Eric Tate is Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 848. Eric began his career as a Teamster driving a bus for Laidlaw Transit in 1992. After two years of being shop steward, he was named shop steward of the year. In 2000, Eric became a Business Representative and Political Coordinator of Teamster Local 848.
Eric has been a Teamster for over 19 years, and a business representative for over 11 years. The Bus drivers at Teamsters Local 848 were only making $9 per hour when he was hired with no medical coverage or Teamster retirement. Today most of the bus contracts have wages as high as $20 per hour, as much as 100% of their medical paid by the company, and as much as $2 per hour in the Teamsters Pension Plan.
Eric is a member of Sigma Beta Delta (The International Honor Society in Business Management and Administration); he graduated Cum Laude from college where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree.
In October of 2009, Eric became Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters Local 848 after the retirement of Jim Santangelo. Since becoming the Principle Officer of the Local, the members have been successful on every contract re-negotiated and over 500 new members have been added to the membership.
Some 12,000 transportation workers employed by Toll Group in Australia are unionized, and are fairly rewarded and valued for helping make the logistics giant so profitable. But not here in the U.S. The company suspiciously sacked one-third of its Southern California truck drivers before the busy holiday shopping season, just two days after Toll’s pro-union workers donned Teamster T-shirts and partook in a peaceful community rally.
The truck drivers didn’t buy for one minute the claim that work had simply slowed down at America’s largest port, so instead of being silenced—they mobilized! To date the workers have successfully pressured the company to rehire 15, but management instituted an arbitrary 90-day deadline that could put the remaining pink-slipped drivers out of work for good if they are not recalled in the next week.
With his last $8 in his wallet, Alberto Quiteno, a truck driver at the Port of Los Angeles, said goodbye to his wife and teenage daughters last Friday and traveled 8,000 miles to Melbourne to plea to his employer, the Australian logistics giant, Toll Group, for humane working conditions in the United States.
In his carry-on, Alberto had carefully packed a petition signed by 62 (out of 75) co-workers that local management had previously refused to accept. Along with it was a copy of a letter he sent to Toll Group CEO Paul Little before his journey to outline the mistreatment and local management missteps. Hearing no response, Alberto headed to LAX and boarded a plane, joined by officials representing America’s largest transportation union, the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.