Shop Steward Resources
The United Steelworkers (USW) have produced this four part series called "The Steward's Basics." Topics include union activism, labor definitions, steward rights and responsibilities, and a step-by-step guide through the grievance process. These videos apply to both public and private sector union shop stewards.
Shop stewards play a key role in ensuring that pregnant women receive the full protections of their collective bargaining agreements and state and federal worker-protective laws. Too often, when women became pregnant, employers push them out of the job or deny them minor changes needed to continue worker safely.
Women are a growing demographic of workers represented by unions. Ensuring their fair and equal treatment on the job promotes goals fundamental to the labor movement - worker safety, job security, and wage protection.
Workers have the important right to on-the-spot representation in any situation involving actual or potential disciplinary action. It's something every steward and union member should know.
Click on the image above for a sample Weingarten card that can be given to members. We are more than willing to make you a custom card with your union logo on it.
Why? Because of a 1975 case in which the US Supreme Court ruled that all workers have the right to union representation when a supervisor or boss asks for information that could be used as the basis for discipline. This decision gave unions and workers specific rights called Weingarten Rights.
It is important for stewards to ensure that workers know about these rights because they can't help the worker if they don't know about them AND a supervisor or boss is not required to tell them that they have these rights. If they begin to answer questions during a discussion, they have essentially waived their Weingarten Rights.
The National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees to act together to address conditions at work, with our without a union. This protection extends to certain work-related conversations conducted on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
This stems from a 2010 complaint from an employee, a Teamster member, who was terminated for comments made about her supervisor on Facebook using her home computer after work. The company had a policy barring employees from depicting the company "in any way" on social media sites on which employees also post pictures of themselves. The company also denied union representation during the disciplinary process. According to the NLRB, the company maintained "overly-broad rules in its employee handbook regarding blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees."