Last month, Teamsters 856 President Mike Lagomarsino was honored with the Unity Award by the San Mateo Labor Council. Mike, who has been a delegate to the Labor Council for over a decade, received the honor during their 38th annual COPE banquet.
“Mike is a true-blue union man that cares deeply about doing good work on behalf of the members of Local 856,” said 856 Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer Peter Finn. “It’s an honor for all of us to work with Mike, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”
Mike began his career as a Teamster and an activist in 1976, working at the Emporium and Furniture Mart in San Francisco. He moved on to become a warehouseman at Macy’s in 1987 where he was a member and Shop Steward for Teamsters 853. To this day, Mike keeps his Macy’s badge in his office at Local 856, as a reminder of his warehouse roots.
In 2003, Mike became a Business Representative for Teamsters 856. Since then, he’s held many roles at the local, including that of President and Senior Representative – positions he still holds today.
It is Mike’s decades of proven dedication and tireless service to 856 members and the entire labor movement that led the San Mateo Labor Council to recognize him.
“I was humbled, honored, and personally excited to accept not only on behalf of myself, but all the people who put me in the position to get the award, like my family,” said Mike. “During my speech, I thanked my dad, Mike Casey [former president of UNITE HERE Local 2], Julie Wall [former president of Teamsters 856], Rome Aloise [president of Teamsters Joint Council 7], and the folks here at 856 who took a shot on a rank and file Shop Steward from another local.”
Mike has always done more than talk about his commitment to unity. He demonstrates it through his actions. During his Unity Award acceptance speech, he invited longtime 856 Shop Stewards, Sylvia Shepard from Hertz, Nora Johnson from the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, and Sandi Ruiz from Avis Budget on stage to help him accept the honor. “It was my thought that without these and all of our Stewards, I wouldn’t be in this position,” he explained.
Mike, Sylvia, Nora, and Sandi represent over 100 years of invaluable Shop Steward experience – experience Mike honored by sharing his own award.
Sylvia Shepard has worked for Hertz for 50 years, and has been a Steward for over 45. She says that in her time she’s known a lot of union leaders, but she was still very honored to share the stage with Mike. “Mike is always there,” she said. “He gives 110%, always.”
Nora Johnson has spent 44 years of her career at the Hilton, and for 25 of those years, she’s been a Steward. To her, Mike has proven he deserved the Unity Award. “He saved a lot of people jobs at the San Francisco Hilton by going into grievances and fighting for employees,” she said. “He always comes in when employees aren’t treated fairly, and makes it right. He believes in the cause, and he fights for it.”
And that is what it really boils down to: Mike is a Teamster who members can always look to, to stand with them in a fight.
Congratulations Mike! Teamsters 856 is lucky to have you!