A shop steward must be present whenever the company talks to a member.
The contract spells it out in black and white in Article 4 and Local 804 has won an arbitration case that resolves the issue beyond a shadow of a doubt.
When someone from management asks you questions, a steward must be present.
Whether it’s a supervisor, a manager or Loss Prevention (L.P.). Whether you’re in the office, on the line, or on the road.
Do not talk with management without your union steward.
If you’re called into the office, you have more than the right to have your shop steward present.
Your steward or business agent has the right to know what the meeting is about and to meet with you to talk before the meeting starts.
You also have a right to take a break during the meeting and talk to your steward privately. Just say you want to go in the hallway and “caucus” with your steward.
Use a caucus to ask questions, to fill your shop steward in on important facts and to get on the same page. That way, you can face management in a united way.
What To Do if You’re Questioned by Management
Ask for Your Steward. If management calls you into the office, ask for your steward. It’s your right and it’s common sense.
Keep Your Cool. Management’s main purpose is often to intimidate you or put pressure on you to work too fast. Don’t let them get under your skin. Keep your cool in the office. And follow the methods on the job.
Keep It Simple. Answer management’s questions with clear simple answers. Don’t fall for fishing expeditions.
Don’t Remember? Just Say So. If management asks you about something and you don’t know the details, just say “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.” The worst thing you can do is to make up a story and give management an excuse to try to discipline you for dishonesty.