Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Inspires Teamster Women
Before heading to the stage to address 1,000 Teamster women at the 2009 Teamsters Women’s Conference, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis met privately with a smaller audience of about 30 workers and their families. Solis was caring and compassionate as she asked the primarily Hispanic workers, in Spanish, about their working conditions and the loss of their jobs. The 30 Republic Services workers were recently fired while organizing with the Teamsters.
In a rally held the day before, Teamsters from throughout North America who were attending the Teamsters Women’s Conference converged on the Las Vegas City Hall. Holding signs that read “Justice”, “Dignity” and “Respect”, the Teamsters joined a coalition of labor, community and faith organizations that were making their voices heard in support of these workers’ rights.
After meeting privately with the Republic workers, Solis went on stage, wearing a Teamster pin on the lapel of her blue suit.
“I’m wearing my Teamster pin here because I feel like this is my family,” Solis said. “In many ways I feel very close to this union. It was my father’s membership in the Teamsters that allowed my family and my six brothers and sisters to have health care benefits and a good life.”