Teamsters Salute Former Local 665 Leader Ernie Yates

Ernie Yates

(PETALUMA, Calif) – The Executive Board of Teamsters Local 665 has released a statement honoring retired official Ernie Yates, who passed away on November 29, 2022.

The following is a joint statement from Local 665 Executive Board Principal Officer Tony Delorio and Mike Yates, President of Local 665 and son of Ernie Yates:

“Our union brother Ernie Yates was a Teamster his entire working life. His guidance, wisdom and leadership benefited the lives of countless working men and women – both through his tireless efforts at the negotiation table and in worker advocacy throughout California and the United States. Today, we honor Ernie’s legacy by continuing to build on the principles he espoused, which remain the foundation of our great union”.   

Ernie Yates began his career as a Teamster in 1964 as a garageman in the commercial off-street parking industry in San Francisco’s financial district. As a rank-and file member, he supported his union in its picket program and organizing campaigns.

In 1977 leadership changes at Local 665 included Yates’ appointment as business agent. By 1980 he became a member of the local’s executive board and was elected president. Further advancement came in 1992, when a packed union meeting elected Ernie Yates (without opposition) to the office of Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of Local 665.  

Under his leadership, Local 665 grew substantially in the succeeding years. Through both mergers and active organizing drives, it expanded craft and county jurisdictions in Northern California.

At the time of Yates’ retirement in 2012, Local 665 had grown to cover territory which extended from the metropolitan areas of Santa Rosa, San Francisco and San Jose, California.

Represented crafts included legacy automotive industries, airport services, transportation, package delivery, construction, dairy, wholesale delivery, and the solid waste industry.

In addition to his duties as chief officer of Local 665, positions held by Ernie Yates included Trustee of Teamsters Joint Council No. 7, International Representative for the Teamsters Industrial Trades Division, Chair of the Teamsters National Parking Council, and Chair of the Bay Area Automotive Group Welfare Fund.

Along with his friend and union brother Bob Morales, Yates oversaw the Bay Area Union Labor Party PAC.

While endeavoring to bring better wages and working conditions to the Teamster membership, Ernie’s first passion was for his family. Ernie leaves behind his beloved wife Janet; his children Michael, Kimberly and Mark, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.    

Memorial services are as follows:

Rosary- Friday, December 9th 7pm
Parent Sorenson Funeral Home
850 Keokuk St.
Petaluma, CA 94952

Funeral-Saturday, December 10th 11am
St. James Catholic Church
125 Sonoma Mountain Parkway
Petaluma, CA 94954