The first annual meeting of the Teamsters Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus was held last fall at Local 1932 in San Bernardino, Calif., with more than 55 rank-and-file members attending from the U.S. and Canada. This was the first meeting held to specifically plan for the caucus’ future.
“Our union is faced with many challenges and with the support of local union leaders we know that fair representation of all of our members will be maintained,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Hate and intolerance have no place in our union. The Teamsters is a family, a family dedicated to preserving good jobs for all of our members in a safe workplace environment.”
The president of the caucus, Margo Storsteen, a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, has been the guiding force holding the caucus together over the past few years.
“We have a lot of work to do, but we are confident that the Teamsters LGBT Caucus can provide a sense of community and connection, just like the Teamster Women’s, Black and Hispanic caucuses do,” Storsteen said.
Sandra Vega, an 18-year member of Local 396 in Los Angeles, said that being at the caucus meeting allowed her to connect with many fellow Teamsters from across the country and Canada.
“The thing that made the largest impression on me about the LGBT caucus was how we were all able to come together as one. That shows unity,” Vega said.
Jacqueline Johnson, a member from Chicago’s Local 700, said being part of the meeting helped her understand the struggle for human rights in America. “I was happy to be with this historic group for the next generation. Being here enhances our ability to communicate about human rights,” she said.
“Having the caucus meeting was something we’ve been pushing for a while,” said Chris Fuentes, a member of Local 399 in Hollywood, Calif. “I feel that this is a concrete way that Teamsters are working to support everybody. This is a spectrum of who we are.”
Several local union leaders also attended and voiced their support for the caucus, including Joint Council 42 President Randy Cammack, Local 1932 Secretary-Treasurer Randy Korgan and Local 2010 Secretary-Treasurer Jason Rabinowitz.
“I thought this was amazing,” said Doraifay Estrada, a member of Local 492 in New Mexico. For a gallery of photos, click here.