Just go union for life!
Trina Johnson has worked for UPS at the Bayside hub in Richmond for 21 years, and she loves her work and her union. “I’m a gal in brown. With the uniform that you wear, you’re proud. During the pandemic, when everyone was in shutdown, we were out there, bringing good things.”
Dealing with different people each day is one of the most interesting aspects of Trina’s job. “You bond with your customers. It’s like we’re all family. I like to put a smile on people’s faces and they put a smile on mine. The little girls love to see me drive up in a big truck—it’s girl power!”
On a daily basis, Trina generally makes 80-100 deliveries in 40 stops. Her route centers around the Costco area in Richmond—lots of businesses and residential.
Trina says she was brought up in a union household. “My grandfather was a VP for the Retail Clerks. My dad was VP for County workers in Sacramento. My grandmother, Margaret Archie, was a Rosie the Riveter—she did the welding on the ships. Our dinnertime conversation was all about the shop and the union,” she recalls.
As a shop steward, Trina has the opportunity to stand up for her co-workers. “When people have an issue; I let them know I’m working with them. I have to work both sides: with management and with our members. And, I just love doing it.”
When asked about the most important benefit the union brings, Trina knows that lots of people would say wages or benefits. But for her, it’s something deeper. “It’s about working with solidarity, coming together and being strong. We can fight for our rights. That’s the best benefit of the union.”
Trina talks to her fellow members about the benefits having a union brings. “Especially the young ones. They’re literally our future. We all need for them to read and know their contract — it’s our other Bible. I won’t be here forever, and it’s to keep the union strong for their own future.”
In addition to her full-time job, and being a shop steward, Trina serves as the Conductor of the Local, which means that she meets and greets the membership. “I love that. I care about people.” She also proudly serves as a Vice President of the Northern California Chapter of the Teamsters National Black Caucus (TNBC).
“I’m a fighter, so I stand up for what’s right and I stand up for all. That’s what I was taught,” she says reflecting on the lessons from her union family. “We’re in this all together. If one falls, we’ll all fall. We’re stronger together. That’s what solidarity is all about!”