I.A.T.S.E. LOCAL 24
A union representative, union steward, or shop steward is an employee of an organization or company who represents and defends the interests of her/his fellow employees as a labor union member and official. Rank-and-file members of the union hold this position voluntarily (through democratic election by fellow workers or sometimes by appointment of a higher union body) while maintaining their role as an employee of the firm. As a result, the union steward becomes a significant link and conduit of information between the union leadership and rank-and-file workers.
Monitor and enforce the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement (labor contract) to ensure both the firm and union worker are not violating the terms of the agreement.
Ensure that the firm is in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Represent and defend fellow workers whom the firm believes violated company policy or the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement, often through the grievance process.
Communicate and disseminate official union policy, memos and directives to workers in the shop.
Popularize and promote union consciousness and values in the workplace.
The duties of a union steward vary according to each labor union's constitutional mandate for the position. In general, most union stewards perform the following functions:
In most situations the Business Agent (BA), or his/her designate, appoints the Job Steward or more traditionally, the Head Carpenter assumes the responsibility on any given work site. The Job Steward becomes the BA's representative and proxy. They are in charge of the crew, responsible for keeping track of hours worked, managing any paper work necessary, and to act as intermediator between the crew and management. Their decisions are final, as is the BA's.
Assigning people to departments and tasks
Informing the crew of work schedules
Acquiring additional labor, as needed
Creating the bill for labor on any given event
Following through with billing and compensation for the worker
Assisting in investigating grievances
Discipline on the job site
Additional Steward Job Site Related Responsibilities:
Understanding policies in force of both, management and union
Understanding the Colledtive Bargaining Agreement of the given venue
Assisting the negotiations for the particular Colledtive Bargaining Agreement
Aware of accepted means of conducting meetings, including Robert's Rules of Order
Attend Steward meetings
Alert the Executive Board of venue specific labor issues
Keep members of the particular bargaining unit appraised of issues and other developments
Organize union-oriented shop activities
Recruit and welcome new members
Stay current on knowledge and skills of the trade
Steward Operational Related Responsibilities:
Union representation for employees during employer investigative interviews
Union representation for employees whom expect disciplinary action
Union representation for employees whom request union representation
The Job Steward should be aware of "Weingarten Rights" and when they apply: