It is with sadness that Teamsters 856 announces the passing of former Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer, Ben Leal. Leal died on Friday, February 8, 2019, after a short illness.
Leal began his career at Local 856 in 1956, only seven years after the union’s charter. As the director of organizing, his work was paramount to the growth and vitality of the new union. Through his efforts, he helped expand the Local’s membership from only a few hundred to into the thousands.
From 1982 until 1994, Leal served as the Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of Local 856. As an organizer, Leal acutely understood the importance of continued growth of the Local for the benefit of all members and under his leadership, the union’s membership extended into such industries as health care and public sector.
Leal also served as a Trustee on the International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Executive Board and the Joint Council No. 7 Executive Board. In addition, he was a Trustee on the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Board from 1976 until 1994.
On behalf of the entire Local 856 membership, the Local 856 Executive Board extends its deepest sympathies to Leal’s family and friends.
Service will be held at Church of the Assumption, 1100 Fulton Ave., San Leandro, on Wed., Feb. 20, from 5:00-8:00 pm with the Rosary Service at 6:00 pm. The Funeral Liturgy will take place at the church on Thurs., Feb. 21, at 10:30 am followed by a reception in the church hall. Private burial service with family members at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Hayward. Charitable donations in his name can be made to Assumption Rosary Makers or charity of your choice.