How did you get to be a steward and why is it important?

Photo of Glenda HoustonGlenda Houston

First Student Oakland, 2 years steward

“They voted me in and I couldn’t say no! It’s important so the drivers can be heard. When there’s a “he-said, she-said” issue, a steward can come in and have your back. Having a union and a rep means there are steps the company has to go through. That benefits our employees.”


Photo of Daniel GeeDaniel Gee

AEG-Oakland Coliseum,
39-year Teamster/10 years steward

“Our supervisor was a steward, which was a conflict of interest. So I stood up. You want the workplace to be safe without harassment and get paid a fair wage for what you do. And make sure your rights are not violated or abused and that the employer follows procedure according to the contract.”

Photo of Gil PalominoGil Palomino

Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits,
13-year Teamster/8 years steward

“I was elected unanimously. We were having some problems with management that gave me a sense of responsibility. I have to hold myself to a higher standard. My job is to build a strong relationship with management. If everyone gets along, it‘s more efficient. I love representing the guys.”

Photo of Augusto VidonaAugusto Vidona

Right Away Redy-Mix,
11-year Teamster/7 years steward

“I wanted to learn more about the union. It’s supposed to protect our rights and benefits. The industry is changing and we, as members, need to be more involved in what’s happening. That starts with education. The steward is the first line of defense.”


Photo of Jim EstelitaJim Estelita

Matagrano, Inc.,
33-year Teamster/7 years steward

“The other steward left and I was asked. My job is to make sure all my members are treated fairly. A lot of people think we get perks, but no, we’re doing it for the next generation. My main goal is to recruit members to serve.”



Photo of Omar BeasOmar Beas

Costco Sunnyvale,
18-year Teamster/8 months steward

“The position was there and I’ve always like helping people. A steward asked me if I’d do it and I said yes! What I like about being a steward is being able to listen to the member’ concerns. Patience. Communication. I have to be all grown up!”


Photo of Katrena LedbetterKatrena Ledbetter

Compass Transportation,
12-year Teamster/12 years steward

“I like the mediation. If the company is wrong, I like going after them. I like for everybody to get along and I don’t like to see discord. My job is being able to recognize when the company breaks the rules of the contract and bringing it to the union’s attention.”


Joe Simao

Cargill Salt,
37-year Teamster/8 years steward

“The members encouraged me. It’s important to follow the contract, which I call the bible! Members have a voice; I need to back them up on whatever the situation may be. Most of the time, I enjoy it.”


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