Brother Miguel Gonzalez is currently one of the most tenured
members at Teamsters Local 350, with fifty-three years of union membership
under his belt. His story begins back in a small town in Jalisco, Mexico,
Born on February 2, 1951, he immigrated to the United States
in October 1966 as a motivated teenager, ready to work. His career in the
garbage industry began with the Daly City Scavengers on September 8, 1967, at
the age of sixteen until he made the move to his current company, the South San
Francisco Scavengers, in 1971.
“I started working first for Daly City Scavenger Company in
1967. I worked there through November 1970. My brother worked for South San
Francisco Scavenger Company. We compared our wages, benefits, and I knew I
could do better there. I interviewed with Renato Archiro, one of the bosses at
South San Francisco Scavenger Co. He hired me on to the Scavengers crew on February
8, 1971. I felt this company had more opportunity for advancement, financial
security, and benefits for my family.” Said Brother Miguel Gonzalez
“When I first joined Teamsters Local 350, I felt I could
have job security, equal rights for advancement, and opportunity. I felt Bob
Morales represented the members, spoke our language, had good communication
with the members, stood up to the company interests, negotiated contracts for
our benefit. He showed the members if they worked hard at their jobs, they
could provide for their families. He was there to represent us and our
After forty-nine years and counting with the South San
Francisco Scavengers, Brother Gonzalez drives an eighteen-wheeler semi-transfer
truck. Some of his essential duties are conducting a pre-trip and post-trip
inspection of the truck to maintain safety, observe traffic regulations, and driving
his truck from the Blue Line Transfer Station in South San Francisco to the BFI
Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay.
“My day usually consists of ten hours of subsequent trips
from South San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. I find the independence to drive my
truck and knowing I am contributing to the well-being of the community and my
family’s welfare most enjoyable."
When Brother Gonzalez isn’t hauling his trailer and working,
he enjoys watching his soccer team, Mezcala, play on Sundays in the San
Francisco Premier Soccer League. He scouts players so that they can join the
team. A dedicated family man, he has big Sunday dinners with his wife, all his
children, and grandchildren who range from one year old to twenty years old. “I
stay busy watching them grow up and live all their accomplishments.
A member and dedicated worker for so long, he has seen the
workforce and Local Union grow.
“I appreciate the young blood, new ideas, and progressive
approach, the boldness when supporting the politicians to represent the working
class. We need that type of leadership, always keeping in mind who they
represent. To the younger members, I can say work hard, be responsible, follow
the rules. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Be
respectful, get involved and participate in the process of negotiation to help
the leadership secure your future”
Teamsters Local 350 thanks Brother Miguel Gonzalez for his
loyalty to his union, his decades of diligent work to his career and his
community and for being a pillar of our union.
FIGHT TOGETHER, WIN TOGETHER!