Rising fists

Become a Workplace Leader

Get involved right where you are.

Why do we need leaders?

Union Reps and other union staff work on behalf of union members, true, but a union isn’t designed to be carried solely on the backs of Union Reps. As a collective, we all have responsibility for each other.

Workplace leaders (Shop Stewards and others) amplify the Rep’s knowledge and union presence in the workplace. Each Rep works on behalf of thousands of members. Imagine how effective a single Rep can be working alone…and then imagine how effective that person can be if each store has several Workplace Leaders to help build the power.

Prepare for the 2018 Leadership Conference!

Calling all Shop Stewards and Workplace Leaders! The 2018 Leadership Conference (formerly known as the Steward Summit) is approaching. Learn more and sign up to attend!

Use your strength on behalf of your colleagues.

Being a leader in your workplace gives you the opportunity to use your skills and knowledge to support your fellow union on site. How do you know if you might have what it takes to be a workplace leader?

  • You talk

    with your colleagues about what it means to be union.

  • You communicate information

    (bargaining updates, news about actions to take, answers to questions) on behalf of your Rep.

  • Your fellow members come to you

    with union-related questions.

  • You regularly attend union meetings,

    sometimes on behalf of fellow members who cannot attend.

What’s the difference between a Workplace Leader and a Steward?

A Workplace Leader…

has a range of different types of responsibilities. A leader can be a communicator on behalf of others, or someone very involved in union meetings and building power. Being a leader is what you make it. Contact your Rep if you want to become a Workplace Leader. Workplace Leaders can remain leaders or can eventually become Stewards, depending on involvement, availability, and interest.

A Shop Steward…

is a role with an additional layer of accountability. A Steward acts as the in-store union presence and receives additional federal protections for their official role. It is a position that is codified under law and is out in the open for everyone (including management) to see. A Steward is the equal of store management and can act as union representation in a Weingarten meeting. Learn more about being a Shop Steward.

Other ways to be involved:

  • Know your contract

    Familiarity with your contract is one of the best ways to help each other. If you don’t have a copy, just fill out this form to get one.

  • Come to a member meeting

    Whether you’re new or not, there’s a Quarterly Meeting near you to keep you informed and active.

  • Support the ABC

    We stand up to big money in politics by pooling our resources, a dollar or two at a time. The ABC makes things happen.