"It would be unrealistic not to expect that a union steward will, whether in a speech or a newsletter, occasionally express strong disagreement with the company and its officers and do so in vivid and unflattering terms. Being at the forward edge of encounters with management the shop steward becomes particularly vulnerable in the area of discipline ..."
"If union stewards are to have the freedom to discharge their responsibilities in an adversarial collective bargaining system they must not be muzzled into quiet complacency by the threat of discipline at the hands of their employer."
Burns Meats Limited and Canadian Food and Allied Workers. Local P-139 (1980)
"As distasteful as the words he used may be, the fact remains that he [steward] was not in the status of an employee when he called the division manager a fool and liar. At that time, the employer and employee relationship did not exist. Rather the relationship was between a Company and Union representative, the matter under consideration being a grievance filed by the employees whom the grievant represented in his official capacity as a Union Steward. They stood as equals when negotiating the grievance."
Owens-Illinois. Inc, 73 LA 663, 668 (1979)
"The relationship at a grievance meeting is not a "master-servant" relationship but a relationship between company advocates on one side and union advocates on the other side, engaged as equal opposing parties in litigation."
Hawaiian Hauling Service, Ltd, 219 NLRB 765, 766 footnote 6 (1975)
"...a Union representative, in his official capacity interacting with his management counterpart during Grievance handling, has certain latitude to engage in conduct which might, in other circumstances, be arguably considered disrespectful or even insubordinate. While expressly declining to endorse profanity or contemptuous demeanor, Arbitrator Solomon pointed out that management may not justifiably discipline a Union representative simply because he "is not amenable, or 'stands up' for the rights of Union employees, unless his defiance results in willful disobedience or disregard for rules and regulations, or creates such a disruptive influence that the shop moral is substantially adversely affected."
Montana Rail Link, Inc. (1994) Arbitrator Eischen citing Love Brothers, 45 LA 751, 756 (1965)