International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts

24 Job Stewards
Union Representative

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.

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:

  • 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.

  • Local 24: Interpretation and Application of "Steward"

    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.

    Additional Steward Job Site Related Responsibilities:

  • 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
  • Steward Operational 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
  • The Job Steward should be aware of "Weingarten Rights" and when they apply:

  • Union representation for employees during employer investigative interviews
  • Union representation for employees whom expect disciplinary action
  • Union representation for employees whom request union representation