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Shop Steward Spotlight: Catrinah Metteaux

Tell us about your work. How do you do? How long have you worked there?

[CM] — I’m the head teacher at The Leaguers, Inc. at the Judith Diggs location in Newark. I teach 3-years-old in the classroom, and I have worked there for four and a half years.

What made you become a Shop Steward?

[CM] — I wanted to become a Shop Steward because there are so many things that go on in this agency that’s unfair. Information is handed down to you second-hand, and I wanted to start receiving that information first-hand. I wanted to help inform workers, and help make decisions.

Has being in a union helped improve challenges at work?

[CM] — Being a part of a union with my coworkers has improved many of our working conditions. For example, during COVID, we implemented certain safety rules and regulations that I know wouldn’t have been possible without a union. Other challenges like unfair schedule changes have been improved thanks to us as a union coming together and creating change.

Why do you think being in a union is good for working people?

[CM] — Being in a union helps to prevent unfair work practices and emboldens workers to stand up for our rights.

What have you learned from your time as a Shop Steward?

[CM] — I have learned to practice awareness especially around unfair practices at our place of employment and fighting back by mobilizing.

Do you have any tips for members considering becoming a Shop Steward?

[CM] — I would say go for it, don’t be fearful, and stand up for what’s right.