When Local 853 chose its winner of the 2022 Harry Polland/Bob Morales Joint Council 7 Scholarship, they didn’t realize how much that choice was a family affair. Nathan Sanchez, the winner, is the son of Paul Sanchez, who has worked at Southern Glaziers Wine and Spirits in Union City for almost 15 years, the last 10 as a Foreman.
Nathan graduated from Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo in June and plans to attend Chabot College to become a Dental Hygienist. Eventually, his goal is to be a pediatric dentist. “Rather than be the old guy that the kids don’t like, I want to be the ‘fun guy!’” Nathan said.
Nathan’s essay was a beautiful tribute to the role the union has played in the life of his family. After listing some of the many benefits of belonging to a union that Nathan’s dad had ticked off, including competitive wages, safe work practices, job protection, and more, Nathan concluded that “My family is part of an amazing family—the Teamsters.”
The decisive moment when Nathan realized how important a union could be was when his dad was out of work with an injury, and their family health insurance was suddenly canceled. This drove everybody into a panic, as Nathan’s mom’s life-saving health treatment was slated for the following week. Nathan’s dad called his business representative, Steve Beck, and within minutes, “my dad and my mom both got calls restoring our health benefits… The Teamsters did it…. Mom was able to get her infusions on time.”
As Nathan says, “Words could not express how important being a part of a union is. They have been lifesaving.”
At Local 853’s August membership meeting, Nathan’s whole family—grandparents, parents, and siblings turned out to accept the scholarship, and Nathan and both of his parents got an opportunity to thank the Local.