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Hoffa Addresses Women’s Conference


Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa addressed the Women’s Conference on Friday, the second day of the annual event, held in San Francisco. View more photos.

“The spirit is so great here. It’s about being excited to be a Teamster and about what we’re doing together, and that’s why I always enjoy coming here,” Hoffa said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and the biggest thing we need to do is mobilize Teamsters everywhere for the election.”

Hoffa urged the 800-plus Teamster women to take back their energy and enthusiasm to motivate fellow Teamsters, friends and family to vote.

“The war on workers, the war on women, it’s all the same. Whether it’s in Wisconsin or Ohio, one thing we know is an injury to one is an injury to all,” Hoffa said. “Make sure you vote and that everyone back home votes. The stakes have never been higher.”

Gavin Newsom, California’s Lt. Governor and former mayor of San Francisco, got the crowd excited, calling on Teamster women to stay vigilant in fighting the war on workers.

Newsom talked about Proposition 32, an initiative that has been introduced several times since 1998 in California.

“Proposition 32 does nothing more than shut you down, deny you a voice, and it’s done under this absolutely manipulative frame to somehow suggest that there is an equivalency between individuals that work in big companies and corporations and those that work for labor unions. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Newsom said. “It’s not just about Proposition 32. It’s about the middle class that is at risk if we don’t step in in a big way to defeat Proposition 32 and get President Obama reelected.”

Newsom thanked the Teamster women for holding their conference and for all they do in standing up for working people.

“You gave us the 40 hour work week, weekends, pensions, retirement security, paid sick leave, minimum wage, social security, Medicare. You gave us the tools to build the most vibrant middle class of any democracy in history, and that’s what’s at stake in this election.”

Joanne Hayes-White, chief of the San Francisco Fire Department and the first female chief of the largest urban fire department in the world, thanked Teamster women for the pivotal role they play in improving the lives of working men and women in San Francisco.

Chief Hayes-White presented Women’s Conference Director Sue Mauren with a proclamation on behalf of the city and the mayor, proclaiming August 24, 2012, Teamsters Women’s Day in San Francisco.

“We have approximately 16 percent women in uniform in San Francisco, leading the nation. We’re proving women can do this job,” Hayes-White said. “When we drive by in the fire truck and a little girl looks up and sees someone that looks like her, she now considers that a career option.”

Jody Johnson, a member of Local 150 in Sacramento, Calif., was presented with this year’s Teamster Women Activist Award.

Johnson, a YRC Freight clerk, participated in a program on how to train others in hazardous material instruction. She now provides her co-workers with advance safety in her workplace.

“The Teamsters have given me the opportunity to reach out to my fellow Teamsters and share with them how they can keep themselves safe in their working environment. I just want to say thank you for this award,” Johnson said.

“You are a leader we can all emulate. Thank you for all that you do,” Hoffa said to Johnson.  

The 2012 Teamsters Women’s Conference continues Friday afternoon with dozens of educational workshops on labor law, steps to financial security, social networking, strategic planning for business agents, and much more.

Follow up-to-the-minute coverage of the Teamsters Women’s Conference on www.teamster.org, “Teamsters” on Facebook and @Teamsters on Twitter.