After Decades in South San Francisco,124 Teamsters with Matagrano Beer Move to Hayward

Teamsters at Matagrano Beer’s new facility in Hayward. After decades of being in South San Francisco, all 124 Teamsters at Matagrano Beer were asked to report to duty 30 miles away in Haward, CA. There was a mix of reactions from members. For some, the move brought them closer to home, and for others, farther away.

From left to right are: Solis, Phil Arellano, David Tan, and Joe B.

From left to right are: Danny D., Ismael Sifuentes, and Jaime Saenz

Teamsters 853 Provides Flood Relief for Watsonville & Pajaro Community Members

On Friday, March 10, 2023, after heavy storms swept through many parts of California, the Watsonville and Pajaro community was devastated when a levee broke, and flooding caused 1,700 residents to be evacuated from their homes. Teamsters Local 853 represents members who were impacted by these floods and to date, members from S. Martinelli, Del Mar Foods, and H.A. Rider have been relocated to shelters and hotels while they wait for officials to allow them to return home. The flood has been named one of the biggest weather-related disasters in California and we are only in the beginning stages of how it has affected the community.

Pajaro Valley is known for its agriculture and is home to many farm workers who will be out of a job this year due to the compromised crops caused by the flooding. The long-term damage means that some of the members we represent will have a low volume of crops to process and package. This affects members from Driscoll’s, Del Mar Foods, and the cold storages that store these crops.

Teamsters Local 853 partnered with other Unions (UFCW, Liuna, Teachers Unions, and others) along with the Monterey and Santa Cruz Central Labor Council that represent employees in the community to host a BBQ event on Wednesday, March 22. We assisted our members and the community by distributing gift cards for groceries. We also distributed clothing and toiletries. We had a strong showing of over 100 members, city officials, and union representatives who spoke on overcoming the devastation these floods created and continuing to build on our community.

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by the flooding, and you are seeking information or support, please contact Teamsters Local 853 President, Steven Lua, with the provided contact information below.

Steven Lua
Teamsters Local 853
22 E. 5th Street
Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone# (831) 724-0683
Fax# (831) 724-1554

UPS Negotiations Update – March 17th

Teamsters Local 853 Sisters and Brothers working for UPS,

The Northern California Teamsters Committee met the week of March 17, 2023, and concluded a weeklong bargaining session with UPS on the Nor Cal Sort and Supplemental Agreements. The Committee continued working on proposals and counterproposals, however, there have not been any new tentative agreements. Many of the problems our members face each day are problems that UPS created, and that UPS has failed thus far to adequately address in these negotiations. The Union Committee had face-to-face across-the-table bargaining each day; actual time has been minimal. Many of the problems UPS has failed to correct include but are not limited to Vacation accrual and selection process, payroll errors, Market Rate Adjustment, and Route Bidding. Grievance Procedure, Seniority Lists, and Approved Leave. While this committee is committed to improving our agreement, holding UPS accountable to resolve problems they’ve created is fundamental. UPS continues to put a monetary cost to all of the Union proposals as UPS continues to propose language that would affect holiday pay, delayed starts, and the work week. Tentative dates have been agreed to for the week of April 10th thru the 14th.

Teamsters 853 Sisters and Brothers – 300 Companies – 13,000 Members Strong

Teamsters Local 853 represents more than 13,000 members at more than 300 companies—from the Greater Bay Area out to Sacramento, and down to the Central Coast. If you meet a brother or sister from one of these companies, say hello!

Bakery • Beverage & Liquor • Passenger Transportation • Cannabis • Car Rental/Dealerships • Construction • Dairy • Food Processing • Laundry • Non-Profit • Package Delivery • Paratransit • Parking • Printing • Public Sector • Ready Mix • Retail • Trucking • Warehousing

18 Trucking, Inc.
Accurate Printing
AEG Ticket Sellers & Takers
Affiliated Const. Owner Operators
Affiliated Concession Vendors
Aguilar Trucking
Albany Subaru
Alliance Graphics
Alpha Press, Inc.
Alsco American Linen Supply
Americold Logistics
Ameripride Uniform Services
Andreini Brothers
Anixter Inc.
Apache Partners
Arb Inc. (Pipeline)
Argent Materials, Inc
Arkansas Best Freight
Athens Baking Co
Auto West Honda
Autonation Honda
Avis Car Rental
B. K. Mill & Fixture
Bakemark, Inc
Bauman Landscape and
Bay Area Paving Co
Bill Jacobson
Bimbo Bakeries USA
Bogetti Water Trucks
Bottomley Distributing Co
Brannon Equipment Sales & Leasing,
Budget Rent A Car (Truck Rental)
Building & Construction Trades of
Alameda County
C F Archibald
C.A. Cold Storage Co., Inc.
California Trade Bindery
Cargill Salt Co-Refinery Loc. 1
Cemex USA
Central Concrete Supply
Certainteed Corporation
Challenge Dairy Products
Charles F Gagliasso Trucking, Inc
Cherin Furniture Co
Christy Vault Company
City & County of San Francisco
Classic Glass
Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.
County Fair-Alameda
Coast Counties Truck & Equipment
Coast Litho
Compass Transportation
Consolidated Printers, Inc.
Cost Plus Stores
Costco Wholesale
Cosumnes Community Services
County Fair-Monterey County
Crothall Laundry Services
D & B Trenching, Inc
Davis Instruments Corp
Day-Lee Foods, Inc.
Del Mar Foods/Cold Storage
Double D Transportation
Douglas Parking
Driscoll Strawberries, Inc.
DS Waters
Durham School Bus Services
East Bay Restaurant Supply Co
Economy Lumber Co
Economy Trucking Services, Inc.
EMJ Company
Farmers Bros Coffee Co
Farmers Produce
Fast Track Airport Parking
Ferguson Enterprises-Air Cold
Ferma Corp/Green Box
Firestar Productions
First Student - San Jose
First Transit
Fong & Associates
Foothill-DeAnza District-Payroll
Foster Farms Dairy
Fremont Universal Transportation Inc
G. Bortolotto & McPhail
GCR Tires & Services
Genesis Logistics
Gillig Corporation
Globe Forklift Co.
Gloria Washington Trucking , Inc
Glosage Engineering Inc.
Golden Brands-Sacramento
Golden Gate Fields
Golden Gate Freightliner
Goodland Landscape
GR4 Trucking Service
Graffik Dezine
Granite Construction
Granite Rock Company Construction
Greif Brothers Corporation
Guerra Construction Group
H W McKevitt Co
H.A. Rider & Sons
Hallcon Transportation
Half Moon Bay Sealing & Paving
Harbor Distributing Dba Golden
Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction
Healthcare Services Group
Henkel Corporation
Hertz Corp
Hill Brothers Chemical Co.
HVYW8 Inc.
Interstate Paving
J S Guerin Co.
J’s Quality Printing
JFC International Inc
Kellogg’s U.S.A. Inc.
Larsen Brothers Lumber Inc
Las Animas Concrete Inc
LAZ Parking
Le Boulanger the Baker LLC
Lehigh Southwest Cement Company
Lithotype Company, Inc.
LS Trucking, Inc
MacMurray Pacific
Macy’s Logistics
Master Builders
Matagranos Inc
McGuire & Hester
Mercado Trucking LLC
Mercurio Brothers Printing
Mission Linen
Mondelez Global LLC
Monterey Mechanical Co
Mosaic Global Transportation
Mountain Cascade, Inc.
MV Transportation
National Car Rental
Naturipe Berry Growers Cold Storage
Northrop Grumman Marine Systems
O C Jones & Sons
O’Grady Paving Company
Operating Engineers Print Shop
Osborne Lumber Co
Outfront Media
Pacific Racing Association
Pajaro Dunes South Association
Pajaro Valley Cold Storage Co.
Pak N’ Save
Park N Fly, Inc.
Peerless Coffee Company
Peninsula Crane and Rigging Inc
Penske Truck Leasing Inc.
Pepsi Cola West
Perfect Image Printing
Pine Cone Lumber
Pipeline Project
Pleasanton Ready Mix Concrete
PPG Industries
Precision Sweeping
Premier Parking
Primesource Building Products, Inc.
Pro Forma Resources
Prudential Overalls/Clean Room
Pyramid Painting Inc.
QLM Inc.
Ransome Company
Redgwick Construction Co.
Reed And Graham Inc
Reef Parking
Reliance Metals
Reyes Coca ColaRight Away Redy Mix
River Distributing Co., LLC
Ryde Transit
Ryder Truck Rental
S Martinelli & Company
S.S.A.Terminals, LLC
Safeway Bakery/Milk Plant
San Francisco Unified School District
San Jose Convention Center
San Jose Transport
San Pablo Automotive Supply
Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce
Scan Art/Pacific Resources
Schawk, Inc.
Second Harvest Food Bank
Sierra Pacific
Sims Metal
Snelson Companies
SP+ Transportation
Spot Light Printing Company
STA - San Jose
Statewide Construction Sweeping
Statewide Owner Operators
Steeler, Inc
Storer Transit Systems
Superior Modular Transport Inc
Sysco Food Service of San Francisco,
T. Marzetti Company
Teamsters Local 517
Teichert Construction
The Ford Store
Time Printing
Times Printing Company
Top Grade Construction
Top Shelf Packaging
Township Retail Services, Inc
Tri Valley Water Trucks, Inc
Truitt & White Lumber Co
United Natural Foods (UNFI)
United Parcel Service
Urban Art Lithography, Inc.
USF Reddaway
Vanguard Construction
Vulcan Materials Company
Watsonville Community Hospital
We Drive U
West Coast Vending
West Valley Construction Co., Inc
Westside Building Materials
White Brothers
Wingfoot Com. Tire
Zenith American Solutions

Oakland zookeepers vote to join Teamsters

What happens when you have a motivated workforce, a solid organizing team, and connections with local politicians? The workers at the Oakland Zoo just found out when they voted on September 30 by a four-to-one margin to unionize. Teamsters Local 853 is proud to welcome the 55+ zookeepers at the Oakland Zoo and looks forward to negotiating their first union contract.

“These workers demonstrated tremendous courage so they can get a contract that addresses the issues they care about – respect, wages that reflect the cost of living, guaranteeing a high quality of life for the animals and their habitats, and a voice on the job,” said Pablo Barrera, Local 853 Organizing Director.

“It was an incredible experience,” Barrera adds. “These workers were knowledgeable and motivated. Of course, they were fearful of retaliation, because they had to contend with a union buster that zoo management brought in.”

As the zoo’s Senior Keeper, Jason Knight stays late to put animals to bed and do nighttime feedings. He couldn’t be more proud of the union drive. “The process of coming together, deciding to join the Teamsters, and winning the election with such amazing numbers has brought us all together. We look forward to moving into the future as a group,” he said, adding that “One thing that unifies us is that we all love the Oakland Zoo – the movement has been an act of love for the zoo and for each other. It’s been an incredibly positive experience all around.”

Barrera, Business Agent Mike Henneberry, and JC7 Political Director Doug Bloch all played a role in lining up support for the union drive from Oakland City Council Member Treva Reid and Mayor Libby Schaaf. In addition, several workers had an opportunity to meet with Congress member Barbara Lee who was visiting the Local 853 building. These elected officials did not hesitate to contact zoo management and demand they do the right thing for their workers.

As the group heads into negotiations, the union and workers say they were instrumental in helping pass Measure Y, an Oakland referendum to increase funding to the Oakland Zoo. “This bill will enhance educational opportunities, and elevate the standard of living for animals, expanding conservation work and increasing access to the institution for the city’s residents,” explained Barrera. “The union will make sure that the zoo’s increased budgets are shared among the zookeepers,” he added.

853 members elect new leadership

In December, Local 853 held its first contested election of officers in thirty years after ten “white ballots” (elections by acclamation).

At the nominations meeting on November 7, two slates of candidates for office were nominated. From that moment, through to the final vote tally a month later, the two groups traversed the local and visited dozens of shops, meeting members and promoting their vision for the union.  When the nearly than 2,700 votes were sorted and counted on December 5, the choice was clear.

Congratulations to the Members Rising Slate and many thanks for the hard work and dedication of the Members First Slate.

The new officers begin their three-year term on January 1. You’ll hear more from them in the new year. Here’s the roster:

Teamsters Local 853

Officers — Jan. 2023-Dec. 2026

Secretary-Treasurer & Principal Officer

Steve Beck


Steven Lua


Ray Torres

Recording Secretary

Mike Henneberry


Joel Bellison

Gloria Segura

Andrew Nunes

Drive-thru celebrates Local 853 members

In our largest drive-thru membership appreciation event yet, more than 800 members came by Local 853’s offices in Oakland (Oct. 29), San Jose, and Watsonville (Oct. 30). They filled out a card to enter the raffle and collected a Local 853 long-sleeved t-shirt.

The Local has held this event since 1993, but until the pandemic arrived, it was held indoors at a local school. Hopefully, we can get back to the indoor party venue soon so that staff can cook breakfast for the members and everyone has an opportunity to snack and chat.

Nine lucky members were selected at the November regular membership meeting on Nov. 10 to win a new TV or karaoke machine.

We all look forward to the day when we can get back to meeting in person, having the local staff make breakfast for the members, offering convenient flu shots, hearing the state of the union, and holding the live raffle. Fingers crossed that’ll happen for the 30th anniversary of these events!

Congrats to the lucky raffle winners

You didn’t have to be at the meeting to be a winner, and sadly none of the winners were. But since they had attended one of the three Membership Appreciation events, where they had filled out a winning raffle ticket, their win was just as valid.

Congratulations to select members at Gillig, Cargill, MV Transportation, Reliant Metals, Alhambra, Pak’nSave, and UPS who will get a TV or Karaoke machine delivered to their worksite.

Hopefully, 2023 will be the year that we can get out of our cars and get back to meeting in person. Watch for it!

Enlisting Facebook to help make Canon Business do the right thing

Getting a union is not easy, as the 50 workers who run the mail room for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, will attest. They work for a contractor called Canon Business Services. Back in the fall of 2021, they contacted Local 853 determined to gain union representation because, according to Business Rep Pablo Barrera, “the management team was unprofessional, disrespectful, and acting as bullies. Wages and benefits are generally poor and the company shows obvious favoritism for the paltry wage increases it does offer a few workers. And COVID safe\"\"ty protocols have been lax at best.”

It wasn’t long before 78% of the workers signed cards saying they wanted a union. Instead of recognizing the union though, the company hired a union-busting law firm and pulled all kinds of shenanigans leading up to and including election day (December 15), where they posted armed guards at the entrance and had cameras monitor the voting area. By the time the votes were all counted, the election was tied, which usually means that the union lost.

However, the union filed objections with the labor board. In May, the Board did something rare: they issued a “Giselle Packing” ruling that asserts that when a union election is so tainted by the employer that it was not fairly held, the company must recognize and bargain with the Union as the exclusive collective bargaining representative. This only happens when the Board views the actions of the employer as being egregious.
“That was huge,” says Barrera, “or it should have been. But the employer continues to refuse to comply with the NLRB remedy.”  In mid-June, the workers unanimously signed a petition to Facebook/Meta stating, “We support the position of the NLRB and continue to authorize the union to serve as our bargaining representative with Canon Business.” A new NLRB hearing is set for September 12-14.

“Canon Business Services is not acting responsibly. We’ll do what we need to do, but Facebook needs to take a stand to ensure that the workers on its campus are treated fairly and with respect,” Barrera adds. Local 853 joined with several other unions, including SEIU-USWW and UNITE-HERE, as well as Silicon Valley Rising, to hold an action at Facebook/Meta on August 18. “We need for them to issue a ‘responsible contractor policy,’ so that when workers come together for a union, their wishes are respected. Facebook has leverage to make sure its contractors treat their workers right—they need to use it.”

Winning JC7 Scholarship is a family affair

When Local 853 chose its winner of the 2022 Harry Polland/Bob Morales Joint Council 7 Scholarship, they didn’t realize how much that choice was a family affair. Nathan Sanchez, the winner, is the son of Paul Sanchez, who has worked at Southern Glaziers Wine and Spirits in Union City for almost 15 years, the last 10 as a Foreman.

Nathan graduated from Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo in June and plans to attend Chabot College to become a Dental Hygienist. Eventually, his goal is to be a pediatric dentist. “Rather than be the old guy that the kids don’t like, I want to be the ‘fun guy!’” Nathan said.

Nathan’s essay was a beautiful tribute to the role the union has played in the life of his family. After listing some of the many benefits of belonging to a union that Nathan’s dad had ticked off, including competitive wages, safe work practices, job protection, and more, Nathan concluded that “My family is part of an amazing family—the Teamsters.”

The decisive moment when Nathan realized how important a union could be was when his dad was out of work with an injury, and their family health insurance was suddenly canceled. This drove everybody into a panic, as Nathan’s mom’s life-saving health treatment was slated for the following week. Nathan’s dad called his business representative, Steve Beck, and within minutes, “my dad and my mom both got calls restoring our health benefits… The Teamsters did it…. Mom was able to get her infusions on time.”

As Nathan says, “Words could not express how important being a part of a union is. They have been lifesaving.”

At Local 853’s August membership meeting, Nathan’s whole family—grandparents, parents, and siblings turned out to accept the scholarship, and Nathan and both of his parents got an opportunity to thank the Local.

Giving thanks to the union

There’s an old saying in the union world: 10% of the members take up 90% of the time of business reps. It’s always the squeaky wheel who gets the attention and not often does the union hear from members about the good job their doing.

So, when Business Rep Stu Helfer opened his email and got a thank you letter from Steve Townsend, it put a big smile on his face. Here’s the note:

“I know you don’t hear it much but I just wanted to say thank you! Thank you for being so tenacious about establishing our 401k back in the 90s. That commitment changed the future for me and for many, many men and women who took advantage of this program. I can start collecting some of that money in about 11 months (if needed) and it will make my retirement a breeze! Thank you, Stu, for your representation during your time in office and even before you got there as a shop steward!”

Your intrepid Connections reporter decided to get Townsend’s back story to see what inspired this note. Here it is:

Townsend started his career as a mixer driver for Pacific Ready Mix and became a member of Teamsters Local 315 in the early 1980s. When that company got bought, work slowed down. In 1994, he moved to Berkeley Ready mix and became a member of Local 291, which later merged with Local 853. After taking a “train the trainer” course, he started teaching Basic Hazardous Materials classes at the College of Alameda and at large corporations, which he continued to do while working as a mixer driver. When Hanson bought Berkeley in 2011, all the drivers were let go. “There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing that all is not lost, that the Teamsters have your back, and you will have another good Union job as soon as possible.”

In August of 2012, he got on with Cemex. “I drove a mixer, ran the yard, learned to batch, and even taught Safe Driving classes to drivers and management. I was able to retire in June of 2017 with a full pension at only 53 years old, due again to the forethought of our Teamster officials in implementing the PEER 80 program!”

Townsend says he’s been blessed by being a Union man throughout his life and the benefits just keep coming. “I have a monthly pension, lifetime medical (again, due to the forward-thinking of our union officials), and a fat 401k account.”

Thanks, Steve. Stu and the rest of us appreciated getting your thanks and your story. Continue to enjoy your retirement!