Teamsters Local 853 proudly represents almost 500 employees at Gillig, the last American-owned and operated bus manufacturer. Teamsters build buses from the ground up for school districts, transit agencies, and others.
Gillig is based in Alameda County, yet for the last decade, AC Transit—the bus agency for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties—has been buying buses from Belgium! AC Transit spent millions sending officials to Belgium with side trips to London and Paris—all on the taxpayers’ dime. On top of this, the Belgian buses were accident-prone and received numerous complaints from riders. What happened to supporting American-made and union-made?
In 2010, Teamsters took political action to right this wrong. We supported three candidates for the AC Transit Board: Elsa Ortiz, Joel Young, and Mark Williams. Directors Ortiz and Young were up for re-election. Mark Williams is the son of a Local 853 member and this was his first entry into politics. We made phone calls, did mailings, and donated money to all three campaigns and we WON!