Member Participation


Every aspect of the 30th International Convention of the Teamsters Union celebrated rank-and-file members and local union leaders who are making a difference.

Whether the presentation was on the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship, organizing, the pandemic response, disaster relief or something else, member participation in the Convention was as strong as ever.

Each day began with three national anthems and an invocation, and the Convention ended with a benediction—all done by Teamsters.

Justin Blankenship of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the U.S. national anthem. Catherine Gemme, the daughter of Local 1999 Trustee Jean-Gilles Gemme, sang “O Canada,” the national anthem of Canada. Leonel Morales of Local 769 sang “La Borinqueña,” Puerto Rico’s anthem.

The invocation on the first day of the Convention was done by John Karakian of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. On day two, it was Abimael Ortiz of Local 331. The final day’s invocation was done by Teri and Sammie Kayton of Local 1932. Before the Convention adjourned, the benediction was said by Robert Seay, Political Director and Chaplain of Local 667 in San Bernardino, Calif.