WHO IS A SHOPSTEWARD
Shop stewards are the foundation of the Union. It is through them that Union is able to exercise democracy and workers control. Shop stewards are elected representatives of Union members in workplace. All workers in a workplace are members of the Union will elect shop stewards according to the constitution of the Union.
As shop stewards you are accountable to the members who elected you and your Union as a whole. You do not speak for - you must have a mandate from the workers you represent and your Union. You must report back to your members and the Union structures.
You form part of the shop steward committee (in FAWU`s constitution). You do not work on your own. You are part of the collective leadership in the workplace.
Shop stewards need to be committed, hard working, disciplined, progressive and literate.
SHOPSTEWARD AS AN ORGANISER
The shopsteward is an organiser in his/her workplace. The main duty of the shopsteward is to build up and maintain a strong discipline, progressive and informed membership at the workplace.
AS A SHOPSTEWARD YOU SHOULD:
SHOP STEWARD AS A REPRESENTATIVE
SHOPSTEWARD AS MONITOR
Shop stewards must make sure that management sticks to agreements which have been negotiated with workers. They must also make sure that management carries out decisions reached in negotiations. It is important to be vigilant. It is important to get written undertakings from management to hold them to account later.
SHOPSTEWARD AS LEADER
Shop stewards are the leadership of their workplace. As a shop steward you are a leader in FAWU as well as in COSATU.
You should be able to do the following:
SHOP STEWARD AS A LEARNER
A shop steward must be knowledgeable and well informed and should be able to learn through experience. The Union should provide training for you.
YOU NEED TO KNOW:
SHOP STEWARD AS AN EDUCATOR
You must pass on your information and knowledge to your fellow members. You must be able to inform them about what is happening in their workplace, in FAWU & COSATU. You should be able to inform members about their rights and be able to participate in political debates. You should participate in Education structures of the Union in workplace, in your branch and in your Cosatu Local.
TIPS FOR SHOPSTEWARD
AS A SHOPSTEWARD YOU SHOULD NOT:
Compiled by: Tseleng Tau
Fawu North West Province