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Book Review: The Legal Rights of Union Stewards by Robert M. Schwartz

This small book (only 155 pages currently) contains nine chapters covering such subjects as the National Labor Relations Act and the Union’s right to information, to name a few. Each chapter is chock full of real world information written for the Shop Steward that doesn’t have a college degree. Illustrations and examples are frequently placed along with sections appropriately labeled Note: At the end of each chapter is a handy section of Questions and Answers which give the reader insight on how to apply the knowledge provided in that chapter. Peppered throughout are areas marked with a handy “UNION POINTER” designation along with a picture of a pointing hand to point out those areas that should get your attention.

One of the features I particularly like is the Notes Section. Throughout the book you will find numbers at seemingly random locations. These numbers are tied to the Notes section in the back starting on page 120. This section contains references to NLRB and court decisions that relate to sections in the book. For example: When you are reading the Chapter on the Union’s right to information, specifically the part on contract interpretation and you see a number reference of 52. Go to the notes section and you will find all of the notes in numerical order. Simply find number 52 which says “See Norton Intl., Inc., NLRB Div. of Judges, September 30, 1993”. This reference can either be Googled or searched for at the NLRB website http://www.nlrb.gov. Many a times I have won arguments with companies simply because I was able to provide actual case references to back up my arguments.

There is also a section that talks about other Federal Labor Laws, a list of all the current NLRB offices and a handy dandy index.

After all that, could there be a down side to this book? Yes, I’m sorry to say there is. Although not a huge issue, the Legal Rights of Union Stewards does come up short in the Chapter on the Grievance Process. It spends little or no time on the nuts and bolts of writing or filing a grievance. Instead it concentrates on the rights and protections that the law affords not only the grievant but the steward as well. Now while this counts against this volume, I have been informed that Mr. Schwartz has written another book specifically geared towards the grievance procedures. I, for one, am looking forward to receiving a copy and reviewing it here.


Source by Michael P Hough

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