During my 46-year career in organized labor, I've been extraordinarily fortunate in representing the finest workforce of men and women in America - Teamsters Union members.
I am retiring in May of this year, and this is my last column as your Joint Council president. I have been a Teamster all of my work life from the time I was 18.
That is a long time, but the work has never been boring - often difficult and challenging - but never boring. Sometimes, when you win that best-ever new contract or settle a tough grievance or arbitration, or bring a strike to a successful conclusion, life can be great.
But there are no one-trick ponies in our labor-management world. Sucess requires a really good team, actually not merely a good team, but a superior team. And at Joint Council 3 and Local 455, we've had excellent teams for as long as I can remember. Executive board members of Joint Council 3 and Local 455 have consistently made decisions in the best interest of the union.
And, for the first time in the history of Teamster Joint Council 3 and its predecessor, Joint Council 54, we now have three women on our seven-person executive board, doing excellent jobs in representing members of their local unions.
They are Karla Schumann, Arizona Local 104, Erin Foley in Montana Local 2, and Jessica Prather in Idaho Local 983. I am proud to have worked with them. Women are now 45 percent of our national membership, and that makes our union stronger and better.
My sincere thanks to all who have supported me over the years even, perhaps, when a situation might have made support difficult. You were there when I needed you, and I truly appreciate that.
Both at the Joint Council and local union levels, I have benefited from the assistance and support of individuals on whom I depended for advice and special help. They are too numerous to list, but they are constantly in my thoughts as I come closer to retirement.
In closing, I truly thank the men and women members of the Teamsters Union in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming for being part of an organization dedicated to working men and women.
Thanks again, Steve