Secretary-Treasurer's Report

Rudy Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer
Rudy Gonzalez | Secretary-Treasurer

Rudy carried his first Union card at the age of 18 as a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. After serving as a shop steward, he volunteered as a member organizer and learned to campaign in the South, where he saw firsthand the struggle that workers face when they attempt to unionize under hostile conditions.

Informed by his Catholic upbringing's social justice doctrine and motivated by a sense of stewardship instilled by his father’s lifelong career as a firefighter, he found purpose in building power for workers.

In 2008, he was hired as a full-time Business Representative and Organizer for Teamsters 856. He negotiated private and public sector contracts in Northern California, rising to the rank of Director, and was elected twice as Vice President. During his time at 856, he led organizing campaigns that nearly doubled the size and strength of the local union, which now boasts 17,000 members.

In May of 2018, Rudy was selected by his peers on the SFLC Executive Committee to assist the Council as Interim Executive Director. In August of 2018, Rudy was nominated and elected unanimously by the Council delegates to a two-year term, becoming the first person of color and youngest person elected in the 125-year history of the SFLC.

At the Labor Council, Rudy lead the staff team to assist affiliated unions with political mobilization, contract campaigns, and strategic organizing. Under his leadership, the Council shored up its finances, hired the first-ever Campaign Director, and revamped the political and affiliate support apparatus. Rudy is most proud of the recently-launched Labor in the Schools program, which will bring labor curriculum and union awareness to a new generation of San Franciscans.

He enjoys spending his off time with his family in Oakland, where he resides with his wife, Sarah, and their three children, Zoe (12), Jules (10), Isaac (3), and their English bulldog, Oliver.

We just wrapped up another Infrastructure Week across the United States, and, boy, has that fella from Scranton delivered once again.

Before I sing our current president’s praises, though, I have to provide some context. I can’t gloss over the one supreme irony of Infrastructure Week: the fact that it was invented by President Joe Biden’s predecessor.

I’d first like to offer my congratulations to President Chris Hannan of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) on his recent election by the statewide delegates of the SBCTC.

Much of the U.S. viewing public tuned in on Thursday, March 7, to witness the third and presumably final State of the Union address of President Joe Biden’s term.

With millions of dollars pouring into local races from a plethora of dubious and shadowy figures, this year’s elections are ours, as working-class Bay Area residents, to lose.

The new year is only just upon us, and already our cities and counties, our state, and our country are fitfully gearing up for the next holiday season. By that, I mean the November 2024 election.

The end of the year offers us the opportunity to reflect on our wins and our losses and to take stock of what we’ve accomplished as well as what has been left unfinished.

My heart is heavy as I witness terrorism, war, and human suffering once again decimating Israel and Palestine.

The sense of grief and loss I feel is tremendous as I write this column. That’s because last month, we lost brother Javier Padilla Romero, a member of Laborers Local 261, while he was on the job.

Labor Day weekend was a time to celebrate, and this council kicked it off with a flourish.

With all three kids back in school and the traffic back to normal, I’m reminded that a lot of people at the schools kept working during the summer (even after SFUSD botched their paychecks and still owes them money). They tended to deferred maintenance, deep cleanings, and the like.

Organized Labor


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