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Strengthening The Sisterhood


Note: This is a first-person account of Staci Moody-Gilbert, a Teamster with the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) and General Chairwoman for the Burlington System Division Lodge 1214 in Hastings, Neb. She is attending the Teamsters Women’s Conference in New Orleans.

I think the Women’s Conference is awesome. I come back year after year.

I was the only rail person at the first conference I came to years ago. Now we have a BMWED Women’s Committee. We have a booth and we have 18 representatives here now. We have a lot of support.

Other Teamster women enjoy hearing about what we do. We represent the maintenance of way railroad workers that repair the tracks across the United States. I was a welder for 12 years and worked my way up to be elected as our general chairwoman in July 2012. My system has 42 locals and we represent seven different railroads in 14 different states.

It’s great to come here and hear from other women who work in sanitation, in school busing, at universities and in other industries. We can share a lot and learn from each other.

We heard from a panel of worker activists today and all the women here were inspired by their stories.

Donna Brazile spoke yesterday and she is always a fabulous speaker. We also got to see a one-woman portrayal of Mother Jones. The performer was very informative and taught us a lot about Mother Jones and labor history. I was captivated. This afternoon, we will be attending the workshops that are being offered.

I am looking forward to the rest of the conference here in New Orleans with my Teamster sisters!