Shop steward

A workplace shop steward is a trusted and knowledgeable employee trained by the trade union.

In addition to the occupational safety and health representative, the shop steward is the most important employee representative. He/she represents JHL members at the workplace and supports them if there are unclarities or questions related to employment.  The person also negotiates, reaches agreements, mediates, and passes on information between employers and employees. One could also say that the shop steward is a “walking and talking database” of their sector, because JHL provides many kinds of working life training for shop stewards.

Every member has the right to participate in shop steward election – or to become elected for the assignment.

Would you become a shop steward?

You might become a good shop steward if you

  • are familiar with the daily life of your workplace
  • want to listen to the views of your co-workers
  • want to represent the employees and support them
  • want to give advice and help in employment matters
  • want to improve your workplace
  • want to pass on information

As a shop steward, you have a chance to take matters forward at your workplace.

The Employment Contracts Act and collective agreements have secured the shop steward position with a better protection against arbitrary dismissal.

Shop stewards are needed to

  • make sure that workplaces comply with agreements and laws
  • help with employment questions
  • negotiate with the employer
  • work together with other personnel representatives
  • represent JHL and be JHL’s contact person at the workplace

Are you interested?

JHL supports shop stewards in their work. As a shop steward, you can take part in paid shop steward training, you get advice from JHL’s regional offices, central office and lawyers if necessary, and you get to network with other shop stewards.

If you became interested, contact your local branch or JHL’s  regional office!

Where, when and how are shop stewards elected?

Employees elect a shop steward either at the autumn meeting of their local branch, or at an election meeting. A shop steward is elected for a period of 2-4 years.

When conducting the election, JHL’s local branch statutes are complied with. The selections should be made in alternate years.

The election is either organised by the local branch board or, if workplace employees are members of several local branches, the branch boards organise the election together.

If there are several candidates, an election committee is selected to organise the election. Before the election, it’s necessary to agree on the number of shop stewards with the employer. It’s also necessary to determine the employee groups (division) represented by the shop steward.

Be alert for when your workplace is about to organise a shop steward election. When it’s time for an election, nominate yourself.

Shop steward election instructions (in Finnish)