Strong unions are made up of three key ingredients: effective leadership, a trained and dedicated staff, and the most important is an active and involved membership. With about 10,000 members at 300 different locations across the Bay Area, Local 853 has all three in just the right mix.
About one in ten of Local 853’s members turned out for the 17th Annual Membership Appreciation Day, held Saturday, November 5, 2016, at John Muir Middle School in San Leandro.
As always, breakfast was served. In addition to the traditional donuts, coffee and juice, this year, members were treated to eggs and breakfast meats cooked on the Local’s grand BBQ grill.
Every member in attendance received a stylish long-sleeved t-shirt emblazoned with the union’s logo. They could also get their flu shot on site.
In his annual “State of the Union” address, Secretary- Treasurer Rome Aloise talked abut the diversity of our local union—by industry, color, race, religion, gender—and how we “use those differences to build unity, strength and power.”
Aloise spoke about the many excellent contracts that the union was able to negotiate in 2016, “all of them accomplished without one minute lost to a strike,” he said. These include construction, Costco, dairy, liquor, Gillig, and many more.
Aloise was quick to remind members that “it is essential to appreciate what you have, and not take it for granted, especially because many of you have had it handed to you because some members, many years ago, took their company on to set the foundation. Please appreciate what others have done for you!”
The main core of his speech was to urge members to participate and vote in the 2016 elections—for Teamster offices and for the national, regional and local elections. Aloise carefully reviewed the records of the two Presidential candidates and some of the local races. “You may not know this, but we spend a lot of time on interviewing, following the voting records, and vetting the people that run for office. Having influence with elected officials is one of the ways we maintain our strength and ability to get things done.”
The raffle quickly followed Rome’s speech. Prizes included union jackets, hats and shirts, and a wide variety of electronics, including seven huge television sets.
What does it take to get appreciated by your union? It takes showing up. Mark the date—November 4, 2017, and be there.