Ken Hendrix has been a Teamster for more than 40 years, moving through a variety of roles and wearing innumerable hats for nearly half a century. While being involved with UPS from the very start of his Teamster career, Hendrix learned just how valuable it is for someone to join the Teamsters and gain a voice in the workplace.
Hendrix began his Teamster career in 1974 when he started as a UPS Package Delivery Driver at the age of 19 in Bellville, Illinois. “If you were with UPS, you were a Teamster. It was as simple as that,” he said. Hendrix came to see that being with the Teamsters meant having a voice in the workplace. As his first service to the union, he was elected as a union steward in 1985. In this position, he upheld that ideal, making sure his fellow coworkers’ voices were heard.
He served as a steward for ten years, half of his 20-year career as a delivery driver for UPS.
Life Local 710
In the spring of 1995, Ken Hendrix was hired to join the team at Local 710, where he began as an organizer. By summer of the following year, Local 710 needed a business agent who could learn the ins and outs of working with UPS. Naturally, Hendrix was the perfect fit for this position and gladly took on the opportunity.
There’s no alternative to joining the Teamsters if you want to have a voice in the workplace.
“I loved traveling out to all of the different worksites,” he said. “I built relationships with the stewards and members at each of my stops; those relationships take a long time to build and grow.”
With Local 710’s current membership of UPS employees growing, Trustee John T. Coli has hired five new UPS business agents to support more than 6,000 members. Hendrix is ready to turn over his responsibilities to the next generation. “I feel comfortable now; I feel like I can leave,” said Hendrix. “The new Local 710 UPS business agents are the future, and they will be the backbone for our UPS members.”
Voice in the Workplace
Having been with the Teamsters from rank-and-file member to business agent, Hendrix has seen and experienced firsthand just how valuable being a part of the union is on countless occasions.
“Without the Teamsters representing UPS or any company for that matter, workers would have no voice,” he said. “Local 710 has provided that voice. There’s no alternative to joining the Teamsters if you want to have a voice in the workplace.”
Over the years, Hendrix has seen new things every day as a Teamster. “There’s always something new, whether it’s a new problem to solve or new task to take on. Every day is memorable; every day is a new adventure,” he said.
Every day is memorable; every day is a new adventure.
Hendrix plans to enjoy his retirement by spending time with his wife and family. “My wife and I like to travel, so we’ll be doing a lot of that,” he said. He also has seven grandkids. He’s excited to be able to see them more often to spend time and help out with them.
Even though he’s retiring from his position as a Local 710 business agent, Ken Hendrix will never be too far from the Teamsters. “Of course, I’ll happily volunteer my time for anything the union needs. I’m always available to help out with the Teamsters.”