How to elect a shop steward

Employees in the workplace elect their shop stewards for a term of two years. Elections are held in consultation with VR, and the shop steward receives confirmation of his election and power of attorney from VR. Workplaces with five employees or more can elect a shop steward. If there are more than 50 employees, two shop stewards may be elected. Workplaces with 120 or more can elect three shop stewards.

Election of shop stewards

If you would like to hold an election in your workplace, please contact the VR service centre by calling 510 1700 and our staff will be happy to help.

Agreements and laws do not contain instructions on the election of shop stewards. It is, however, considered preferable that the voting is in writing and that it is a secret ballot at a predetermined time so that everyone who is entitled to vote can participate. It is preferable that an employee and/or a representative from the union manage the elections. Once the election has been completed, the selection of the shop steward is submitted to the union Board, which confirms his election. The company and the shop steward are sent letters of confirmation to such effect.
If there is only one nominee to the position of shop steward, he is automatically elected. If there are a greater number of nominees, an election shall be held.

Arrangement of the election

When elections for the position of shop steward are planned, a VR representative will visit the workplace and hang up a poster or send an electronic advertisement to a contact person, which will contain the following information:

  • The name of the workplace
  • When the election will take place (date)
  • At what time the election will be held (timing, 1–2 hours, depending on the size of the workplace)
  • Name of contact person who will accept candidatures and suggestions.

Once the deadline to submit candidatures has expired, the assistance of VR staff may be requested to hold the elections. We have also launched an electronic voting system. A list of employees must be submitted to VR.

The party elected completes a form supplied by VR providing information on the workplace, when the election took place and the name, telephone number and e-mail address of the shop steward. The form will be submitted to the Board of VR for approval.

Further information will be supplied by the shop steward contact persons, email: