Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The often (but not always) thankless job of a shop steward

We posted the above meme to the Teamsters Facebook page and got some great comments -- and some thanks to individual stewards for what is often a thankless job.

We thought we'd share some of the comments with you:

Mark Ackerman 
Us stewards are here for you so be there for us! Local 31
Vincent J Conti:
I was a steward with Local 282 NY originally started in 1972 ,with the union over 30yrs & in my experience over the years there were two important factors, #1 you needed a strong individual as steward, a person who didn't care how popular he was with management (I wasn't ) #2 a steward is only as good as his men make him, meaning having full support of the barn list !! Worked for me & my men !!
Brad Davis
I was a shop steward at ups for 5 years. Loved helping my brothers and sisters of Teamsters local 391. 
Veronica Taylor 
My husband is steward at his shop...there are no rewards other than knowing you are helping maintain working conditions and making sure the company follows the contract. He gets calls all times of day, and the middle of the night, and answers every one. If he doesn't know an answer he gets the answer.
Jadaryl Harris 
Your reward for being a steward is in heaven worker's look at you as the bad guy for standing up for the contact protecting their rights making sure they have safe working conditions and are being treated far unless it benefits them!!! You have to be strong need no pat on the back for doing what's right helping people have to be a true calling!!
Tina Sorrell Gerba 
I have been a shop steward for 6 years. Teamsters' Local 206. Here's a "Thank you" to Bob Garrett my fellow shop steward. 
Steven Hannah was a chief steward at ABF Oak. 
My thanks came from being able to keep and maintain conditions and equality across the board. Most don't understand the tireless struggle of a steward ... as a steward you can't take the position wanting to be thanked, you take the position to assist your local in keeping conditions and enforcing the contract. Your thanks will come from the knowledge that you did the best you could for the union membership.
Being a steward has always been a thankless job but the most important in a union ,you dont become a Steward to be popular you become one to keep a balance between worker and boss and protect the contract voted on by the membership -30 yr retired Teamster 
Jack C. DiBenedetto
I am a shop steward. I had management throw a union contract in my face
Alan Garner 
I like to thank our shop steward, Chuck Reney, for putting in long hours and also being (in) a thankless job.
Harold Chapman Thank you to my shop steward, Rich Breen, for all the good you do. 299 Detroit.

Cynthia Kalier-Costa 
I did it for 4 yrs, it was a thankless job. Lot of aggravation, no pay, and the bosses hate you more than fellow workers! But when it all comes together it's all worth it !!!
Josh Burdette 
UPS Teamsters Local 948 shop steward in Visalia Ca till I had to retire in 2012 after having 2 different double lung transplants. I'd go back in a second if I could.
A very huge thank you to Mike Semanko at Local 41 in Claycomo, Mo. You are a huge asset to the local and to the entire Teamster organization.