Over the last few weeks I have had a few members contact our office regarding members who are Job Stewards on various sites. There are a number of reasons for these calls but the common theme has been that the person would like to see the Job Steward removed from the position.
I will usually ask a number of questions during our conversation but the last question is always “Are you or anyone else looking to become the Job Steward?” So far every person has said they are not willing to take over as Job Steward. So I am left with the only option to talk with the current Job Steward and try to coach them on being an effective Job Steward.
For the entire time that I have been a member of Local 110 it has been hard to find members willing to be Job Stewards. As a member on the tools I remember being in lunchrooms with the BA practically begging for someone to take on the Steward roll. As a BA I found myself in the same situation looking for a Steward and a room full of members looking down until I was forced to pick someone and hope they did not quit as soon as I left the site. Now as the BM with work slowing I have long term members calling to quit being the Job Steward because they need their job and they cannot afford to have a target on their back.
So I ask the membership to support the Job Stewards as much as you can. If you have experience as a Job Steward try to help mentor some of the new Journeymen that have taken on the role. If you are willing to be a Job Steward contact the Local Business Agent because they are more than willing to get the help and in some cases have spots that need to be filled.
In the end remember being a Job Steward is a difficult and thankless job for no extra pay. These members have taken on the position to do what they can to make the job better for their fellow members and as members we need to help make the job better for them.