Because so much of the employment in our industry is short-term freelance work, many members won’t be served by a network of traditional shop stewards (what we refer to as Workgroup Stewards). Our At-Large Stewards, therefore, are responsible for the stewardship of defined groups of freelance colleagues who share a classification and fall outside of stable, stewarded workgroups.
The Guild’s At-Large Stewards are grassroots leaders who maintain strong union engagement within their professional and social networks. These stewards are nominated by the colleagues whom they steward, so their stewardship is built upon existing relationships. Like all stewards, At-Large Stewards ensure that individual rank-and-file members know what’s happening with the larger organization and that the larger organization knows what’s happening with rank-and-file members. When they learn of colleagues in their charge who are having problems on the job, stewards work with field representatives to get those issues resolved. When the union has events or campaigns in which we need members participating, stewards get their coworkers involved. In short, they keep the union organized.
Are you wondering if this is a good role for you? Here are some considerations:
- If you have long-term, regular employment in a fairly stable workgroup (i.e., a group of ten or more Guild members who share a common employer for a period of more than six months), you should consider becoming a Workgroup Steward instead of an At-Large Steward.
- Potential Guild stewards should have the respect of their coworkers, an interest in building workers’ power, and a commitment to upholding the values of our union.
- Potential Guild stewards should read the job description of an IATSE Local 700 steward and be ready to take on those responsibilities.
If you think you would be a good fit, you can seek nomination as an At-Large Steward by collecting signatures from twenty or more Local 700 colleagues in your classification. Use the At-Large Steward Nomination Petition to collect these signatures. Nominators must not be currently represented by another Local 700 steward. If you are appointed to be an At-Large Steward, you will be responsible for the stewardship of the colleagues who nominated you.
When you’ve collected your coworkers’ signatures, send a copy of the form to Organizing@editorsguild.com, with the subject line “Steward Nomination.”