856 Members Cross Country for Workers’ Rights, Education

Teamsters 856 Rep. Liliana Cortez supports striking Trump Taj Mahal workers in Atlantic City.

Teamsters 856 Rep. Liliana Cortez supports striking Trump Taj Mahal workers in Atlantic City.

“It’s so important to get involved and stand together,” explains Teamsters 856 Shop Steward Herb Travit on why he traveled with fellow members Veronica Hudson (Contra Costa County) and Maurice McDonald (United Airlines) to the 41st Annual Teamsters National Black Caucus Convention in Ohio last month.

The Teamsters National Black Caucus (TNBC) is an organization of black Teamster men and women, who are united by their special concerns for rights and conditions of workers that works within the framework of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Constitution. The TNBC seeks to address pressing issues confronting black workers ranging from increased participation to outreach to the African-American community and other communities of color.

“There’s so much history, with not just our Local, but nationwide. We’re all working hard no matter what, going through the struggle.” Travit continued. He stressed the importance of young members getting involved in the Caucus. “A lot of TNBC members are older, so it’s crucial that the next generation takes part, so they can learn the history and keep the movement going,” he said.

On the East Coast, Teamsters 856 Representative Liliana Cortez and 856 Executive Board Trustee and St. Rose Hospital member Judy Rodrigues headed to Atlantic City to represent Teamsters National Hispanic Caucus Convention. Like the TNBC, the Hispanic Caucus is an organization within the Teamsters formed to address the needs of Hispanic Teamsters. The Hispanic Caucus Convention is held every two years to elect its executive board and bring members of the caucus together to discuss issues facing Hispanic Teamsters.

Attendees took time away from convention duties to walk the picket line with UNITE HERE union employees at the Trump Taj Mahal hotel located on the city’s boardwalk. Union employees at the hotel have been in a protracted contract dispute after the hotel declared bankruptcy and cut wages and stopped providing health benefits to its staff.

Interested in joining the Teamsters National Black Caucus or the Hispanic Caucus? Let us know here.