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Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Madam Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and thank Ron Herrera on his retirement earlier this summer from Teamsters Local 396 following nearly two decades leading his local union.
Ron Herrera grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Wilmington, CA as part of a proud union family. For generations, the Herrera family has fought to improve the lives of workers. Ron's grandfather was a veteran of the copper mines of Arizona, fighting the kinds of abuses and discrimination portrayed in the classic strike film Salt of the Earth. His father was a committed union man who worked the Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland as a member of the Longshoremen's Union. He instilled in Ron a profound respect for worker rights, social justice, and the invaluable role the labor movement plays in advancing the interests of working people. Ron Herrera began his own union career in 1975 as a package car driver for United Parcel Service. At the time, he was one of a handful of Latino drivers employed by UPS. He first distinguished himself as a leader in the labor movement during the 1997 UPS Teamsters strike--the largest strike in U.S. history.
Teamsters champion freight drivers and warehouse workers but organize for numerous occupations. Teamsters Local 396 represents UPS and Sanitation workers in Southern California. The local union also serves members in other industries such as logistics, recycling, and feed delivery services. During his 24 years as a rank-and-file Teamster member, Ron Herrera represented his fellow members as a United Parcel Service Shop Steward. In 2000, he was hired as Business Representative for Teamsters Local 396 and in 2001 he became the President of his local union. In 2003, he was elected to the Local 396 Principal Officer position.
Ron Herrera has led many successful organizing campaigns and helped pass groundbreaking legislation at the municipal and state levels. These campaigns have helped workers become Teamsters Union members, allowing them to provide a better-quality life for their families.
In 2011, Ron Herrera was elected as a Trustee of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Executive Board and he later served as Western Region Vice President from 2015 to 2022.
On September 16, 2019, Ron Herrera was nominated and elected President of the LA County Federation. The LA County Federation is the second largest labor council in the United States with over 300 affiliated union and labor organizations that represents more than 800,000 members in the Los Angeles County area.
In 2020, Ron Herrera cast his vote as one of California's fifty-five Electoral College Electors for now President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Ron's efforts over two decades included raising the standard of living for sanitation workers. He fought for higher wages, better benefits, and secured contract language to protect immigrant workers from unjust termination. He and Teamsters across the country mobilized to support Temporary Protective Status holders and immigrants. In 2019, the Teamsters supported my introduction of The Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), crucial legislation that will ensure the future of Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.
Ron, along with Teamsters Local 396, is part of the Don't Waste LA coalition of community, environmental, and labor organizations working to eliminate dependance on landfills and dangerous jobs in Los Angeles.
Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in thanking and congratulating Ron Herrera for his many years of exemplary leadership and outstanding service to labor unions. Let us wish him many happy years of retirement.
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