A Teamster Troublemaker for Fairness

September 6, 2013: A Local 802 Teamster celebrates her 15th year as a groundbreaking Teamster and "troublemaker" for fairness.

The first Teamster woman at her grocery warehouse, Arlena Dean filed a grievance to force her employer to create a locker room for women employees only to be told that she was forbidden to use it.

Management at her Bronx-based grocery warehouse banned Arlena, who considers herself a "proud African-American lesbian Teamster," from using the women's locker room. The bosses ordered Arlena to change in a broom closet across the hall from the men's bathroom instead.

Dean filed a discrimination grievance and launched a support petition. More than 100 co-workers signed in solidarity.

Dean's persistence and solidarity paid off. The company built a new union locker room for all Teamster women employees—gay and straight.

"I've never lived my life in the closet and I wasn't about to change in one," Dean said. "I've put up with a lot of harassment and discrimination. I wasn't going to stop until I got justice."

September marks Dean's 15th year as a proud Teamster.

"I've proven I can do my job as well as anyone else and I just want to be treated equal to everyone else too," Dean said.

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Union Victory on Personal Vehicle Drivers at UPS

New York Local 804, led by Vinnie Perrone, a candidate on the OZ-Teamsters United Slate, has done what the Hoffa administration could not. They have fought back and won against UPS on the critical issue of Personal Vehicle Drivers (PVDs).

Aloise Says “Vote Till You Get it Right” – California Teamsters Say “No Thanks!”

On September 11, there was an election in Teamster Local 948, the big local covering cannery workers, UPSers, and others in the California Central Valley from Modesto in the North to Visalia in the South. The Luis Diaz – Lupe Juarez – Tim Parolini Unity Slate swept the election, with Diaz winning by 905-598 over the former head of the local, Adam Ochoa. The majority of Local 948 members work for major food processors: Con Agra, Del Monte, and Stanislaus Foods.

View More News Posts