Teamsters 856 Shop Stewards are leaders in the union. Stewards address member needs, represent member concerns, and advocate for fellow members on the job. Strong Stewards are better equipped to win strong contracts, enforce the collective bargaining agreement, keep everyone informed of their rights as workers, and hold employers accountable.
Developing strong Stewards helps build a strong union. That’s why Teamsters 856 provides Shop Stewards with annual training to help build power in the workplace, and prepare to fight back against any challenges we may face.
In March, the first of three 2017 Shop Steward training meetings was held in Sacramento, and led by Teamsters 856 Secretary-Treasurer Peter Finn and Vice President Rudy Gonzalez.
“With all of our busy lives, it was great to see our Shop Stewards’ willingness to spend a Saturday morning in training,” said Peter. “It truly demonstrates their commitment to our union and to their work as a Steward.”
During training, about a dozen new and experienced Stewards from Delta Dental, Marin General Hospital, American Airlines, and Contra Costa County spent the day learning and discussing ways to get ahead of threats facing workers.
“I believe in our rights, and that if you don’t get involved, you won’t have a voice,” said Angelica Mantamoros. Angelica is a Community Health Worker for Contra Costa County Health Services. Her work includes community outreach, teaching families about nutrition, and for the last seven months – serving as a Shop Steward. “I can represent my coworkers and use my experience to help them when they go through similar issues,” she said about why she became a Steward.
Lynette Adams has worked in customer service at Delta Dental for 15 years. Like Angelica, she became a Shop steward to help ensure her coworkers’ voices were heard at work. “One of my coworkers was disciplined for something I knew they hadn’t been given enough notice about,” said Lynette. “That drew the line for me. Now, I’m able to help my fellow employees who are being treated unfairly.”
Greg Ford has been a Shop Steward at American Airlines for about 10 years. Greg is retiring in July after a 40-year career in the airline industry. “I’ve been in the industry for a long time in both union and non-union jobs,” said Greg. “After seeing both sides of the coin, I know it’s better to have a union. I told my coworkers, if you want any kind of job security in an industry that provides none, a union is the way to go.”
For James Taylor, a CNA at Marin General Hospital, keeping his coworkers informed was a major factor in his decision to accept his Steward position in December. “A couple of coworkers collected signatures and nominated me,” he said. “When I saw their support and that they wanted their voices heard, I was in. A lot of people don’t know what’s in their contract, so if something happens in the work place, they can get taken advantage of.”
Teamsters 856 will continue to build up and train more stewards at additional trainings in May and July. Current Shop Stewards can click here for more information.