Frequently Asked Questions

Membership Questions

How do I get into the Union?
When you are employed with a Company that has an established collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters you will be required to fill out an application to join the union. The application can be provided by your Employer or by calling the Union.
How long do I have to join the Union after I start my job?
You have thirty (30) days to join the Union.
What does the Union do for me?
When your job is protected by a Teamster contract, the Union negotiates for guaranteed raises and benefits that will keep you and your family secure. You have more job security and cannot be fired without a good reason. With a Union contract, you are protected. The Union gives you a voice in the work place.
How much does it cost to join the Union and how much are my Union dues?
One time initiation fee and monthly dues differ depending on the type of Employer and your particular wage rate. Initiation fees are from $75 to $600, and dues range from $17 to $85. Monthly union dues are generally two and a half times your hourly wage rate.
What if I was already a Teamster member with another local?
You will be eligible to transfer from one local to another for a transfer fee that will be requested by the Local when they receive your application to join the Union.
How do I get in the Union if my Employer does not have a contract with the Teamsters?

If you are interested in becoming a member and want Union representation, contact our Organizer - Rodney Smith - at 510-746-3311 or 800-400-1250.

Do I keep paying dues if I am no longer working for a Teamster Employer?
You can sign up on our dispatch list and continue paying your monthly dues, or request a withdrawal card. A withdrawal card must be requested in writing; dues must be current, and a $0.50 fee is required. A withdrawal freezes your Union dues and puts you in an inactive member status until such time when you resume employment as a Teamster.
What if I'm hurt or injured on the job?
Contact Workmen's Compensation Personal Injury Attorney, Offices of Boxer and Gerson, at 510-835-8870, 171 12th Street, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 945607 or logon to:

Health & Welfare Questions

Which Trust am I covered under? When does my coverage begin? What about my dependents? Who do I talk to if I have a problem with health and welfare? If I leave my job, when does my coverage end?

Contact the Local Union office or the appropriate health and welfare administration office listed below. You should also be able to get answers to these questions from your Employer's Human Resources Department.

Automotive Industries Pension Trust - 800-635-3105
East Bay Drayage Drivers Security Fund - (650) 798-2550 or (800) 642-0159
Teamsters Benefit Trust - (510) 796-4676 or (800) 533-0119
Teamsters Managed Health Care Trust Fund - (925) 426-3555 or (800) 924-1226
Western Teamsters Welfare Trust - (206) 329-4900 or (800) 872-5439

Do we have life insurance?
Teamsters Local 853 provides for active, dues paying members whose dues are current at the time of death, a $10,000.00 life insurance benefit for their designated beneficiary. If a member is permanently disabled, a Disability Waiver should be requested from the Union office. There may also be a benefit available through the Pension and Health & Welfare Trust funds, phone numbers above.

Pension Questions

Will I get a pension when I retire?
Local 853 provides for three main pensions:
The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund,
the Supplemental Income 401(k) Plan, a money purchase plan, and
the Supplemental Income Plan.
One or all of these may be in your contract. Ask your Business Agent to explain what is available to you.
When am I vested, if I am in the Western Conference Pension Trust Fund?
In five years.
How do I find out what my pension benefit will be?
You may contact the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund, 800-632-4640, or make an appointment with the Union office to meet with a Pension Representative. These appointments are scheduled for every second Wednesday of the month, in the afternoon.
Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund
1000 Marina Blvd., Suite 400
Brisbane CA 94005-1841
Fax: 650-578-8498

Members working at Gillig Corporation contact: Automotive Industries, 1640 South Loop Road, Alameda - 510 836-2484

Do we have a credit union?
Local 853 is affiliated with the Bay Cities Credit Union, If you do not have access to a Credit Union, contact your business agent to discuss the possibility of bringing one into your place of employment. Bay Cities handles payroll deductions, savings and checking accounts, loans, CD's, Visa, and many other functions. Call or stop in at:
Bay Cities Credit Union
22777 Main Street
Hayward, CA 94561
510 690-6100

Business Questions

How do I get on the dispatch list?
Call the Dispath Warehouse at 800-400-1250, extension 3348, and request a Dispatch form. Complete the form and return it to our office in order to be put on the hiring list.
Does Local 853 have a toll free telephone number?
Yes. In all of California call (800) 400-1250