New York, NY – Teamsters Local 237 inducted the seven elected members of its Executive Board on Friday, January 17. The slate includes Gregory Floyd, president; Ruben Torres, vice-president; Donald Arnold, secretary-treasurer; Jeanette Taveras, recording secretary; Curtis Scott, trustee; Ben Carenza, trustee; and Catherine Rice, trustee.
Local 237 is the largest local union in the Teamsters International union. Its membership reflects the diversity of New York City. About 7,400 work for the New York City Housing Authority, another 11,000 work in New York City agencies, the Health and Hospitals Corporation, Jacob Javits Center and the City University of New York, and some 3,000 members work on Long Island. The union also represents over 7,100 retirees in the U.S. and abroad.
After the presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a musical presentation, Master of Ceremonies George Miranda, Vice President at-large, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and President, Joint Council 16, IBT, continued the ceremony, which was held in downtown Manhattan at Local 237 headquarters, by introducing Floyd, saying, “You can see his leadership in all issues that affect his members.” Floyd said, “It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I stood here to be sworn in by James Hoffa [General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters].” Floyd previous term as president began in 2014. “We live in a different city [now], a different America, [full of] gun violence, homelessness, hunger. So many of us have given up hope. The image of labor unions has changed [for the worse]. [But] we fought the big fights. And won! Safety guarantees, health benefits, paid vacation and $15 and hour minimum wage…There is no substitute for labor unions. Labor helped build America, the middle class.”
Hoffa said, “Every day when we go to work we ask how we can make this better…to do a better job for the members.” He spoke of the importance of the minimum wage law, and other victories, and then administered the oath of office to the Executive Board, which included performing the duties of the office for the ensuing term and observing the constitutional laws of the international union and the bylaws of the union.
Special guest Senator Chuck Schumer then took the podium, saying, “237 was behind me in 1980 when I ran for Congress…every day the middle class is hurting…the rich and powerful have too much say in the government. They’ve gone after the labor movement. Who created the middle class? The hard workers of the union and you as leaders…I believe in you.”
Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, said, about Floyd, “he has always stood strong and tall, especially in his role as pension benefit fund trustee. Thank you for not letting us down.”
Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller said, “Today I’m here to salute this amazing union, the ‘rock of the city.’ Labor is what we believe in.”
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, said, “237 is a force for social activism.”
Miranda ended the ceremony by saying, “Local 237 has important work ahead. The professionals who make up 237 take pride in their work. On behalf of International 237, I want to congratulate you as you take this next step ahead.”