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The Teamsters Union celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Every year, we commemorate Women’s History Month in March, and March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The theme of International Women’s Day in 2019 is “Balance for Better,” because a more gender-balanced world is a better world. This is a time to reflect on women’s accomplishments in our union and communities at large.
Often it’s Mother Jones or Rosie the Riveter who come to mind when we think about strong women in labor history. However, there are many more accomplished women, including Teamsters, who work every day to fight for workers’ rights. These are women who resist, press forward, lead and bring about social and economic justice. They are deserving of our respect and gratitude not just in March, but throughout the year.
Looking back to the history of our union, over a century ago, women were organizing with the Teamsters. In 1916, the union was involved in a contract for women laundry workers in Chicago, helping the workers successfully organize and create the first all-women negotiating committee. They achieved equal pay for black and white women working in the laundries.
In 1919, “equal pay for all” was a slogan within the union. The Teamsters Union has been and will continue to be a champion for equal pay, negotiating gender and color-blind contracts. Women in unions are more likely to have access to paid leave, health benefits and a secure retirement. Women of all demographics fare better economically with union representation. In 2017, union women’s median weekly earnings were $200 more than nonunion women’s.
As we honor our history, Teamsters look to the future. At the annual Teamsters Women’s Conference in Orlando in September, more than a thousand Teamsters gathered at the event whose theme was, “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” Thanks to the vision of our sisters, all Teamsters can achieve great things together for our union as we strive to uplift all workers.
The Teamsters Union is proud to honor Women’s History Month.
Teamsters Go to Sacramento in Support of Dynamex, AB 5

Teamsters from more than 15 locals unions within California Joint Councils 7 and 42 took part in a hearing and lobby day in Sacramento in support of legislation to help end misclassification.

More than 50 Teamsters joined the California Labor Federation at the Capitol to show their support for Assembly Bill (AB) 5. In April, the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs Superior Court of Los Angeles, referred to as “Dynamex,” simplified the test for determining whether a worker is classified as an employee for minimum wage and overtime protections. Assembly Bill (AB) 5 is legislation that would codify Dynamex into state law, and make it harder for employers to misclassify their employees as independent contractors.

“Misclassification is an attempt to weaken the bargaining power of workers. Unchecked, it will contribute to ever-widening income inequality and increased corporate power,” said Doug Bloch, Political Director for Teamsters Joint Council 7.

Bloch was a panelist on the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment hearing titled, “Dynamex and Beyond: Understanding the Legal and Policy Landscape of Workers Misclassification in California.”

He noted that good employers who play by the rules should not be undercut by companies that misclassify their workers as independent contractors to avoid the minimum wage, payroll taxes, Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and more.

“We urge the passage of AB 5 to help protect and rebuild this state’s middle class,” Bloch said.
Between 2016 and 2018, the Teamsters Local 63 and Joint Council 42 secured union contracts for truck drivers and warehouse workers at a food distribution company in Los Angeles Unified School District’s supply chain. With LAUSD’s Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) on the books, which includes Valued Workforce standards for all vendors and their suppliers, the Local and Joint Council were able to make the case for higher wages and workplace protections.

Through the process of collective bargaining, 320 drivers and warehouse workers now make a living wage and have a legally binding contract they can use to protect themselves against discrimination and favoritism on the job. According to Randy Cammack, this would not have been possible without the GFPP. “We need more public institutions to adopt the GFPP so we can continue to transform the entire food supply chain into one that is more just for everyone involved.”

These 320 workers have seen their base salary increase (from $13/hour to $19/hour for drivers and from close to minimum wage to $14/hour and then $16/hour), are guaranteed raises over the next three years, have a grievance procedure, a voice with management, and a new pay incentive program.

“With a Teamster contract, my family has much more stability,” said Raymond Aviles, a Teamster Local 63 member. “I can provide for my family and give my kids a better life. It also feels good to be part of an overall program that is better for schools, kids, local farmers and other workers like me.”

We are pleased to recognize Teamsters Local 63 and Joint Council 42 in Southern California for their longstanding success in ensuring that workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District supply chain are paid livable wages, have safe workplaces, job protection, and a voice on the job. In particular, we recognize the leadership of Randy Cammack, the President of JC 42 and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 63, with the 2018 Good Food Local Hero award.


“We need more public institutions to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program so we can continue to transform the entire food supply chain into one that is more just for everyone involved.”

- Randy Cammack, President of Joint Council 42 and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 63


“With a Teamster contract, my family has much more stability, I can provide for my family and give my kids a better life. It also feels good to be apart of an overall program that is better for schools, kids, local farmers and other workers like me.”

- Raymond Aviles, Teamsters Joint Council 42 & Local 63