In his newest book, Robert Schwartz, Sensei to the modern day Labor Samurai, has finally taken his original work, The Legal Rights of Union Stewards, and filled in the missing sections, completing the picture.
While Legal Rights is a masterpiece of Union lore and tech, used daily at the shop floor by stewards everywhere, it was seriously lacking in hard, nuts and bolts information about the nitty gritty workings of discharge, discipline and the ways to counter them.
Just Cause starts off with the principles of just cause, insubordination and off-duty misconduct. Dishonesty, sleeping on the job and sexual harassment along with other infractions round out the offenses but it does not stop there. Schwartz does not just regurgitate the same old rhetoric about the "seven test of just cause" he goes further by giving the reader a much more practical set of tests which include tenants of due process, substantial proof as well as mitigating circumstances. Later chapters deal with advice on filing grievances, requesting information as well as organizing support for the grievants.
As with his earlier books Schwartz provides real world, working knowledge for the working Joe Steward as well as the labor professional.
Footnotes and endnotes are once again provided to direct readers to arbitration awards and relevant court decisions as well as a "Question and Answer" section at the end of each chapter.
In additional to the sardonic illustrations you will an appendix of sample contract language, an appendix of basic principles of just cause and finally an appendix of the original Daugherty Tests (the original seven tests of just cause).
I found it easy to understand and digest. It really dove into the meat of the issues without getting bogged down in the legal mumbo jumbo that you get from most books written by attorneys. This book is designed and written to be read and used on the shop floor by the men and women who write, file and prosecute grievances.
Priced at only $ 20.00 plus shipping and handling this 174 page powerhouse is well worth the price. I recommend you buy two, because if you are anything like me, you will be loaning one out before you know it.
Work Rights Press
PO Box 391066
Cambridge, MA 02139
Mr. Schwartz has also published The FMLA Handbook, How to Win Past Practice Grievances and Strikes, Picketing and Inside Campaigns. All are available to order through his website listed above.