This little book (currently only 155 pages) contains nine chapters covering topics such as the National Labor Relations Act and the Union’s right to information, to name a few. Each chapter is packed with real-world information written for the shop steward who doesn’t have a college degree. Illustrations and examples are often placed alongside properly labeled sections. Note: At the end of each chapter there is a handy Questions and Answers section that give the reader an idea of how to apply the knowledge provided in that chapter. Everywhere there are areas marked with a handy “LINK POINT” designation along with the image of a hand pointing out areas that should get your attention.
One of the features that I like the most is the notes section. Throughout the book, you will find numbers in seemingly random locations. These numbers are linked to the Notes section on the back beginning on page 120. This section contains references to NLRB and court decisions that relate to sections of 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 reference number of 52. Go to the notes section and you will find all the notes in numerical order. Just look for number 52 that says “See Norton Intl., Inc., NLRB Judges Division, September 30, 1993.” This reference can be googled or searched on the NLRB website http://www.nlrb.gov. Many times I have won discussions with companies simply because I was able to provide real case references to back up my arguments.
There is also a section that talks about other federal labor laws, a list of all current NLRB offices, and a helpful index.
After all that, could there be a downside to this book? Yes, sorry to say there is. Although not a big deal, the legal rights of shop stewards fall short in the chapter on the grievance process. Spend little or no time on the practical details of writing or filing a complaint. Instead, it focuses on the rights and protections that the law grants not only to the aggrieved but to the administrator as well. Now, while this counts against this volume, I have been informed that Mr. Schwartz has written another book specifically geared towards complaint procedures. I, for one, look forward to receiving a copy and reviewing it here.