Thank you, Antonio

Photo of Antonio Christian

A Teamster for 45 years and an officer with Local 853 for 23 years, Antonio Christian has not only retired from the Local, but he’s moved out of California. “I’ve loved working with Local 853’s staff and membership,” he says. “This Local has always been at the forefront.”

Antonio joined Teamsters Local 278 in 1970 when working for UPS in San Mateo as a delivery driver; he soon became shop steward. When he took a job at Price Club, in 1992, he joined Local 853. “I was a shop steward and helped to negotiate the contract. That’s when I first started to work with Rome. With his leadership and guidance, I was able to find my own niche and started to represent the members,” Antonio recalls. He served as a Trustee and Vice President before becoming Recording Secretary. As a Business Agent, he represented the members at Price Club/ Costco Wholesale, plumbing houses, Morton Salt, Federated (which is the warehouse for Macy’s), and a few others.

In 1999, he was appointed to the IBT’s Human Rights Commission, serving as a board member and later, as Assistant Director. In 2006, he was named Director.

Antonio also served as Chair of the TAP board, which was a great honor for him, and he represented Teamsters on Oakland’s Private Industry Council, as well as doing political and community service around the area.

“I’ve always been a very religious person,” Antonio says. “That’s all about taking care of the membership—both in the religious world and in the union. There’s an answer to all things—just keep searching. I look back at the simple things, like fixing a member’s pension, so instead of collecting $200 a month, he was able to collect $2,500. That’s the kind of thing where you can see that you really helped a member. It seemed like there was no hope, but I was able to help.”

“The Teamsters union has provided a good living for me and my family. I’ve met a lot of good people and made good friends.”

In June, Antonio and his wife moved to Louisiana, where his wife is from. He’s from nearby East Texas. “I’ll continue to Chair the Human Rights Commission for the International, just from a different location,” he says. “I’m sad that I have to leave good people but I’m looking forward to a new chapter.”

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