Featured Steward
Donnie Given

Our union is a family

‘As long as we have a union, we are part of a big family, and family means no one is left behind.” 

These words of truth come from Donnie Given, a Steward who works at Stater Bros. 116 in Phelan. “If an employer tries to take something away from any one of us in negotiations, we band together to defend our sisters and brothers,” he said.“The struggle of one family member becomes the cause of the entire family. We watch each other’s backs.”

Donnie Given

A 23-year veteran with Stater Bros., Given has been a meat cutter for 13 years. He started his career with the company when he was 22 years old. He became active in the union when he was unfairly passed up in a promotion. “Promotions are supposed to be done according to the contract,” he said.  Determined to do something about it, Given called his union representative, who arranged for him to get the promotion he deserved. “I was grateful for sure,” he said.

Now, as a steward, Given helps his co-workers get the rights and services that are due to them according to their union contract. “As stewards we’re the eyes and ears of the union, and I relay what I see or hear to my union rep,” he said. “I also encourage members to attend meetings to learn about the union for themselves.”

Members come to him with a wide variety of questions, though most of them are about pay. Given refers to the contract and if he can’t find the answer he refers his co-workers to someone who can help.

“We have a great team of people working for us,” he said. “Our members need to know who these people are and how they can help us.”

Given has been married to Michele, an employee at Stater Bros. 190, for five years. “We work for the same employer, but we met at Red Robin,” he said.

In his spare time he enjoys target practice on a shooting range or working on his cars. He’s currently restoring a 1967 El Camino.

“It’s coming together nicely,” he said. “I’m almost to the point where I can have it painted.”

2016 Stewards Conference Images