General News

Teamsters Remember September 11

“On this anniversary, we remember the family, friends, union sisters and brothers, and all who lost their lives on September 11, 2001,” said Teamsters Joint Council 16 President Thomas Gesualdi. “In the days after the attacks, Teamsters and other workers from across the region sacrificed to help with rescue, relief, recovery. Many have since suffered serious health conditions or died from debris contaminants. For the many union members who were impacted by September 11th, we recommit ourselves to carrying on in their memory and honoring their legacy.”

September 11, 2001, was a day like no other in our nation’s history, but Teamsters reacted with characteristic solidarity. The union’s leadership and rank-and-file members stepped up and assisted with the rescue, recovery, cleanup and rebuilding.

The Teamster response to the Sept. 11 attacks was enormous and encompassed dozens of locals across multiple states.

Teamsters were on hand to assist in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in New York City. Teamsters were among the first in the World Trade Center buildings to direct the confused and frightened people into the street and out of harm’s way. Local 237 volunteered on bucket brigades to help dig out debris. Volunteers from Local 707 in Hempstead, N.Y. transported supplies and food from Long Island. Locals across the country raised money and emergency supplies, coordinated blood donations and more. Javitz Center Teamsters with Local 807 volunteered at a central supply center. Local 639 in Washington, D.C. drove refrigeration trucks to transport remains from the Pentagon to an Army post. Local 282 had hundreds of drivers working in 12-hour shifts removing tons of debris from the fallen towers, and dozens more locals participated in various ways.

More than 300 sanitation Teamsters with Local 831 in New York City worked at Ground Zero. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, these Teamsters got right to work. They cleared a path through debris to make way for emergency vehicles, cleared out food from downtown cafeterias and sorted through debris at Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.

Today, we remember and honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and the workers who led the relief and recovery, many of whom live with the chronic health conditions today.

Photo credit: Svein-Magne Tunli