Local 853

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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Driving COVID

When you think of “paratransit,” perhaps you envision a service that takes seniors and the disabled to day centers and medical appointments. That may be the mainstay, but paratransit does more than that. At least it did before the pandemic hit, and ended most of that business.

Some drivers at SF Paratransit, a TransDev company, were laid off in late February. That changed in early April when the city realized they could use paratransit services and put the drivers to work as “COVID” drivers.

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A Para Transit recognizes union

Whenever a new company wins the bid to provide services from a unionized company, it’s never a guarantee that the workers will be rehired and the union contract will be respected. Fortunately, all of that happened when Local 853 signatory employer MV Paratransit lost its contract with the City of Berkeley, and A Para Transit won it.

On June 1, the new company started their operation and offered work to all 22 of the existing MV drivers.

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JC7 Statement on the recent racist murders in the U.S.

From that momentous day in 1968 when Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa stood with Martin Luther King in support of the Memphis garbage strikers, the Teamsters Union has not only stood with Black leaders but has fought to be all-inclusive, making equal pay for equal work regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation, a cornerstone of what we are about. This is how Teamsters gain our strength.

What happened to George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police is murder,

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