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

UPS Cashes in on COVID with $2 Billion Profits

UPS made $2 billion in profits after taxes in the third quarter thanks to exploding volume and excessive overtime by UPS Teamsters. Revenue for the quarter topped $21 billion.

Pension Activists Blitz White House with Calls

The National United Committee to Protect Pensions (NUCPP) is calling on all active and retired Teamsters to blitz the White House today with calls asking the President to support a pension solution and to be sure it's included in any stimulus plan that crosses his desk. They encourage members and retirees call 202-456-1414 to demand support for defending hard earned pensions that are under attack through no fault of working people. 

View More News Posts