“Thank a Teamster” Billboards Pop-up Across Chicagoland Expressways

Teamster Local 731 is showing its appreciation to all of the hard-working Teamsters who are performing essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic by putting up billboards across Chicago-area expressways thanking them for continuing to work on the front lines.

“From the waste collection workers keeping our communities clean, to the supply chain workers keeping our stores stocked, and every Teamster in between, we want to show our gratitude to you,” said Teamsters Local 731 President Terrence J. Hancock.

Chicago’s morning traffic is a lot lighter due to so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the traffic on Chicago-area expressways is made up essential workers, and a lot of those essential workers are Teamsters working in the fields of food processing, public service, transportation, construction, waste collection, freight, and more.

“Our Teamster Men and Women are the ones still on the roads keeping America running and they have not missed a beat. I am so proud of their work. I hope they see these billboards and know we are continuing to fight for them every day to make sure they’re protected and compensated for the essential work they’re doing right now,” Hancock said.

Teamster billboard locations:

I-290 at Northlake facing North
I-294 at Northlake facing North
Rt. 83 at Butterfield Rd. facing North and South
Rt. 53 at Euclid Ave. facing North and South
I-290 at Manheim Rd. facing West.


Illinois Teamsters Working Behind the Scenes and on the Front Lines During COVID-19 Pandemic

(CHICAGO) Amidst the Shelter-in-Place Order for the State of Illinois due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of the more than 100,000 hardworking rank-and-file members of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 and our twenty-five affiliated Local Unions are continuing to work in order to provide essential goods and services to the citizens of Illinois and the nation during this most difficult time.
Our hard working Union members are continuing to build and maintain Illinois’s critical infrastructure and keeping necessary supply chains moving throughout the State during the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois is a critical hub between America’s East and West coasts and Teamsters play a crucial role in the national supply chain, ensuring Americans get the essential food, medicine and supplies they need during this national crisis. In addition, Teamsters play a larger role in Illinois’ day-to-day operations across nearly every industry and are actively battling the COVID-19 pandemic in numerous ways. Teamsters are employed as medical professionals, healthcare support staff, law enforcement, first responders, waste industry workers, freight and food supply chain workers, and engineers, just to name a few.
“Our rank-and-file membership is not only the backbone of the Illinois Economy day-in and day-out, but we are also on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Teamsters Council 25 President, Terrence J. Hancock. “Our members are the ambulance drivers, pharmacists, nurses, technicians, and other vital employees caring for COVID-19 patients as cases continue to rise within our home State. These heroic workers need our support and deserve our gratitude now more than ever.”


Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 represents over 100,000 members in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million members in North America.


Message From the Joint Council President

Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to take a moment to mention and formally recognize the hardworking Teamsters that are keeping this City, State, and our Country running at this time of National uncertainty. Our members are the backbone of the American economy. Collectively we keep advancing the country’s day to day agenda…for which we are all very grateful!

Some of you are working 12-hour shifts keeping our grocery stores stocked. Some of you are delivering packages containing critical medicine and related supplies. Some of you are on staff at local hospitals that are caring for COVID-19 patients. We will continue to do everything in this Union’s power to make sure our Teamster Brothers and Sisters are protected and respected while providing essential services and much needed security. We owe our undying gratitude to you, and thank you for continuing to keep America running amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of you, however, have been instructed to stay home. Some of you have been reluctantly laid-off. Some of you are worried about your family and loved ones and how they’ll make it through, without proper protective gear and/or a weekly paycheck. We will continue to do everything in this Union’s power to assist our Teamster Brothers and Sisters who continue to struggle through this turbulent period. We will continue to fight on your behalf, urging employers to expand paid leave for those affected by COVID-19, protecting workers from being overworked and undercompensated as some industries ramp-up production and services, pushing for legislation that provides relief to industries negatively affected by COVID-19, and keeping you informed about the latest health and safety alerts from government agencies.

All Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 Affiliates and their dedicated staffs including Teamsters Local 731, continue to work diligently on your behalf and well-being, and are committed to taking care of our hard working rank-and-file membership.

This is and shall continue to be job one!

In solidarity,

Terrence J. Hancock

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Gov. Pritzker Expands Unemployment Benefits Amid COVID-19 Emergency

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The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) caused Governor J.B. Pritzker to issue emergency rules expanding unemployment benefits for the State of Illinois.

As part of the expansion, an individual temporarily laid-off because their workplace closed due to COVID-19 could qualify for benefits from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The IDES website also provides guidance on eligibility for unemployment benefits if you are unable to work because you are confined to your home to self quarantine, care for children who are home from school, or care for a family member who has contracted COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19, and to apply for unemployment benefits, please visit the IDES website HERE.

Below are some more helpful links for information about COVID-19:

The Illinois Department of Public Health Daily Updates

The Chicago Federation of Labor COVID-19 Resources Page

The Chicago Department of Health Daily Updates

General President James P. Hoffa called Chicagoland Teamsters "the heart of this Union"

General President Hoffa visits Chicago, swears in JC 25 Executive Boards

General President James P. Hoffa called Chicagoland Teamsters "the heart of this Union"
General President James P. Hoffa called Chicagoland Teamsters “the heart of this Union”

International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa delivered an invigorating speech to Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 Delegates Tuesday before swearing in all newly elected Executive Board Members of Joint Council No. 25 and fourteen Local Affiliates. The General President encouraged those being sworn in to pause and reflect on the solemn oath they were about to take, and how they can strive every day to serve their rank-and-file membership better.

“We make a solemn pledge every three years about what we intend to do for this union,” General President Hoffa said. “Some parts in there say, ‘It’s the members who I will serve. It’s the members who put me here.’ I like that. Because that is what it’s all about. We did not get here by ourselves. The members put us here. And is the members we shall serve.”

Joint Council 25 President Terrence J. Hancock, Secretary-Treasurer Thomas W. Stiede, Vice President Brian Meidel, Recording Secretary James T. Glimco, and Trustees Keith E. Gleason, Dominic Romanazzi, and Debra Simmons-Peterson took their oaths to faithfully and dutifully serve all of the Affiliated Local Unions and their Teamster Brothers and Sisters. Teamsters Joint Council President Terrence J. Hancock said he was ecstatic when he learned General President Hoffa planned to attend the Delegates Meeting to swear in the Executive Officers of Joint Council No. 25.

“It meant so much to me, and the rest of our Executive Board, that the General President was there to administer our oaths of office. The tireless work and outstanding achievements of General President Hoffa has made the International Brotherhood of Teamsters what it is today: the strongest and most united labor organization in North America,” President Hancock said.

General President Hoffa referred to Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 as “the heart of our Union” and spoke about Joint Council No. 25’s recent organizing successes and contract wins.

“This is the heart of our union. Here in Chicago, Joint Council 25. This is really where it’s at, and it’s about all of us having a plan, every Local unit having a plan,” General President Hoffa said. “We are organizing like never before. We organized thousands of people last year. 2019 was a historic year for our Union. We’re organizing from coast to coast. You know that, you’re doing it here.”

Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 President Terrence J. Hancock addresses delegates before introducing General President Hoffa
Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 President Terrence J. Hancock addresses delegates before introducing General President Hoffa

General President Hoffa rallied the Delegates to be filled with a spirit of determination and innovation when it comes to getting more members involved with Union activities. General President Hoffa called on every Joint Council 25 Affiliate Officer to strive for improved membership outreach.

“We need to involve the members more, so they see a connection between their leadership and their lives,” General President Hoffa said.

Executive Board Members were also sworn in from Teamsters Local No. 50, Local No. 301, Local No. 325, Local No. 627, Local No. 673, Local No. 700, Local No. 722, Local No. 727, Local No. 731, Local No. 734, Local No. 743, Local No. 777, Local No. 781, and Local No. 916.

General President Hoffa posed for pictures with the newly sworn-in Officers, and personally signed individual copies of the oath for each of the 93 Officers sworn in Tuesday. General President Hoffa parted with a sincere message for each of the Delegates in attendance, he asked them all to “strive for success and solidarity.”

“You’ve got to have that constant fire in your belly,” General President Hoffa said. “You’ve been elected to serve, it’s an obligation, all of us have. And I know that everyone in this room will go out and do that job. We have a lot of work to do. I look out here and I see a lot of great Teamsters. Let’s get together, let’s have a plan and let’s make sure we work to keep this Union great.”

General President Hoffa administered the Oath of Office to the executive boards of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 and fourteen Local affiliates
General President Hoffa administered the Oath of Office to the executive boards of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 and fourteen Local affiliates

The Word on Weed: What You Need to Know

IMPORTANTThe new law legalizing recreational marijuana within the State of Illinois went into effect on January 1, 2020. However, marijuana utilization and possession is still illegal in most workplaces. It is still both dangerous and illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Though it will soon be legal, off-the-clock use of recreational marijuana can have major consequences.

Illinois already has a law on the books that makes drivers with THC blood concentration of five nomograms or more per milliliter guilty of driving under the influence, regardless of whether the driver is impaired. The new law creates a DUI Task Force led by Illinois State Police to examine best practices in regard to roadside testing.

It is illegal to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana. Nothing in State Law prevents the arrest or prosecution of an individual for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. Anyone who refuses a properly requested test related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana can face criminal charges.

The effects of a “high” can wear off after a few hours, but THC can stay in the body’s system for much longer and turn up positive in blood, urine and saliva drug tests for up to weeks after initial consumption.

According to studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana “significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.” Furthermore, analysis of data has shown that the risk of being involved in a crash significantly increases after marijuana use.

“Though Illinois has legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults, most employers have strict Policies when it comes to drug testing. Just like alcohol, marijuana utilization impairs cognitive abilities and should never be consumed before or during work hours. Safety in the workplace is paramount, and we as Teamsters have a responsibility to our members, co-workers, and the general public to create and maintain a safe environment,” said Terrence J. Hancock, Teamsters Joint Council 25 President.

All public employees that are susceptible to random drug testing – or any type of drug testing (i.e. post-accident) should understand that the employer still has the right to terminate employment if a drug test comes back positive. The legal recreational marijuana law does not supersede Federal Law.

Legal recreational marijuana does not mean that it’s legal in the workplace or public places. You can be discharged from your job for your off-the-clock use of marijuana. Pursuant to Federal Law, the utilization of marijuana is illegal and the employer has the right to prohibit it.

Some of the 20+ Boxes teamsters Local 731 donated to Toys for Tots Chicagoland

Local 731 Makes Huge Donation to Chicagoland Toys for Tots

There’s a lot of similarities between Santa Claus and Teamsters Local 731 Member Jason Haynes. They’re both big, jolly, bearded men who drive vehicles with a lot of horsepower (or reindeer-power) for a living. And they both devoted a lot of their time this year to making sure every boy and girl had a toy on Christmas.
Haynes delivered fourteen boxes full of toys, Teamsters Local 731 members filled up at least six more boxes and donated an additional $3,500 to Chicagoland Toys for Tots at their December 19th general membership meeting. Chicagoland Toys for Tots Vice President Tom Dertz said the Teamsters are one of the groups largest individual donors to their group.

Some of the 20+ Boxes teamsters Local 731 donated to Toys for Tots Chicagoland
Some of the 20+ Boxes teamsters Local 731 donated to Toys for Tots Chicagoland

“The Teamsters have been a big supporter of us for many years, they go 110% for us,” Dertz said. “They’ve got big hearts, they’re very giving and anytime we’ve reached out for them for something they’ve come through for us.”
Haynes works delivering steel for Earle M. Jorgensen Co. (EMJ) in Schaumburg, where he also serves as a Union Steward. He enlisted the help of Teamsters Local 731 Trustee and Business Agent Michael Corrigan and his fellow Teamsters at Local 731 to help him out.

Among the dolls, games, and sports equipment inside the boxes, the Teamsters donated plenty of toy trucks to be given to little boys and girls
Among the dolls, games, and sports equipment inside the boxes, the Teamsters donated plenty of toy trucks to be given to little boys and girls

“Last year we asked Mike if we could help raise more toys by getting some extra boxes, he okayed it. And then this year we decide to go bigger and we got a hold of Mike and Terry Hancock and said ‘Hey can I get at least 14 boxes,’ and they said absolutely. So we went around and put them in the 14 different stores throughout McHenry county,” Haynes said.
His delivery route sometimes covers 400 miles a day. He’s got a lot of time to think while he’s on the road, and this time of year, Haynes is usually thinking about who he can enlist to help him in his Toys for Tots mission.
“I think about raising gifts all the time, what I can do to help the community, what else I can do to be a better person. And I think by reaching out to contacts to help the less fortunate,” Haynes said.
Trinity Athletics Center, a baseball academy and student development program in Lake of the Hills, donated almost three boxes full of toys to Toys for Tots. Coach Bill Walsh tries to teach his players about being men and giving back both on, and off the field.

President Hancock called for a motion to donate an additional $3,500 to Chicagoland Toys for Tots, which was unanimously approved
President Hancock called for a motion to donate an additional $3,500 to Chicagoland Toys for Tots, which was unanimously approved

“Trinity Athletic Center is unique in the fact that we are trying to mold young man to be able to get out into the workforce as well as sports. We have a learning center that we developed here that has SAT prep for the high school kids and we have our older kids to tutor the younger kids here,” Walsh said. “We’re always looking for new things to do, get them involved. You never know what passion these kids are going to have, so if we can get one kid out of the hundred that we have here that will get into charitable contributions and those things then it’s a good thing.”
Fellow EMJ Driver Perry Harris was Haynes’ right-hand-man collecting toys this season. He is passionate about putting smiles on kids’ faces.
“When I go to customers that I have, and I pick up the toys from them, first I thank the customer for letting me put a box there. And then to see how many toys are actually in the box to give to even more kids, that we can hand out. It’s unbelievable. It’s an awesome feeling,” Harris said.

Teamsters Local 731 President Terrence J. Hancock recognized Members Jason Haynes and Perry Harris for their hard work collecting toys for Chicagoland Toys for Tots
Teamsters Local 731 President Terrence J. Hancock recognized Members Jason Haynes and Perry Harris for their hard work collecting toys for Chicagoland Toys for Tots

Looking at the boxes assembled in front of the Teamsters local 731 Executive Board at their meeting, it’s no surprise many contained toy trucks.
“When a kid gets a truck it’s even better. It’s just a better feeling. It’s like all right, so now they’re in our industry,” Harris said.
The main focus for Toys for Tots and the Teamsters is putting smiles on the faces of children this holiday season.
“I think with the Teamsters are doing is a great thing. You have the reach and the amount of people to do a lot of good,” Walsh said.
“Some of these guys come from modest backgrounds, and they know what it is to struggle, so they give us what they can give us. They’re making a lot of kids happy this year,” Dertz said.
“There were other boxes that were filled, by the garbage guys in a local, everybody in our local that came that night, and it was just amazing,” Haynes said. “That’s what the Teamsters represent, the brotherhood the sisterhood that’s in it and to see them come together with stuff like that it’s just it’s awesome.”
After seeing the generosity of the large donation, a motion was made to donate an extra $3,500 Toys for Tots, which was unanimously approved by the membership.
Several other Teamster Locals that are affiliates with Teamsters Joint Council 25 made large donations to Toys for Tots as well.

The back of Local 731 Member and Steward Jason Haynes' car, filled to the brim with gifts
The back of Local 731 Member and Steward Jason Haynes’ car, filled to the brim with gifts

Dertz said any family or organization in need this holiday season, or any other time of year, is encouraged to send a letter to Toys for Tots Chicagoland. You can read more information about the organization and their annual Holiday Motorcycle Parade here.

Teamsters Joint Council 25 memorial service

Video: Joint Council 25 Honors Teamsters That Passed Away 2019

On December 10th, 2019 Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 honored the names of those Officers, Staff, Members and Important Individuals who have passed away in the preceding year. These are individuals who dedicated their lives to the cause of helping the Teamsters and all working people. Teamsters Joint Council Executive Director Mike DiGrazia and Drummer Michael Folker, Member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians Local Union No. 10-208, called the roll one last time for our dear friends.

Teamsters Joint Council 25 memorial service
Drummer Michael Folker, Member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians Local Union No. 10-208, played out each individual as their name was called on the roll one last time at Teamsters Joint Council 25 Delegates Meeting on December 10th, 2019 at Local 731 in Burr Ridge
  • William D. Hancock, Beloved Father of Terrence J. Hancock and Loyal International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134 Member for 68 Years
  • Anthony “Tony” Judge, Former Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 706 and Former President of Teamsters Joint Council 25
  • Roger Allen, Business Agent of Teamsters Local 142
  • Gerald William Hall, Jr., Beloved Father of Terry Gleason and Father-In-Law of Keith E. Gleason of Teamsters Local 627
  • Eric Smith, Local 700 Member of the City of Chicago’s Aviation Department at O’Hare Airport (Smith was hit and killed by a drunk driver December 6th 2019)
  • Mark Sredzinski, Former Joint Council 25 Organizer and Local 710 Member
  • Albert Peterson, Former Trustee and Local 722 Member
  • Rozella Garrett, Former President of Teamsters Local 743 Retiree Club

Teamsters Joint Council 25 thanks these men and women for their years of service and sacrifice.



Proud Teamsters Local 731 Member Mike Angus was featured by the Chicago Sun-Times

Teamsters Local 731 Member Mike Angus was recently featured in an article by the Chicago Sun-Times (Screenshot: chicago.suntimes.com)

Waste Management truck driver and proud Teamsters Local 731 member Mike Angus was featured by the Chicago Sun-Times in an article published on November 10th as part of the paper’s “Hardest-Working Voices in Labor” series.

Angus begins his collection route though Chicago’s Southwest Side and surrounding suburbs (Photo courtesy: Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times)

The Lockport-native worked in the business world for years before joining IBT Local 731 and Waste Management, a job Angus has come to love. Angus highlighted the demands and importance of his job, and also the benefits of belonging to a strong union like Teamster Local 731.

“We have great representation through the union. I can’t say enough about those individuals. The benefits we have that they’ve negotiated for throughout the years,” Angus said.

Sun-Times reporter Ryan Smith caught up with Angus on his waste collection route through Chicago’s Southwest Side and surrounding suburbs earlier this month.

“We’re removing the garbage in a safe manner and preventing environmental hazards to communities and more pests like raccoons and rats… I don’t want to live in a world where we don’t exist,” Angus told the Sun-Times.

Click here to read the full article and here to watch the 2-minute video profile.

The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee welcomes Terry Hancock as Grand Marshal

Terrence J. Hancock joined the Teamsters in 1979 as a rank-and-file semi-dump tractor/trailer chauffeur. In 1989, he was appointed as a Business Representative of Teamsters Local 731, rising to Secretary-Treasurer by 1997. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa appointed Mr. Hancock as an International Representative to the Construction Division in Washington, D.C. in 1999. The rank-and-file membership of IBT Local 731 elected Hancock as President in 2005. The following year, General President Hoffa appointed him as Central Region Coordinator of the International’s Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division. Hancock has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor and the Board of Directors of the Italian American Labor Council. In 2007, he was elected as a Trustee of Joint Council 25. In 2008, he was elected as Recording Secretary before becoming Vice President. The IBT Joint Council 25 Executive Board named Hancock the 10th President of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 on July 17, 2017, and was confirmed September 12, 2017. He has currently attained more than 39 years of service as a member of Local 731. Terry also serves on the Easterseals Board of Directors and the Special Olympic Board of Directors but his most cherished accomplishment is President of the “In Search of a Cure” Charitable Organization in honor of his beloved autistic son Bryan Dennis Hancock.

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