Unions have been hard at work in South Florida for a long time. Many locals had been chartered over the years and while some have faded into history or merged with one another, one local stands strong here in Miami. Fifty years strong and tonight was the night to celebrate that accomplishment.
Local 769 President Mike Scott
The date was Saturday, August 2, 2014. Teamsters and friends of labor had been arriving at the Doubletree Hotel in Deerfield Beach Florida all weekend long, some from as far away as New York, Puerto Rico and Texas. Around six o’clock the halls began to fill as members, friends, and family of Teamsters Local 769 greeted each other and shared stories over cocktails at the largest blue collar “red carpet” photo shoot in South Florida history.
Iliana Flores presents Teamster history
Teamsters Local 769 President and Principal Officer Mike Scott kicked off the evening by introducing the officers, business agents and staff of Local 769 beginning with the amazing women that make up our office staff. Maria, DeShaun, Sue and Joanna. After a resounding applause for each of the trustees, business agents and officers, Mike introduced Iliana Flores of the IBT Training and Development Department to present the history of the Teamsters in South Florida and the story of the founding of Teamsters Local 769.
Next to introduce the evening’s special guest speaker was Teamsters Local 769 Secretary Treasurer Josh Zivalich. “The leadership of this local has always felt that we were standing on the shoulders of giants,” Josh said, “and tonight we have one of those giants here with us.” The giant Josh was referring to was Norman Goldstein, one of the founding officers of Teamsters Local 769. Now at 91 years of age, Mr. Goldstein energized the room with tales of his life as a union organizer in the South during the days of segregation and Jim Crow Laws to the time he spent as Secretary Treasurer and the founding of Local 769. Also on hand this night were previous Local 769 Recording Secretaries Sam Cassella and Steve Greenwell.
Local 769 Founding Officer Norman Goldstein
There was a second purpose for the night’s celebration as well. To honor the service and careers of two business agents who had recently retired from Teamsters Local 769, Don Marr and Daisy Gonzalez-Colli. Don was introduced by Business Agent Joe Lopez, a friend and colleague back through the days they worked together at local 390 in Miami. Teamsters Local 769 Recording Secretary Rolando Pina was next to the podium to introduce Daisy Gonzalez-Colli who when asked what she would miss the most about her years with the Teamsters, she said “the brotherhood”. Unionism as a whole, the comradery and the guys busting her chops.” Well, that continued that evening as both retirees were presented with a pair of rocking chairs. Dinner, drinks and dancing followed as everyone joined in the celebration of a monumental achievement and a fifty year foundation of a bright future for labor in South Florida.
“I want to thank all of our guests, sponsors and employers for attending our event tonight.“, said Local 769 President Mike Scott. “But, most of all I want to thank all of our retired officers, agents and members who worked hard over the years to make Local 769 a great union. Without all of you we would not be here tonight.”
Thanks to all of our sponsors!
TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION No. 25, 210, 237, 480, 507, 512, 597, 731, 901, 1150, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, TEAMSTERS HISPANIC CAUCUS FLORIDA CHAPTER, TEAMSTERS JOINT COUNCIL NO. 73, BROWARD COUNTY AFL-CIO, FEDERATION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, IBEW LOCAL 349, IBEW LOCAL 728, OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 487, PLUMBERS LOCAL 519, SOUTH FLORIDA AFL-CIO, AMERICAN INCOME LIFE, BENEFIT REVIEW SERVICES, COUNTYLINE CHIROPRATIC, DENNIS G. JENKINS, G. WILLIAM BAAB, ATTORNEY, INVESCO, SAWGRASS FORD, SIERRA INVESTMENT PARTNERS, SUDLER INSURANCE SERVICES, SUGARMAN & SUSSKIND, P.A., THE SEGAL COMPANY, UNITED WAY OF MIAMI-DADE, BIMBO BAKERY, CEMEX, and CROWLEY LINER SERVICES