Local 104

Inthegame

Well-Known Member
Can a union steward refuse to represent you if he or she wishes??
Generally no, sometimes maybe, occasionally yes if other stewards represent the specific work group and are available.

How's that for a vague answer to a vague question.

How about you fill in the blanks...
 

Workready

Active Member
Generally no, sometimes maybe, occasionally yes if other stewards represent the specific work group and are available.

How's that for a vague answer to a vague question.

How about you fill in the blanks...
e.g. Let's say there's 3 stewards available! Steward #1is a PT local sort steward. Steward #2 is a FT combo 22.3 inside employee. Steward #3 is a FT driver steward. You are a driver and want representation because of discipline but the FT driver don't want to help you! Can he refuse?
 

BigUnionGuy

Got the T-Shirt
e.g. Let's say there's 3 stewards available! Steward #1is a PT local sort steward. Steward #2 is a FT combo 22.3 inside employee. Steward #3 is a FT driver steward. You are a driver and want representation because of discipline but the FT driver don't want to help you! Can he refuse?


What's the real story ?
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
e.g. Let's say there's 3 stewards available! Steward #1is a PT local sort steward. Steward #2 is a FT combo 22.3 inside employee. Steward #3 is a FT driver steward. You are a driver and want representation because of discipline but the FT driver don't want to help you! Can he refuse?
@Workready,

I can’t answer until I know why the person does not want to represent you.

What is the reason for his/her refusal?
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
No motives! Just a general question if a stewads can just refuse to represent you!
I hate to answer a question with a question but I feel I have to in this case.

If you have a choice between 3 Stewards then why would you want a Steward to represent you that for some reason doesn’t want to represent you?
 

Workready

Active Member
I hate to answer a question with a question but I feel I have to in this case.

If you have a choice between 3 Stewards then why would you want a Steward to represent you that for some reason doesn’t want to represent you?
Easy! The combo and the PT stewards don't know anything about what goes on in the centers or even on the road! It would be logical to get a driver steward!. Right?
But what if that driver steward don't want to represent you?.. No motive or anything just plainly dont want to represent you
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
Easy! The combo and the PT stewards don't know anything about what goes on in the centers or even on the road! It would be logical to get a driver steward!. Right?
But what if that driver steward don't want to represent you?.. No motive or anything just plainly dont want to represent you
Easy! The combo and the PT stewards don't know anything about what goes on in the centers or even on the road! It would be logical to get a driver steward!. Right?
But what if that driver steward don't want to represent you?.. No motive or anything just plainly dont want to represent you
Are you a FT Driver?
 

Phraust

Member
So here's what I was told by my BA back when I was having some 'issues' with another employee and I was often the only steward available

"We expect you to behave in a way befitting a representative of this local and the international, if you can't at least suck it up for a few minutes and make sure he doesn't get a fair shake then you have no business representing anyone, however if you don't think you can be impartial let the others know and plan accordingly"

Mind you I didn't even broach the subject, someone else mentioned there was drama and he felt the need to be proactive. I can't imagine there will ever be a reason I wouldn't represent someone but I don't believe it's a requirement for a steward to always represent someone.

I'd imagine your BA would want a very good reason from that steward for refusing though.
Also as others have said you should ALWAYS go with a steward from your own workgroup, more often then not they'll be the best suited to represent you and the provisions unique to your workgroup.
 

Inthegame

Well-Known Member
I can't imagine there will ever be a reason I wouldn't represent someone but I don't believe it's a requirement for a steward to always represent someone.
It's a requirement for the "local" to represent everyone in the bargaining unit. If you're a steward, you're acting on behalf of the local and have accepted that responsibility.
I'd imagine your BA would want a very good reason from that steward for refusing though.
.
So would the Dept of Labor if the party filed a charge citing a violation of the union's "Duty of Fair Representation" obligation.

Being a steward is a serious position. Not a lot of room for "imagining".
 

UPSER1987

Well-Known Member
Some of you overestimate the role of the steward. A steward is a witness, nothing more. Still a cardboard worker- no special education or experience required. This person normally has the most days off in the center.
 

Integrity

Binge Poster
Some of you overestimate the role of the steward. A steward is a witness, nothing more. Still a cardboard worker- no special education or experience required. This person normally has the most days off in the center.
In my Local the job of Steward is a serious one.

The Executive Board relies heavily on Stewards who take their official role as Union Officials seriously.
 

meritocracy

International Brotherhood of Supervisors (IBS)
If the UNION refuses to represent you it commits an Unfair Labor Practice and exposes itself to a potential lawsuit.

"You have a right to be represented by your union fairly, in good faith, and without discrimination.
Your union has the duty to represent all employees - whether members of the union or not-fairly, in good faith, and without discrimination. This duty applies to virtually every action that a union may take in dealing with an employer as your representative, including collective bargaining, handling grievances, and operating exclusive hiring halls. For example, a union which represents you cannot refuse to process a grievance because you have criticized union officials or because you are not a member of the union. But the duty does not ordinarily apply to rights a worker can enforce independently - such as filing a workers' compensation claim - or to internal union affairs - such as the union's right to discipline members for violating its own rules."
(Right to fair representation | National Labor Relations Board)
 

meritocracy

International Brotherhood of Supervisors (IBS)
Easy! The combo and the PT stewards don't know anything about what goes on in the centers or even on the road! It would be logical to get a driver steward!. Right?
But what if that driver steward don't want to represent you?.. No motive or anything just plainly dont want to represent you
The driver steward probably knows about their duty of representation. Even if they don't you would just need to call your business agent. They would get you a steward or come represent you themselves.
 

Phraust

Member
It's a requirement for the "local" to represent everyone in the bargaining unit. If you're a steward, you're acting on behalf of the local and have accepted that responsibility.

So would the Dept of Labor if the party filed a charge citing a violation of the union's "Duty of Fair Representation" obligation.

Being a steward is a serious position. Not a lot of room for "imagining".
I'm not gonna presume to know how your local or region handles things but I've been a lurker on this board long enough and talked with enough Teamsters/UPSers across the country to know there's a lot of different approaches to things. I don't belong to a very large preload by many standards, it's one of the smallest centers in the area and no where near what any of the hubs handle but I also know the reason we have 'so many' stewards is because there were issues with disputes between past stewards and general membership, and while I can't 'imagine' just how deep/far those disputes went as I've never been privy to the specifics but I did confirm today there were several cases where Steward X wouldn't represent Members A, B or C(and that wasn't limited to just one of the stewards, and of course some members refused to be represented by some stewards as well). Apparently the company and local had no issue with that at the time as there were other stewards available(whether or not there was a time when only the 'members in conflict' were available I couldn't determine). To the best of my knowledge there are no such issues currently but I do know a few of the more senior members have repeatedly voiced concern over being represented by a steward so new to the job(noting no steward in my building has less then 10 years seniority and 5 years as a steward)

But you're right, every member is entitled to fair and proper representation, but that doesn't mean every steward has to be able to give that to them. I've been put to use in a pinch to represent a few drivers and I openly admit my knowledge of the contract in regards to several hot driver topics/concerns isn't great, and not for lack of trying but simply because it's not something I 'have to deal with' enough to really get accustomed to it, does that mean those drivers were underserved or improperly represented at the time? Maybe, but I still did the job to the best of my ability and contacted my BA immediately after to ensure I didn't miss anything.

And speaking back to the differences there is a considerable amount of room for 'imagining' as the one thing I've heard from multiple BAs and the higher ups at my local is that stewards aren't supposed to be masters of the contract, simply informed enough to make intelligent decisions and 'interpretations' of the contract as it's needed of us. The same way all of us have to 'imagine' how the company holds a world class safety recognition and yet seems to do so little to keep us safe.

Some of you overestimate the role of the steward. A steward is a witness, nothing more. Still a cardboard worker- no special education or experience required. This person normally has the most days off in the center.
I mean being a witness is a big part of the job but I wouldn't say there's 'no special education or experience required', granted there likely are locals where stewards are nominated/voted in with next to no understanding of the job or contract but at least in my experience no one is considered for the role without at least showing some knowledge and interest in how things should work and are 'mentored' on that for a short time before their 'stewardship' begins.

In my Local the job of Steward is a serious one.

The Executive Board relies heavily on Stewards who take their official role as Union Officials seriously.

I've been a steward for close to a decade now and I can ensure you my Executive Board barely knows me(the local's president might as I had the 'gall' to call him out on something during a demands meeting and was a bit famous/infamous for the next few meetings), and I'm easily one of the loudest and most proactive stewards in my building. I can't even say with confidence the other BAs that handle UPS know my name even though I know and have interacted with most all of them at times, either when they were sharing coverage of my building, covering for my BA(or the short time we didn't have a dedicated one), or at meetings/panels. Just a part of the differences we all deal with.
 
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