Press Releases

Teamsters Endorse Costa Constantinides for Borough President

Powerful Union Supports Progressive Movement to Transform Queens

Teamsters Joint Council 16, one of New York City’s most influential and historic unions representing workers in a wide array of industries, today endorsed Costa Constantinides as Queens’ next Borough President.

Support from the 120,000-member union comes just three weeks ahead of the March 24th special election. Teamsters Joint Council 16 caps off a groundswell of labor support in the last week for the Astoria native, joining RWDSU and CWA Local 1106. Constantinides joined union leadership at their headquarters this morning to celebrate the announcement.

“Costa is the fighter working people need in Queens. He has a clear vision of how to support worker’s rights and expand union membership,” said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16. “Costa has a consistent record of standing with us on important issues when no one else would and is unafraid to advocate for what is right. We are proud to support him and help bring green new jobs to Queens.”

“Joint Council 16 represents the best of our City in the way it’s fought for fair wages, a safe work environment, and cleaner streets,” said Costa Constantinides, progressive candidate for Queens Borough President. “It’s members have continued to press for progressive causes, and I am so grateful they have joined our movement to Transform Queens.”

Joint Council 16, which represents 27 locals in Downstate New York and Puerto Rico, chose Constantinides in recognition of a partnership that stretches back 10 years. Most recently, they stood together as members of the Transform Don’t Trash coalition, which successfully pushed for the Commercial Waste Zone law to pass last fall. Nearly 100 private waste haulers previously zoomed trucks across the City, which created over-polluted, unsafe streets while exploiting workers to 14-hour shifts. The new system, which assigns no more than three private carting companies to one of the City’s 20 zones, is expected to save 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Both Constantinides and Joint Council 16 also stood in solidarity with RWDSU against Amazon’s attempts to bigfoot its way into Long Island City. While the conglomerate sought $3 billion in tax breaks for a corporate campus without any community input, Amazon executives refused to stay neutral in unionization efforts at its warehouses — where workers are notoriously put in danger for substandard wages. Constantinides has continued to call on Amazon to allow workers to unionize, especially at the Woodside warehouse in his Council District.

Teamster Joint Council 16 joins Locals 553 and 814 in endorsing Constantinides for Borough President. A growing labor coalition that includes RWDSU, CWA Local 1106, UFCW Local 1500, and IUOE Local 94 has coalesced around the progressive leader.

Costa Constantinides currently serves in the New York City Council, where he represents western Queens and chairs the Committee on Environmental Protection. His legislative accomplishments include the Climate Mobilization Act, a Green New Deal for New York City, as well as the historic 80% reduction by 2050 of carbon emissions commitment. Costa lives in his native Astoria with his wife and son.

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