A shop steward is a union member ordinarily elected to represent workers in a particular shop or department. The shop steward collects dues, solicits new members, announces meetings, and receives, investigates and attempts the adjustment of grievances. The steward is the union's eyes and ears on the jobsite, reporting any changes in the workplace such as vacancies, new members, or a change in employer. Most important, the steward is a communicator, keeping fellow workers informed of their rights and responsibilities as union members.
A shop steward is a trade-union representative in a ‘shop’, or department of a factory, elected by his or her fellow workers. Shop stewards are unpaid and usually conduct union business in their own time. They recruit for the union, inspect contribution cards, and report grievances to the district committee. They represent their members’ interests to employers through the process of collective bargaining.