Union Shop Stewards sharpen skills on supporting members!
Training for new Stewards and advancing experienced Stewards to new levels was the focus for the Union Stewards who gathered in Ruidoso, New Mexico on August 13-15th. Shop Stewards representing 43 locations in New Mexico working at Smith’s, Albertson’s, Safeway, John Brooks, La Montanita, and Aramark traveled up to the Sierra Blanca mountain range of south-central New Mexico to be educated and appreciated for the work and responsibility they handle on a daily basis. The focus of this training was, “Overcoming Fear- Stand Up and Stand Out”!
We were joined by Educational Director, Dr. Rick Gregory who is known for getting your attention and not letting go of it. Dr. Gregory speaks around the country to various UFCW Union leaders and members. Everyone enjoyed his experience, style and teachings. Dr. Gregory addressed the Stewards on Thinking Before You Speak, Reaching and Listening to the Five (5) Generations in the Work Force, Leading with Joy, and Keys to Relationship Building by Understanding Each Other.
President Greg Frazier had a powerful presentation and Powerpoint titled, “Don’t Be a Good Steward; Be a Great Steward”.
The Stewards also had smaller designed breakout groups where they discussed subjects in detail with excellent participation, discussion, and involvement. The UFCW International Union kicked off a political drive to go towards supporting labor friendly candidates in 2020. UFCW Legal Counsel, Shane Youtz, presented a very powerful legal presentation, informing Stewards of their special powers and rights when operating in the Steward capacity. Stewards learned they are an equal with management in such a capacity, and how to know the difference between that role and the role as an employee. They also learned they have multiple forms of protection against retaliation for standing up and standing out! Stewards also learned about New Mexico Workers Compensation and special benefits and discounts reserved and limited to UFCW members only.
Stewards volunteer their time and skills all week long so rewarding them was a also a top priority, which is why the Inn of the Mountain Gods was selected by the Officers of UFCW to hold the 2019 Conference, not to mention it was free of distractions by being away from their home. Steward Rose Gonzales, Smith’s #414 was the best dance winner and Jessica Noble from Smith’s #427 was the best dressed for the “Dirt on My Boots Dance”.
We had various gifts, prize drawings, and gift cards distributed over the three days, but the Super Steward winner of a Mac laptop was Darlene Chavez Lucero, Smith’s #413. The heart and devotion these Stewards have towards their Union was evident from the start as they had to request a day off or take a paid day off to attend.
We know you will appreciate having Stewards that make a difference in their work sites by helping and assisting Union Members. I am happy to inform you that New Mexico UFCW Stewards are second to no one. They are educated and equipped Stewards, just looking to help, and that makes your Union a powerful resource for each of you. Please thank your Stewards for the job they do, because some days it is a thankless position.