A shop steward is your co-worker and acts as a representative of the Union on behalf of members in the workplace. We encourage all our members to make a request for a steward or Union officer any time you are asked to sit down in a meeting with supervisors or management because the presense of a steward can help in many ways.
A steward will be able to make sure the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are followed as well as other policies and work rules. That no unfair or leading questions are asked. That you do not feel alone or intimidated and are treated with respect. They can raise extenuating factors and most important serve as a witness.
So is it a myth then that the only time a steward can be involved in representing a member is when discipline is being issued? Yes it is a myth. A steward can also be involved in what is called investigatory interviews. These are interviews were no discipline will be issued at the time but are conducted by supervisors/managers for such things as lateness/absenteeism, job waivers, conduct among employee’s etc.
I strongly recommend to all members that you always make a request to have a steward or Union officer present in all meetings. You cannot be disciplined for asking to have representation and should never be denied. Don’t allow yourself to be told or convinced that a steward doesn’t need to be involved. They are there for you.
Corey Liebrecht, President