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What makes a good steward?
Nov 18, 2023

What you need to be a shop steward for Local 2401

  1. Strong Communication Skills: Union stewards need to communicate clearly and effectively with both union members and management. They should be able to convey information, negotiate, and advocate for members' concerns persuasively.

  2. Knowledge of Labor Laws and Union Contracts: A deep understanding of labor laws and the specific collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or contract that governs the workplace is essential. Stewards should be able to interpret and apply these documents to protect members' rights.

  3. Empathy and Empowerment: Successful stewards are empathetic and genuinely care about the well-being of their fellow workers. They should empower members to voice their concerns and navigate workplace issues.

  4. Problem-Solving Skills: Stewards often deal with workplace disputes and grievances. They should be skilled at identifying issues, investigating complaints, and working collaboratively to find solutions that benefit union members.

  5. Integrity and Trustworthiness: Trust is critical in the steward role. Members must trust their steward to handle their concerns confidentially and with integrity. Avoiding conflicts of interest and maintaining ethical standards are vital.

  6. Organizational Skills: Stewards may need to manage paperwork, keep records, and coordinate meetings or events. Good organizational skills help them stay on top of their responsibilities.

  7. Active Engagement: Stewards should actively engage with union members, attend meetings, and keep members informed about union activities and developments. Building a sense of community and unity among members is essential.

  8. Confidence: Confidence is important when negotiating with management or representing members in disputes. Stewards should be self-assured in their abilities and convictions.

  9. Political Savvy: Understanding the dynamics of the workplace and the broader industry can be beneficial. Stewards should be able to navigate office politics and advocate effectively within the context of their organization.

  10. Continuous Learning: Laws, regulations, and workplace dynamics change over time. Successful stewards are committed to ongoing learning and staying up-to-date with relevant labor issues.

  11. Teamwork: Stewards often work closely with other union officials, including union leaders and representatives. Collaborative skills and the ability to work as part of a team are valuable.

  12. Resilience: The role of a union steward can be challenging, and they may face resistance or pushback from management. Stewards should be resilient and persistent in advocating for their members' rights.

  13. Flexibility: Stewards should be adaptable to different situations and be open to finding creative solutions to workplace issues.

  14. Patience: Resolving workplace disputes and grievances can be a lengthy process. Patience is essential when working through these issues.

100 M Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

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