Seen below are 13 men from the local’s movie division standing in front of a large production vehicle.New Mexico Teamsters Local 492 may hold the record for the highest percentage of female movie drivers – 21%.Coli in the middle; his son, president John Coli Jr.
“I’ve had all kinds of horrible things done to my trucks and trailers.” Lundin, who says she was “raised by cowboys,” started out in the business as a horse wrangler, but now makes “a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year” driving big trucks and operating generators, but adds: “That’s because I’m ornery.” Transportation coordinators, she said, “are always going to ask for men drivers first, and then they’re always going to put the women in the van. I know I don’t.” Women drivers, she said, “need to be tougher and not be intimidated by the men.
And the local should be aware that all the women are being put in vans.” Employment opportunities for women movie drivers are even more scarce in Chicago and New York.
Stephen Sorrell, the local’s secretary-treasurer, said that “six or seven” of the local’s 80 members who work as drivers on movies are women, and most of them are van drivers. “If they’re qualified to do it, I’ll give them a shot.” San Francisco Teamsters Local 2786 has about 50 members who drive movie trucks, of which 10 are women, according to the local’s business agent.
Only one of the 18 members on its “A List” of senior drivers is a woman, however.
The IBT’s website notes that it “has always stood as a bastion of hope for all working people, regardless of gender, race or creed.” Founded in 1903, when women couldn’t vote, the union, which recently endorsed a woman for President of the United States, certainly does have a proud history of fighting for the rights of working men and women.
So perhaps as a first step toward becoming more inclusive, the union might start gathering statistics, as do the DGA and the WGA, on the employment of women in the film and TV industry – and then consider adopting a less gender-exclusive name: maybe something like the International Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Teamsters.
They inherited the local from their father, reputed mobster and longtime Local 727 honcho, Eco James Coli, now deceased.
Sources say that Teamsters Local 817 in New York City isn’t much better, with few, if any, women drivers on its movie division roster, although that could not be confirmed because the local steadfastly refused to answer any questions.
The court found that some 250-300 drivers belong to the Chicago local’s movie/trade show division, “but apparently, in its 70-year history, the division has never referred a female driver to any of the movie or television production companies that hire drivers.” Just last month, the Chicago local admitted in court filings that transportation coordinators “have not hired women to do bargaining unit work” in its movie/trade show division since June of 2008, when the local assumed the movie jurisdiction of Chicago Teamsters Local 714, which Hoffa had placed into trusteeship for, among other things, job favoritism.
Prior to that, and dating back to the 1940s, Local 714 had never placed a female on its roster of movie drivers. That’s the union’s boss, secretary-treasurer John T.