone to the realms above.
 
      "And now, fellow workmen, we friends of this, our deceased brother, we tender our heartfelt sympathy in this, their sad hour of affliction, and bid them look to God for His tender mercies, for He alone can give them consolation.
 
      "And now, fellow workman, we bid thee a tender and loving farewell.
 
      "Let us pray: And now may the grace, mercy and peace from God, the Father, son and Holy spirit rest and abide with you now and forevermore. -- Amen."
 
OBLIGATIONS
      President of Local Union: Raise you right hand, use your name where I use mine, and repeat after me.
 
      I ------------, do solemnly promise of my own free will to bear allegiance to and abide by the laws of the Progressive Miners of America. To never discriminate against any one on account of creed, color or nationality; and do all within my power to have all mine workers on the North American Continent to join our union.
 
      I promise at all times to defend freedom of thought and expression, and our inalienable rights of life, liberty and happiness.
 
      I further promise never to wrong a brother or see him wronged if I can prevent it; to never take a brother's job when he is idle or
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seeking better remuneration for his labor, and to cease work whenever I am called upon by the Progressive Miners of America to do so.
 
      To all this I pledge my honor to observe and keep as life remains; or until I am absolved by the Progressive Miners of America.
 
      PRESIDENT: You are now a member of Local Union Number ------------, District Number ------------, of the Progressive Miners of America and entitled to all its rights and privileges.
 
      The pass word is ------------------------.
 
INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS
      I, ------------, do hereby sincerely pledge my honor to perform the duties of my office as prescribed by the Laws of the organization, and to bear true allegiance to the Progressive Miners of America. I promise that I will deliver to my successor in Office all books and other property of this Union that may be in my possession at the close of my official term. All of this I solemnly promise, with full knowledge that to violate this pledge is to stamp me as a man of dishonor and deprive me of all rights to hold office in the Progressive Miners of America.
Committee on Constitution
Dave Reed, Collinsville, Ill.
John Battuello, Wislonville, Ill.
William Stoffels, Pana, Ill.
George Taylor, Coulterville, Ill.
Sam Wagoner, Decatur, Ill.
John P. Clusker, Springfield, Ill.
Joe Goett, Cahirman, Peoria, Ill.
Gerry Allard, Sec., West Frankfort, Ill.

 

 
History of
Progressive Miners of America
Progressive Mine Workers of America
 
Highlights of the PMA & PMWA
Some of the People of the Progressive Miners
Page 1 PMA in 1932
Page 2 PMA in 1933
Page 3 PMA in 1934 & 1935
Page 4 PMA in 1936 & 1937
Page 5 PMWA in 1938 to 1999
 
Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois
 

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