Finding Solidarity at the Teamster Women’s Conference


(L-R) Kathy Newell, Melissa Wagner, and Janine Jabin-Roach at the Teamsters Women’s Conference in Hollywood in September.

Local 856 members Janine Jabin-Roach (Northwest Administrators), Kathy Newell (Delta Dental), and Melissa Wagner (Pier 39) joined more than 1,300 Teamster women from across North America at this year’s Teamsters Women’s Conference in Hollywood late last month.

It was the first time at the annual event for all three members, who were able to participate in workshops, courses, and solidarity actions at the conference.

Newell, a shop steward at Delta Dental, took courses on effective collective bargaining. “That was an area I wanted to develop my skills in,” the 31-year Teamsters 856 member said. “It was very interesting, and was very empowering. I hope to use what I learned to help my co-workers and make our union stronger,” she said.

For Northwest Administrators Member Janine Jabin-Roach, a fourth generation Teamster, being at the Conference and connecting with Teamster women was especially meaningful. “It was really fun to meet other Teamster women and hear everything that’s going on in our Union,” Jabin-Roach said.

In honor of the event, September 23 was declared “Teamsters Women’s Day” in Los Angeles, and Teamsters 856 Public Policy Coordinator Malia Vella was on hand at Los Angeles City Council Chambers to help accept the proclamation.

Attendees also participated in a march on the University of California Los Angeles in support of Teamsters Local 2010 members who are fighting for a fair contract.