Local 853 News

Teamster honored for work with
women in trades

On September 19, Tradeswomen, Inc., a 35-year old Oakland-based non-profit organization, honored one of Teamsters Local 853’s own at its annual dinner. Debra Chaplan, the Director of Special Programs for the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, and also the editor of this newsletter and the Joint Council 7 newspaper, received accolades for her work to support women in the building trades.

Photo of Debra Chaplan receiving award

“The dinner was a blast,” said Local 853 Business Representative Stacy Alvelais. “Although there were several honorees that night, Debra Chaplan stole the show, getting a standing ovation from her Teamster sisters along with all the tradeswomen from different local unions in attendance.

Debra has been in this position for 16 years. She has worked closely with Tradeswomen Inc. to build an annual conference for women in the building trades. She has served on the board of Tradeswomen, has held office as treasurer and then vice-president, and also serves on the National Building Trades Department’s Committee on the Women in the Trades.

“We are proud to have Debra as our member and proud of all her achievements in the building trades, as well as all she does to empower women,” said Jan Johnson, office staff at Local 853.

Here’s to you, Debra. We look forward to working with you for years to come!

SIS helps the community for the holidays
(and year-round)

As the holiday season is upon us, Sisters in Solidarity (SIS)—Local 853’s women’s committee—has been very active. Several members went to the Davis Street Family Resource Center on Saturday, December 6, and spent four hours sorting toys for the upcoming Christmas toy give-away. “The work was very well organized, and we were able to put together bags of toys by age and gender,” says Committee Chair Pam Gaskill. “The bags were labeled and carted off to a place where parents will be able to pick them up and wrap them for Christmas. Each child will get three larger toys, three stocking-stuffers, a book, a game, and a stuffed animal!”

Gaskill says that the SIS members met and sorted toys with some great teenage girls from a local high school club. After all the toys were sorted, the crew went to the warehouse and put together boxes for the food give-away.

SIS then worked with Local 853’s Executive Board to make a donation of $3,000 to purchase and donate food to both the Davis Street Family Resource Center in San Leandro and Eastmont Garden of Hope in Oakland. After doing some research, the committee decided to present a $1,500 check to Davis Street so they can purchase their own food at a reduced rate in time for the Christmas food box distribution. Recognizing that families in need tend to be in need year-round, and not just at the holiday season, SIS will plan a big shopping trip for Eastmont Garden of Hope in January.

If you’re interested in getting involved with SIS to help these neighborhood agencies, contact Pam Gaskill at pkjoy@gmail.com

All Local 853 women are invited to join SIS!

If you’re a Local 853 woman and would like to get more involved with Sisters in Solidarity (SIS), contact Committee Chair Pam Gaskill at pgkjoy @gmail.com. The group meets every other month, just before the membership meetings. They occasionally have speakers, but mostly the group works to think of ways to stay active with the Local and with the community.

Centerplate concessions employees at
Levi Stadium get a union

Photo of Centerplate employees

About 200 novelty vendors, program vendors, and novelty warehousemen at Centerplate Company, which runs the concessions at the new Levi’s Stadium in San Jose, will now be represented by Local 853. “We reached a recognition agreement after a majority of employees signed cards stating that they wanted a union,” says Business Agent John Arnolfo. The company agreed to recognize the union on September 16.

“We represented the workers in these same classifications at Candlestick as well as at AT&T Park. Even though it’s a whole new cast of employees in San Jose, we have had a long relationship with the company,” Arnolfo adds. “We will be entering negotiations in January,” Arnolfo adds. 

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