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Shop Stewards

Steward Responsibilities

General Duties of a Shop Steward

The following items, we hope, will serve as a checklist of the duties that you should perform as a Shop Steward:

  1. Keep yourself and the members informed on Union policies, activities, and current events. Study the labor newspapers and magazines available to you. Post only authorized Union information on the store bulletin board.
  2. Attend and encourage attendance at any labor education programs that might be available to you and the members.
  3. Attend Union meetings and Union affairs and bring the members from your store. Get your store to act as a unit – have them stick together.
  4. Give the members the satisfaction of listening to their problems; however, do not make any promises or commitments to a member.
  5. In keeping with the policy of your Union, discourage discrimination and prejudices of any kind. Do not let personal likes and dislikes prejudice your actions as a Shop Steward.
  6. Inform the members of Union services. Encourage them to take advantage of these services and refer them to the appropriate department at the Union Office.
  7. You should actively support those approved objectives which are favorable to your Union. You should report the activities of any person or persons which are detrimental to your Union.
  8. Encourage political action on the part of the members and their membership in support of the Active Ballot Club. Become a member and an active supporter yourself. See to it that members are registered and vote.
  9. Encourage and support your Union’s organizing programs.
  10. Report items of general interest (including pictures) to the editor of the UFCW 8 “Voice of Action.”
  11. Be proud of your position. Remember you are a Shop Steward of your Union with a membership of more than 30,000 which has the full support of hundreds of thousands of members bound together in the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
  12. Remember your objective and goal is to be an effective Shop Steward in your store. Always strive for it. Excellence has no substitute.

Specific Duties of a Shop Steward

The duties outlined below shall be subject to the individual instructions of the District Union Representative for your store:

  1. Welcome the new hires. Inform, educate, and help them to become to better members, not just dues-payers.
  2. Report possible contract violations within the proper time limits to your District Union Representative. The Shop Steward should in no way jeopardize his or her position by trying to arbitrate or solve contract problems between Union members and management.
  3. Provide employees all necessary forms, such as Health and Welfare claim forms, Withdrawal Card request forms, Change of Address forms, Grievance Claim of Hours forms.
  4. Advise all members not to submit to a lie detector test.
  5. Advise all members not to talk to security agents without having a District Union Representative present.
  6. Keep an up-to-date record of employees and their phone numbers.
  7. Post membership meeting signs and encourage attendance. Remember, membership meeting attendance is not spontaneous and the degree of attendance will be proportionate to your enthusiasm and efforts.
  8. Post “Don’t Go Suspended” signs. It is extremely important that no member be more than two (2) months in arrears in their dues.

For more information on becoming a Shop Steward please contact us at or (916) 786-0588.