Yosemite Teamsters Keep National Park Running
Adam Hecox first visited Yosemite National Park for the activities. An avid hiker and backpacker, he took a summer job with Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts (DNC), a support and concessionaire provider contracted by the National Park Service. Hecox quickly realized that Yosemite was the best office anyone could ever ask for, so when he was offered a full-time position, he accepted without a second thought.
A 12-year member of Local 386 in Modesto, Calif., Hecox now serves as steward to the eclectic group of 150 Teamsters employed by DNC whose members are as talented as they are unique. From plumbers, mechanics, drivers and painters to carpenters, laborers and electricians– Teamsters work to keep the park running.
“I like to think of us as the city workers for the town of Yosemite,” Hecox said. “There’s not much that we can’t get done when it comes to trades here in the park. If there is a problem, the Yosemite Teamsters can solve it.”
Yosemite members come from all walks of life and from around the world. Hecox believes that while the group may not share a common background, they do share a love for the park they serve as caretakers.
“Most of us came here for the park and never left,” Hecox said. “We have 15 guys that specialize in setting up, maintaining and breaking down our five High Sierra camps. They all have extensive backcountry experience that came from most doing it recreationally.”
With its soaring granite peaks and breathtaking vistas, Yosemite is one of the nation’s most popular parks, attracting an average of nearly 4 million visitors each year. And every year, Local 386 Teamsters are there to do what they can to make sure every one of them enjoys their time in the park. During the spring and summer seasons DNC may employ as many as 200 Teamsters with that number reduced to approximately 120 during the winter.
“They are a great, unique group that takes pride in their work,” said Dave Parks, Local 386 President and business agent for the Yosemite Teamsters. “They know that it’s a special place for people that come to the park because they love the park as much as the people that visit it. They truly are the caretakers of the park. We’ve always had a strong group at Yosemite that are proud to be Teamsters and are proud of the work they do.”