Local 853 History

Local 853 was founded in 1937 as a "General Warehouse" Local in the East Bay. The Local has grown to its present size of nearly 15,000 members throughout the Greater Bay Area and beyond, with offices in Oakland, San Jose, and Watsonville. The Local's growth has come through aggressive organizing and by merging in smaller local unions. Here's a timeline:



Local 853 was formed as a "General Warehouse" Local and in its early years, Local 853 organized the inside workers at many of the companies where Local 70 represented the drivers. The first companies the Local organized were East Bay Restaurant Supply, Jorgenson Steel (now Earle M. Jorgenson), and Morton Salt. Soon the Local organized Lucky Stores, Mayfair Market, and other food distribution warehouses.


Local organizes Montgomery Ward

Though no longer in business, for many years, Montgomery Ward was the Local's single biggest employer, with 3,000 members.


Organized Gillig - bus manufacturer

Now with over 500 members


Organizing heats up

A few of the companies organized include Len Martin (now Federated), Celotex (now Certainteed), Anixter, Price Club (now Costco).


Local 216 (Construction) merges

Local 226 (Dairy) merges

Local 291 (Construction) merges

Local 302 (Dairy) merges

Local 860 (Warehouse) merges

Local 109 (Liquor Sales) merges

More Organizing:

Southern Wine and Spirits and Youngs Market Valley are organized, making Local 853 the largest Liquor Industry Local Union in the west


GCC 583 (Printing Industry) merges

Local 78 (Misc.) merges

GCC 468 (Concessions) merges

Local 15 (Mailers) merges

Local 921 (Newspaper) merges


Tech Bus organizing

Brings in more than 800 new members

First ever organized cannabis group and industry-standard negotiated contract.


Local 287 (UPS and Misc.) merges

Expanding reach into San Jose and the South Bay

Local 912 (UPS and Misc.) merges

Expanding reach into Santa Cruz County