Spring has sprung for labor and for Teamsters Local 853

Secretary-Treasurer's Report - Spring 2019

It’s spring time, and with the cold, wet winter finally behind us, it is time for a renewal and rebirth— as that is what spring brings. It is also a rebirth and renewal in your Local, your Joint Council, your International and in the larger labor family to which we all belong. There is a fresh, renewed step in the labor movement, starting, as always, with your Local.

The Local continues to organize and continues to grow. Our staff and members continue to fight for and deliver historic contracts. There is a renewed commitment from the top down in our Local to do everything possible to get the best contracts for you, the members. A few recent examples are the two-year contract extension that was negotiated in the liquor industry. The contracts at Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits and Young’s Market Company were extended by an overwhelming yes vote, because they continue to be the best in the country.

Another example is the unanimous yes vote at Compass for a new contract. Not only did this contract match the master shuttle bus contract, but exceeded it in some areas. Once again, this is the best in the country.

The last example is the Costco contract that covers 1,500 members in our Local. The contract, which covers California and East Coast stores, passed with a 94% yes vote across the nation, and this contract is, once again, the best in the country for the retail industry.

Your Joint Council is also feeling a rebirth. The Council is once again taking political action to protect your jobs and your pension by supporting and getting pro-labor candidates elected. The Joint Council, through our lobbying, was able to defeat two soda tax bills that would have hurt our soft drink drivers. They also continue to defeat legislation that would undermine our Ready-Mix drivers.

Your International is also riding the wave of renewal. The leadership is helping to support organizing drives throughout not only our Joint Council, but the country. The International continues to give support to this Local whenever we need it.

We not only belong to the Teamsters Union, but we belong to the family of labor. We associate with many Labor Councils across the Bay Area to help and support each other. The larger Labor family is also feeling a rebirth. We have witnessed recent strikes in the hotel industry and of course the teachers’ strikes that started in West Virginia, spread to Arizona and Oklahoma, and came to California, in Los Angeles and Oakland. The renewed fight in those unions brought about historic gains for their members.

The Stop and Shop strikes in New England brought about historic gains for the labor movement. This strike was successful because of the support of the community, and unlike some past strikes, the politicians even came and marched with the picketers, giving their support to the strikers.

So, have faith that this Local, your Joint Council, your International and your universal Labor family has a renewed call to action. Participate at your workplace and support your leadership. Feel proud to be a Teamster and a union member.