Being a Better Union Brother and Sister

        Here are some things you can do to be a better Union member. 

        First off, think of yourself as a Steward. You may not be the real Union Steward in your building or workgroup, but we are all Stewards of the labor movement. Stewards do a lot more than just handle grievances. Stewards can be proactive. An active steward of the labor movement encourages members to support the Union Cause. An active steward is a friend who cares. Everyone wants an active steward on their side. Here are some things you can do to be an active Union member in your workplace. Try out some of these ideas. They are fun.

             Have a MAD Day. Methods Awareness Day. Set a specific day each week, like Tuesday and walk around saying, “The method of the week is parking on the right side of the street. Practice it, master it.” Each week pick a new method. “Three point contact entering and exiting the car.” It’s good practice for the coming of Telematics. The company won’t stop you and you get to talk to everyone. Communication is your best friend as a steward.
             Speak up at the PCMs. Work into the conversation at a PCM. You’ll be surprised how hungry people are for information. Or read the key points of an article from the contract, such as Art.3, sec7a. Read the first line. Or Art. 17, the second paragraph. Get in the habit of speaking up, make 30 seconds of the PCM your time. Union time.
             Come in 15 minutes early some day and walk around holding your contract book. People have questions. Have a cheat sheet ready so you can find the articles they have questions about. Write down questions you can’t answer, ask your Steward and get back to them the next day with the answer. Be around, be visible, be the Union.
             Do a printout and pass it out to all your drivers. List important phone numbers, like the Local’s phone number, the pension fund, the health insurance provider, OSHA, the Labor Board, UPS corporate, etc. Include website addresses like, TDU,, your Local Union Hall, NABER and others. List your stewards and your business agent. Put on a joke or a cartoon. Don’t slander the company, that’s not a good idea and it will turn some people off. The Union is here to help.
             Bring in a candy bar or some kind of treat for everyone some morning. Dumdums are fun and cheap. They make for some interesting jokes. People love trinkets The company used to give us something for Founders Day. Have your own Founders Day. Say you found a supervisor working and won a money grievance and you wanted to share it. Brotherhood. The company won’t give us anything again for about a hundred years.
             Talk to people about the Employee Free Choice Act. Strong Unions make a strong middle class. Do a Google search and know the websites that promote EFCA and strong Unions. Know how to contact your Congressmen and Senators. It’s not hard. It only takes a few minutes. Get people involved in protecting their own futures. It will pay dividends in the future.  

        These are six fun things you can do as Steward of the Labor Movement to make your presence felt and get to know your brothers and sisters. Your shop steward can’t do it all and he shouldn’t have to. It’s your Union.