Secretary-Treasurer’s Report: Teamsters 856 grows to 17,000 members

With the August 1st completion of the merger of Teamsters 601 into Local 856, at 17,000 members strong, our Local Union is now among the largest Teamster Locals in all of California.

Local 856 Principal Officer Peter Finn and Food Processing Division Director Ashley Alvarado.

Our new fellow Local 856 members work in the food processing industry in the Central Valley and the Local 856 Food Processing Division will be headquartered in Stockton with an additional office and union hall in Yuba City.

As our Union continues to grow, we are committed to staying focused on what’s most important: fighting employers at the bargaining table and aggressively representing current Teamster 856 members in the workplace.

Our growth in size translates to more power at the bargaining table to win strong contracts,  increased resources, and stronger representation. This strength in numbers means more resources available to Local 856 negotiators – more access to attorneys, a stronger political program that wields more political influence, better communication tools, and an organizing team to lead member actions and leverage the support of community allies. Said simply, the bigger we are, the stronger our voice is together – and the more resources we have to win.

Local 856 Health and Welfare Fund Stronger than Ever

With over 55 million in assets, the Teamsters Local 856 Health and Welfare Fund has doubled in size in recent years and now provides medical coverage to over 14,000 Local 856 members, retirees, and Teamster families.

Despite continued rate hike pressure from the healthcare insurance industry, the Local 856 Health and Welfare Fund has worked hard to keep rates down through direct negotiations with Kaiser and creative solutions such as the new self-funded Anthem EPO as a viable replacement for the Anthem HMO, which was made impossible to continue to offer because of Anthem HMO’s 40% premium increase over a two-year period.

The structure of the Trust Fund, a governing board of four union trustees and four employer trustees, ensures local control, and over the last several years we have added benefits such as chiropractic and durable medical equipment coverage based on direct feedback we received from those of you in the Health and Welfare Fund.