Like any large organisation, the CWU is structured into various units. As a member it is important that you know and understand how the Union operates.
House Group or Section
Every employment where the CWU has members, the Union organises the members into Sections or House Groups so that they can discuss issues of common concern and decide what action they would like to take on these issues. Each group elects its own representative or ‘Shop Steward’ who sees that the views of the group’s members are acted upon. Sometimes, if the workplace is large enough, there will be a ‘House Committee’ or even a ‘Shop Stewards Committee’.
Sections/House Groups come together to form Branches. The Branches are based on grouping together workers in similar types of jobs and can also be based on geographic regions. Every Branch elects a Committee each year, which meets on a regular basis.
The Union holds a conference once every two years where representatives of each Branch, known as delegates, meet to discuss issues of concern to members like you and decide on policy. This conference elects the Union’s National Executive Council, including the President, who are charged with overseeing the implementation of conference decisions and deciding on policy inbetween each conference.
The Union has a number of full-time officials whose primary role is to be available to represent the members in negotiations and to provide advice. Some of these officials, the National Officers, also have responsibility for the overall day-to-day running of the Union. The General Secretary, Steve Fitzpatrick, is the top official in the Union.
The Union’s head office is based in Dublin and this is where the Union’s full-time officials and administration are located.