How could you hate someone who fights for your well being 24/7. Well there are people out there that see these people not in the brightest of light, I for one admire what these people do. I’ve been lucky in the sense that I have had some very good people looking out for me and this group of people are right up there in my eyes as being brothers/sisters in arms and mentors in some cases.
One of the arguments I hear is that they only look out for themselves and maybe some do, but the majority of them are over and above the leaders of the job site they cover. We forget they have the job of keeping the peace and making sure that the people they represent are treated fairly especially when the employee is in the wrong.
They also answer to management in the sense that they have to enforce the job sites rules and make sure the people they represent follow such rules. It is not the easiest of jobs and I know that in most cases they get awarded some kind of extras, like money or shift preference in some cases, but I think its well earned, a lot of them do this job just to help out and that in itself is admirable and should be respected.
This Labor Day I would like to say “Thank You” to all those shop stewards that looked out for me over the years, JOB WELL DONE!
Some things that Unions helped get established for workers over the years.
Weekends without work
All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Civil Rights Act/Title VII – prohibits employer discrimination
8-hour work day
Child labor laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40-hour work week
Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
Workplace safety standards and regulations
Employer health care insurance
Collective bargaining rights for employees
Wrongful termination laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Whistleblower protection laws
Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) – prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
Sexual harassment laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
Pregnancy and parental leave
The right to strike
Public education for children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 – requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
Laws ending sweatshops in the United States
In Loving Memory