In March, Teamsters 856 members, Mariko Davis, Elena Hernandez, and Joi Razon, traveled with Political Director Trish Blinstrub and Public Policy Coordinator Malia Vella to take part in the Next Up Young Worker Summit in Chicago. The four-day event brought together more than 1,000 union workers ages 35 and younger from across the country to build young power for economic and social justice.
Here are excerpts from reports by Elena and Joi about the event:
Elena Hernandez, Fairmont San Francisco: Going to the NextUp summit in Chicago was a rich and valuable experience. Chicago was the perfect setting to rally young workers, as the city has a long and powerful history of supporting labor.
I had the pleasure of traveling with my Teamsters 856 sisters—this experience has created solidarity and a wonderful bond that will make us stronger as young workers and leaders.
The Fight for Fifteen rally for raising fast food worker wages was the highlight of the conference for me. It was emotional and inspiring; I could almost feel the presence of all the people who fought for labor rights before us standing with us. As we chanted, sang, and waved our signs, I knew that, at that very moment, I was exactly where I should be.
Joi Razon, San Francisco Zoo: The most helpful workshop from the weekend was about Stewardship. Here, I learned about the right to information, the importance of respect, and to lean on the expertise of fellow union members and those who were stewards before me.
In the economics workshop, we were taught why it was important for younger members to be part of the labor movement and that we are not alone in living paycheck to paycheck, trying to make ends meet to support ourselves and our families.
I look forward to working with other members of our Local and coming up with ideas to continue to build our young worker program.
Visit www.Teamsters856.org/Young-Teamsters for more information on how to get involved in our young worker program.