The 2017 Teamster’s Women’s Conference kicked off Sunday, Sept. 17 in San Antonio, Texas where over a thousand Teamster women gathered from all across North America in solidarity and unity of sisterhood. The three-day annual conference provides the opportunity for Teamster women to unite through educational workshops, panels and social activities.
Teamsters Local 700 President Becky Strzechowski is the Director of the Women’s Conference and welcomed the attendees with a message of empowerment.
“Our conference is themed ‘Teamster Women Spur Change’ this year because Teamsters don’t sit and wait for change; we go out and make it happen,” President Strzechowski said to the crowd.
General President Hoffa also welcomed the crowd and expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm and energy from all the strong trailblazing women who are fighting injustice, standing up for worker’s rights, pushing for political change, and taking on leadership roles.
“We have major fights ahead of us to protect everything we stand for, and we have full confidence in the strong Teamster sisters of our union,” said Hoffa. “And together, we will spur change,” said Hoffa.
General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall presented the Barbara Liddy Teamster Woman Activist Award Leticia Acosta, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 657 and Joint Council 58, for dedicating more than 30 years of her life to advocating for her sisters and brothers to have voice and respect all workers deserve.
“Ladies, if it’s in your mind, go out there and FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!” said Acosta.
Other Teamster women shared their incredible stories of strength, tenacity and dedication to what they stand for: equality, diversity, fair wages, for all members to be valued, and their commitment to helping improve the lives of others.
During the second day of the conference, Carmen Perez, founder of the Justice League and organizer of the 2017 Women’s March, kept the energy alive with her inspirational speech on women empowering each other. Jeff Farmer, Director of Organizing, and Rome Aloise, International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamster Local 853, reported on recent organizing victories.
On the final day of the conference, President Strzechowski asked all the attendees for a moment of silence to honor Illinois Tollway worker and Teamsters Local 700 member David Schwarz, who was killed while working on the highway earlier that week.