Local 853

After pandemic delay, great contract for liquor salespeople

It may have taken over a year and a half, but the thousands of members across California who do sales for Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits & RNDC (formerly known as Young’s Market) ratified their richest contract to date. Local 853 alone has about 684 workers under this contract who received huge wage increases, full maintenance of benefits on their health and welfare, additional holidays, and more.

Business Rep Steve Beck was quick to acknowledge that the bargaining committee,

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UPS members learn about Amazon threat and what to do

“Ten years ago, there were zero Amazon warehouses in California,” said Shaun Martinez, from the IBT’s Strategic Research and Campaigns Department “Today, Amazon is the state’s largest employer.”

Speaking at a training about Amazon for about 100 Local 853 UPS members at the San Jose Teamster office on November 13, Martinez reviewed Amazon’s growth, from bookseller to major customer of UPS to now being UPS’ biggest competitor—already surpassing Fed-Ex’s market share.

The battle has already begun.

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Local hosts job fairs to fill employer needs and increase Teamster membership

On July 10 and August 28, Local 853 sponsored job fairs in the parking lots of the Local’s San Jose and Oakland offices, respectively. In all, 18 Teamster employers showed up to fill more than 350 jobs—from drivers (truck, paratransit, school bus, tech bus, and more), to warehouse workers, merchandisers, and manufacturing workers. Hundreds of job seekers came to check out those positions.

We thank the employers for joining us and making their positions available.

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Card check does the trick

A majority of the 15 drivers, janitors, and maintenance workers at Crothall Healthcare in Gilroy filed cards to show their interest in joining Local 853. They had a laundry list of grievances, including safety, favoritism, mistreatment, and lack of respect. Surprising everyone, including organizer Pablo Barrera, the company recognized the unit.

“We were sure that we’d have a fight on our hands and would have to go to an election,” says Barrera. “But because the Manteca facility is already under contract with Local 386,

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Thelma Garza – Central Concrete (Local 853)

For the past seven years, Thelma Garza has been working as a ready-mix driver for Central Concrete in San Jose.

Currently, she’s working on the Park Project in downtown San Jose. She says that the developer got permission from the airport to go higher than previous height limits, so, at 50 stories, this will be the tallest building in the city. Her work as a ready-mix driver not only includes driving a concrete truck,

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Merritt Billington – UPS (Local 853)

Merritt Billington has worked at UPS for about 25 years; a career he started when he was 18 years old. He delivers packages in the city of Gilroy for UPS and serves as the Local 853’s chief shop steward at the Morgan Hill Center in San Jose. He makes 150-190 deliveries each day — a workload that’s up by about 25% since COVID started.

For most of his career at UPS, Billington was an active member with Local 287.

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Ready Mix members ratify lucrative contract extension

On July 18, the Northern California Ready Mix drivers working for Cemex and Central Concrete, who are members of Local 853 and 315, overwhelmingly ratified their contract extension by mail ballot. This contract impacts 600 members at facilities across the Greater Bay Area.

“Given the current circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting inability to do most things in person, full-blown negotiations would have taken months and would have put areas of our contract at potential risk,” said Local 853 Principal Officer Rome Aloise.

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Ratification at a beer house

Business Agent Efren Alarcon reports that the 120 members at Anheuser Busch, formerly Horizon Beverage, in Oakland overwhelmingly ratified a one-year agreement in August by mail ballot.

“They got a 3% wage increase (about 85 cents/hour) and full retro pay back to April 1. Hopefully, we’ll be back to meeting and voting in person by the time this contract comes due again.”

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Teamsters show up for BLM

On July 20, Teamsters joined trade unionists from across the East Bay for an event called Strike for Black Lives. The purpose was both to support Black Lives Matter and to draw attention to the plight of low-wage workers who are deemed “essential workers” during the pandemic. 

After a brief rally, the event marched from Mosswood Park to a McDonalds on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, where workers had, at that point, been on strike for 42 days over safety and other issues.

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