Sandy Pope Makes Thanksgiving Honor Roll

November 25, 2009: Local 805 President and TDU leader Sandy Pope was honored this week as a New York City local hero that makes a difference.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Tom Robbins, the labor columnist for the Village Voice in New York City, published a Thanksgiving Honor Roll, lauding “the oft-overlooked people in a city of celebrity.”

Pope’s entry, “Not Your Average Teamster leader” is reprinted here.

Photo: Jesse ReedNot Your Average Teamster Leader

By Tom Robbins

Sandy Pope is not your average Teamsters leader. A woman heading a blue-collar union local, she also holds a martial arts black belt. But her most important trait is a dedication to union democracy and organizing.

A former truck driver from Cleveland, Pope became the head of Local 805 in Queens in 1999, one of many Teamsters locals that had long been little more than playthings for the mob and its favored employers.

She ended lingering corrupt practices and had the 1,200 members—mostly warehouse, supply, and cafeteria workers—elect their own stewards. She won better contracts and also did what most union leaders are too fearful or too sluggish to attempt: She organized, winning elections at several vending shops.

She also targeted Fresh Direct, the big gourmet food company that boasts of community dedication but has resisted demands for higher pay for its workforce. The first Teamsters push was derailed when immigration agents raided the company's food-prep plant.

Pope says a new drive will begin next month: "Workers there keep asking us when we're coming back. Well, we're coming back."

Click here to read A Thanksgiving Honor Roll: NYC’s Unsung Heroes

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Zoom Call for IBT Election Volunteers on Saturday, August 14

TDU will hold a national zoom call on Saturday, Aug. 14 for Teamsters who are volunteering to elect the O’Brien-Zuckerman Teamsters United Slate. Join candidates, campaign coordinators and Teamster activists for an update and to make plans to Get Out the Vote and win this fall. Click here to register. 

Central States Assets Fall – But Relief is Coming!

The assets of the Central States Pension Fund fell to $9.8 billion at the end of March, a drop of $573 million in the first quarter.  The fund projects forward that it will pay $2.83 billion in pension benefits this year, while taking in $651 million in employer contributions.

View More News Posts