In this corner we’ve introduced our union members to some powerful women. We’ve learned about Rosie the Riveter, we’ve learned about women who have run for political office, and now we’d like to remind members that we have some powerful and helpful women right here at UFCW Local 1167 who serve members every day! Several of these women achieved noteworthy “firsts.”
Tami Gerbing has worked in our union’s Insurance Department in Bloomington since 1998. Prior to that, she worked at the Trust Fund Office in Cypress from 1990 to 1998, and before that she worked for her father for 10 years as a data processor. “You just can’t beat the benefits of the union industry,” she says. “The union is here for the members and we help them with their insurance questions, of which there are many,” she added. “I’m so happy to help the members when they call with questions or concerns. I’ve come to know so many of them by name.”
Tami helps them learn if they’re eligible for benefits or whether their premiums are up to date. She helps them with disability claims and other matters relating to their insurance. “I’m able to help members with dental and vision claims,” she said. “The dental and vision offices call me by my first name.”
When she’s not helping the members, Tami spends her time as a licensed hairdresser. When her daughter, Marilyn, was 2 and a half years old she was the “poster child” for the Press-Enterprise newspaper’s classified ads in the Riverside area. Marilyn is 23 now and is a talented makeup artist who works for Mac makeup and Ulta beauty stores.
In June, Melinda Gantner will have 20 years of experience with Local 1167. She started as a temp in the Benefits and Membership Departments before she was hired to work in the Membership Department full-time. She previously worked for the Fred Meyer grocery chain in Washington state.
When her husband, Larry, served in the Navy, she worked in the commissary’s grocery store at the base where he served.
At Local 1167’s offices, “I work a lot with withdrawal cards, helping members make sure the proper paperwork is filled out if they go out on disability leave,” she said. “We help them solve their problems and help them understand how their dues are deducted. We help members so they don’t get suspended.
“The union protects members’ rights and helps them avoid being taken advantage of,” she continued.
“Being union means fair pay and fair hours. But if you don’t have a union to back you up, you’re on your own.
“With the union, you have people fighting for what’s right and making sure you get what you deserve."
" “We get thousands of members back to work and their back pay restored. It’s rewarding work.”
Tami Gerbing and Melinda Gantner are just two of the capable hardworking women who take care of our members’ needs every day.
You’ll find them both in Local 1167’s offices Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Give them a call and ask for them by name!