The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in 1903 and currently represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico as the 4th most powerful labor union in the United States. To learn more about the Teamsters, visit teamster.org, and/or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Chartered in October 1967, and currently comprised of nearly 8,000 members, Local 988 has steadily become the second largest Teamsters union in Texas. We service members at 33 companies and over 60 worksites, and actively organize at other companies for those who want to form a union to secure better working conditions, wages, and benefits.
Local 988 is a part of Joint Council 58 – Southern Region, an International Brotherhood of Teamsters affiliate which incorporates four local unions that have combined territory reaching from the Texas Gulf Coast to San Antonio.
Today’s Local 988 was once divided into several Teamster Locals. Over time, Locals 968, 949, 920, and 1111 combined to form one of the largest single locals in Texas and the South.
The final local to merge into 988 was Local 968. However, prior to this merger, in the late 1960s, Teamsters at Local 968 were divided between freight drivers and warehouse workers, who primarily worked in the grocery industry at places like Weingartens. The freight workers decided they would be better served having their own union, and eventually formed Local 988. Both unions were housed in the same location along the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas until eventually merging back together in October 2015.
Over the years, as the Houston retail grocery industry changed, the legacy bargaining units represented by Local 968 underwent significant constriction resulting in diminished union membership. Changes in elected leadership brought further instability to Local 968, which is what led to the aforementioned reunification of Local 968 and 988.
Building for the Future
In the early 2000s, Local 988’s membership reached a low point, bottoming out around 3,000 members. Since then, through hard work and diligent organizing, membership has grown to nearly 8,000.
Houston area Teamsters can be proud of historic victories on behalf of these workers, including the workers at WCA, the first organized trash hauler in the Houston area, and Southern Glazer’s. Local 988 remain committed to improving the lives of workers along the greater Texas Gulf Coast region, and continues working to grow its membership.
Local 988’s Territory
Local 988 covers an expansive territory and includes the third most populated county in the country, Harris County, which is home to most of the city of Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. Our territory ranges from the Louisiana border to north of Lufkin, north of College Station, west of Schulenburg, to south of Victoria.