Press Releases

Oakland Zookeepers Join Teamsters Local 853

Oakland Zoo

Workers, Union Stand Together in Support of Measure Y

Press Contact: Matt McQuaid Phone: (202) 624-6877 Email:

(OAKLAND) — Zookeepers at the Oakland Zoo have voted to join Teamsters Local 853 by a four-to-one margin. They join their colleagues across the bay at the San Francisco Zoo, who are members of Teamsters Local 856.

“These workers demonstrated tremendous courage so they can get a contract that addresses the issues they care about – respect, wages that reflect the cost of living, guaranteeing a high quality of life for the animals and their habitats, and a voice on the job,” said Pablo Barrera, Local 853 Organizing Director.

“The overwhelming results of this election for union representation will give the employees a real voice at work,” the Oakland Zoo Teamster Organizing Committee said in a public statement. “The Teamsters and the workers look forward to negotiating a labor agreement that ensures that the management of the Oakland Zoo can retain and attract world-class personnel to this world-class organization. The community support for Measure Y will only ensure that much-needed resources go to support the zookeepers and the animals they work so hard to care for.”

Measure Y is a referendum in the City of Oakland that will increase funding to the Oakland Zoo – thereby growing educational opportunities, enhancing the standard of living for animals, expanding conservation work and increasing access to the institution for the city’s residents by granting them thousands of free and reduced-price passes.

“Congratulations to these workers, and much thanks to City Councilmember Treva Reid and Mayor Libby Schaaf, who advocated for these workers throughout the organizing campaign,” said Dennis Hart, Local 853 Secretary-Treasurer. “Oakland can stand in solidarity with the brave men and women by voting to pass Measure Y into law on November 8!”

Teamsters Local 853 represents over 15,000 workers at more than 250 employers throughout California and Nevada. For more information go to