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Teamsters Local Union 79
Updated On: Apr 17, 2020

Welcome to Teamsters Local 79's web site. This web site has been established for our members, their families and individuals seeking information about the Teamsters Organization. We encourage your comments on the educational value, user friendliness and contents of this web site.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters celebrated their 100th year as an organization in 2003. Just pause for a minute and reflect on the history of our country for the last 100 years and think of all the companies, organizations, laws, wars, U.S. Presidents, depressions, recessions and other issues that have come and gone. During that time, the Teamsters have continued to survive. This is as a result of a strong foundation, it's leadership and membership. Our forefathers designed a format (the IBT Constitution) that outlined the rules and procedures for the continued growth of our International, Joint Councils and Local Unions. If you are not 100% membership at your work site and you are willing to make it 100%, call your Business Agent or myself to learn how we can accomplish that goal. This is why the Teamsters is one of just a few International Unions that are successful in our organizing efforts today with a strong master, area and local contracts. This is why the Teamsters are looked upon by other International Unions as the leader and trend setter in the labor movement.

Local 79 can boast a little too. We are proud of our Local Union's history. Local 79 has been representing members and negotiating contracts in southwest Florida for more than sixty years. We have to acknowledge our forefathers for our success in their willingness, wisdom and courage to take the stance to create better working conditions and job security for themselves and future generations.

Local 79 was chartered by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1939 as a general Local Union. In our 65 plus year history, we have organized and represented just about every imaginable job possible. Local 79 has had a proud history in the representation of our members and organizing the unorganized. Without our continued commitment and dedication to organize the unorganized, Local 79's membership would not be as strong as it is today.

Local 79's jurisdiction covers Southwest Florida, Collier County north to Citrus County, and anywhere in between. Presently Local 79 represents approximately 40 companies, at nearly 100 different locations.

Now is the time to take the next step on behalf of our forefathers to carry on their heritage. Or, will you merely wait for tomorrow or someone else to take the first step. The question has to be asked, would we be here today if our forefathers had that attitude? That is why it is so important we we are involved with the IBT and the Local Union. Today Unions are being attacked on two fronts, big business and the government. Remember, we must elect our politicians to represent and protect us, not to destroy us. If our representatives are not listening to us, then it is obvious they are not aware of our issues. This translates, if they are not helping us, then they must be hurting us.

It's time to organize our strength in the political arena by having one collective voice. Our voice to politicians has to be that they must listen to our concerns and act on them or we will find a politician who will. They have their hand out for our vote and contributions towards their campaigns, so I don't think it is too much to ask for their support on our issues and concerns. At one time there were as many as four different Teamster Locals in the Tampa Bay area. But due to plant closing, downsizing and/or outsourcing, the remaining members were merged into Local 79. Today is the time to take that stance for our future and future generations. Tomorrow is too late.

We encourage all our members to attend their monthly General Membership Meeting at the Tampa Union Hall, at 9:00 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month (except June/July/August), and the second Saturday of December. Refreshments are provided after each meeting so we can relax and socialize with the Membership. It's a great opportunity to visit and share your experiences with the other Brothers and Sisters throughout Local 79's jurisdiction. Area meetings are also held in Ft. Myers.

Contact Information:

Teamsters Local Union No. 79
5818 E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33619

Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Telephone (813) 621-1391
Fax (813) 626-7915

Officers & Staff: 

Brian A. Rothman
President & Business Manager

Gary Kaleskas
Secretary-Treasurer & Business Agent
Thor T. Johnson
Vice President & Business Agent
Kenneth C. Williams
Recording Secretary
John Sholtes
Trustee & Business Agent
Larry E. Dupree
Trustee
Gerry Stack
Trustee & Business Agent
Sharon Ayala
Business Agent

Denise Escribano
Administrative Specialist

Sabrina Gilley
Insurance & Pension
Betty Devitt
Receptionist/Secretary
Joanne Simon
Dues & Bookkeeping


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