Member Voices

What are your hopes and dreams for 2021?

Karla Aguirre

Karla Aguirre

5-year Teamster

“To go on vacation, get a new car, and get my daughter set up for college.”

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Art Budd

City/County of SF
10-year Teamster

“For Local 853 to keep rolling smoothly; for everybody to stay healthy, and for an end to coronavirus.”

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Sean Ross

15-year Teamster

“I hope there’s a vaccine, that we have a new President, and that we get more members in the Teamsters to build a stronger union.”

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Derrick Hill

2-year Teamster

“To get back to some normalcy. If business isn’t strong, the unions won’t be strong.”

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Mike Buriana

Young’s Market
10-year Teamster

“Happier people at work. It’s the little improvements that make people smile at work.”

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Ed Miller

Bimbo’s Bakery
17-year Teamster

“Definitely to get past COVID to see beautiful faces again. I want to get out, travel and see things. And, I hope the election goes really well.”

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Tom Souza

SF Chronicle (ret)
20-year Teamster

“I want everybody to get healthy so we can party again. It’s hard to enjoy retirement when you can’t get out and kick up your heels.”

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Derrick Cordero

20-year Teamster

“I hope for a better life, to get rid of corona, for my kids to go to college, and for me to get a raise.”

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Hernan Langarica

25-year Teamster

“To get better. We need more jobs for the people.”

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Andrew Alexandre

Kiewit Const.
19-year Teamster

To become a homeowner; to get more young people involved in the union; and, for health and safety for all of us.

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

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Glenda Huston

First Student – Oakland
2-year 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.”

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Daniel Gee

39 years union
10-year 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.”

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Gil Palomino

So. Glazer Wine & Spirits
13 years union
8-year 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.”

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Augusto Vidona

Right Away Ready-Mix 
11 years union
7-year 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.”

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Jim Estelita

Matagrano, Inc.
33 years union
7-year 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.”

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Omar Beas

Costco Sunnyvale
18 years union
8-month 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 members’ concerns. Patience. Communication. I have to be all grown up!”

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Katrena Ledbetter

Compass Transport
12 years union
12-year 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.”

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Joe Simao

Cargill Salt
37 years union
8-year 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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