Teamsters Celebrate Unity and Diversity


More than 150 Teamster delegates gathered at the two-day biennial gathering of the Teamsters National Hispanic Caucus (TNHC) at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct elections for the TNHC Executive Board, discuss issues pertaining to Hispanic Teamsters and celebrate the diversity and strength of the Teamsters Union.

“One of the greatest values of our union is our commitment to diversity and I am proud that the Teamsters have maintained their commitment to uplift all people, including the growing number of Hispanic people in the United States,” said George Miranda, International Vice President and President of the THNC and Local 210.

Miranda talked about the importance of voting for Hispanics in the upcoming November elections, highlighting key issues for Latino and Latina Teamsters, including immigration reform, income inequality and political activities affecting labor.

“It is critical that when you go back to your locals, your cities and your states, you get active and make your voices heard,” Miranda said. “You need to vote and make sure that our politicians carry a pro-Hispanic, pro-worker agenda to city halls, state legislatures, Congress and the White House.”

Worker Testimony

Other speakers included: Al Rispoli, President of Joint Council 73 and Local 863; Cynthia Rivera, a Teamster organizer at school bus yards; Donald Guardian, the Mayor of Atlantic City, N.J.; and International Vice President Ron Herrera.

A resolution was passed in support of the striking workers from UNITE and the Teamsters committed to taking action in support of their fellow brothers and sisters in the labor movement.

After Local 601 President Ashley Alvarado detailed organizing efforts at Taylor Farms, delegates sat rapt with attention as they heard from Jose Vega, a worker at Taylor Farms who detailed the horrific abuses occurring at the food supplier’s Tracy, Calif. processing plant.

They listened to a similarly emotional address from New Jersey State Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, who detailed her family’s journey within the United States and how they were empowered by their own civic engagement.

“It is so important that Hispanic people are civically engaged in all levels of government and public life,” Quijano said. “We can represent our interests best when we are working in our town halls, in our communities, building positive relationships and being active so people don’t think they can take us for granted.”

TNHC Election

The California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania chapters of the THNC gave chapter reports on notable activities that have occurred within their caucuses over the past two years. A financial report for the national THNC was delivered.

At the conclusion of the second day, elections were held for TNHC offices. George Miranda was re-elected as President of the TNHC and Ron Herrera was re-appointed as Caucus Executive Director. Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Torres, Recording Secretary Jesse Miranda, 1st Vice President Maria Perez, 2nd Vice President Jaime Vazquez and Trustees Olga Gonzales, Oscar Gonzales, Alexis Rodriguez, Ashley Alvarado and Hector Hernandez were all re-elected for two-year terms.

The next national meeting of the Teamsters National Hispanic Caucus will be hosted by Local 901 and will take place in 2018 in San Juan, P.R.