For the past 25 years, Local 853 has held an annual Membership Appreciation event that included breakfast, door prizes, a huge raffle, convenient flu shots, and the opportunity to hear about the State of the Union. Back when it started, the event attracted a few hundred members. Over the years it has grown to bring together more than 800 members at increasingly larger venues. This year, despite so many pandemic-caused cancellations, Secretary-Treasurer Rome Aloise was determined to find a way to make the event happen safely. While we had to ditch the breakfast and flu shots, all the other aspects of the event took place over the course of two days. Day One, Saturday, October 31: Staff gathered at 6:30 a.m. to prepare for the onslaught of cars attending the Drive-Thru gift event at the DoubleTree Hilton parking lot in Newark. Scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., cars started lining up at 8:00, and the staff was ready. As each car approached the parking lot, staff and volunteers passed out a registration card for the member(s) to complete as they made their way into the parking lot. Once submitted, each member in the car collected the 2020 gift—a beautiful Local
Business Rep Dan Harrington reports that he won two separate grievances for some San Francisco street sweepers. In the first case, he was able to overturn a 5-day suspension through expedited arbitration, and the member, Annie Romero, got a back pay check covering all five days. In this case, Romero was suspended for participating in an altercation with another employee. However, Harrington contends, the city denied the union the right to represent her and wouldn’t allow her steward into the hearing. The arbitrator found that, because representation was not allowed, the discipline had to be overturned. “It was a good case,” says Harrington. “We stuck to our guns about the representation and we prevailed.” In the second case, a street sweeper, Frank Perez, was assaulted by a citizen. Instead of listening to the members’ side or letting the union represent him, the city immediately put Perez on 30-day suspension. “Just as the case was supposed to go to full arbitration, the City realized that the citizen was lying and that Perez was innocent,” says Harrington. “They backed down and agreed to pay him nearly $10,000 for the wages and benefits he had been wrongfully denied.” Harrington particularly wanted to thank
You should already have received your 2020 ballot. If you haven’t yet voted, please do so as soon as you can. Use the Guide in this newsletter and see our local recommendations at teamstersjc7.org/endorsements. This edition of Connections is mostly about the election and your union’s recommendations for candidates and propositions. Some of you follow these recommendations without fail, and some, unfortunately, ignore them. I want you to know how and why your union goes about formulating recommendations and taking positions. We have a team that joins other unions in each county to vet and interview candidates for every office. We question them about their positions on the issues that impact workers and their unions. Our job is to let you know which politicians, based on their records in current and previously-held offices, reflect their support for the issues that affect YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES. We need office holders to develop and support laws that protect what we negotiate, and protect you while you are working, including health and safety, workers compensation, lunches and breaks, and more. You should vote to protect your ability to provide for your family first, last, and always. As a member of Teamsters Local 853,
From that momentous day in 1968 when Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa stood with Martin Luther King in support of the Memphis garbage strikers, the Teamsters Union has not only stood with Black leaders, but has fought to be all inclusive, making equal pay for equal work, regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation, a cornerstone of what we are about. This is where Teamsters gain their strength. What happened to George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police is murder, and that is what the officer was belatedly charged with. It boggles my mind, however, that the other officers who participated in that murder of this Black man who was lying face down on the asphalt, handcuffed, trying to breathe with a knee on his neck for nearly nine-minutes, have not been arrested for the same crime. These officers, who have a sworn duty to “protect and defend,” didn’t attempt to stop it, in fact, they helped hold Mr. Floyd down until life itself drained from his body; yes, they participated in the act and should be held accountable.
We have put together a special edition of the Local 853 Connections to make sure you are getting information from your union that, given the current circumstances, is as helpful and timely as it can be. We are experiencing unprecedented and historic times. None of us have seen anything like this and hopefully, we won’t have to experience it again. The threat of COVID-19 is something that many of us didn’t really take seriously at first. As the virus spreads, and our political leaders started to acknowledge its seriousness, our world, as we know it, has experienced incredible changes. Many of our members are working long hours making sure essential items are in place for the general public and for medical facilities. Our sisters and brothers are, in some cases, putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure they are providing the service that they were hired to do, and stepping up in these uncertain times. Many have worked so many hours that when they are off of work, and trying to get the necessities for themselves and their families, everything is gone. They are truly heroes. In fact, Governor Newsom acknowledged the Teamsters Union and our members for doing
Important COVID-19 information from Secretary-Treasurer Rome Aloise Rome Aloise COVID statement Please read the statement linked above. The document includes important information from Beeson, Tayer & Bodine, our legal consultants, on your rights and responsibilities in the current crisis.
A Message from Local 853 Secretary-Treasurer Rome Aloise Local 853 members are in many cases working harder and longer to make sure the general public is taken care of during these trying times. Some work with the public like our Costco members, trying to help the public while they are hoarding toilet paper and getting hell because the store is out of it. Our grocery warehouse and drivers working overtime in an attempt to keep the stores stocked, our bus drivers, especially the paratransit drivers, getting people to their life saving appointments and thousands more of our members stepping up to be good members of the community, I thank you for being Teamsters! Also, if you are feeling sick, use your sick leave, take the time. Most of our employers are not enforcing any lost time discipline and if they try to, call your business agent. While you are protecting others, protect yourself and your family. God bless you all!
By DENNIS HART As we close the chapter on 2019, your Local is once again in the forefront of settling historic contracts and setting the highest standards for other Locals to meet. This past year, our Business Agents and Officers settled numerous contracts including: liquor, Costco, Busing, Pepsi Cola, the City and County of San Francisco, and many more. In the coming year, dozens more contracts will open, including Coca Cola, Matagrano, Bottomley, Anheuser Busch–Oakland, DS Waters, Mission Linen, and First Transit–Redwood City. As we go to press, the Local is in intense bargaining with Sysco Foods. Members of Local 853 and Local 137, based in Redding, are working under expired contracts. Together, the two Locals have filed numerous unfair labor charges against this company. Sysco is following a nasty pattern. Local 455, based in Denver, CO, had to go on strike. The Local there also had to file numerous unfair labor practice charges. Your Local, along with Local 137, is working hard to avoid a strike, but this company may leave us no option.