|BY EVELIO PEREZ|
|Me and my Dad|
My immediate reaction was to jump off my chair and yell in total euphoria, just knowing that the starting hourly wage was $3.15 an hour was enough to get me very exited. That was a huge amount of money those days when you could get a gallon of gas for 20 cents a gallon! Heck, my folks even bought a house in the Gables for 15 thousand dollars!
|Me and my twin |
brother Eddie (RIP)
I remember showing up in my first day at the I.L.A. Local 1922 Union Hall around 5:30 am sitting in a big room full of people wearing their hard-hats. All of them were waiting for their name to be called. As the room started to empty out, my name was finally called by this big intimidating burly man named Bill Boyle. He says with his heavy, raspy voice, "Hey kid, you're Bebo's (My Dad's nickname) son right?" Of course I stumbled and babbled around just to say the words yes sir. Then he says "go to CCT Shed C and start at 8:00 am............ Good Luck"
Yes, on my very first day I was sent to one of the busiest companies in The Port of Miami as a shipping clerk to work at receiving and delivering cargo in this huge and busy warehouse.
My first thoughts when I got there (before work started) was that there was no way that I could last in this crazy place, it was a complete mad house! There were drivers everywhere and they all wanted their cargo. I was stunned and overwhelmed, but I knew deep inside that I could not let my loving Father down.
Little did I know that as soon as 8:00 am (starting time) came around, the Checkers would quickly have everything running smoothly and under full control.
|40 Years of service award|
On that first day, from 8 am all the way to quitting time at 5 pm, Mr. Bosh was taking care of me like he was my own father. He showed me the correct way to receive and deliver cargo, he would also explain that any one little error could lead to thousands of dollars in loses to the customer.
|With President Becerra|
|Here's Butch having some|
nice words to tell me.......
The port is not an easy place to work in, there are dangers all around where you could easily be hurt badly or even get killed (as many have) in a split second if you let your guard down.
|Monument for |
|With V.P. Luis Gonzalez|
|With friend and boss,|
|With long time friend,|
In 1997 I got the unexpected and horrible news that I had esophageal cancer. The operation to remove my cancerous esophagus was experimental and the complications that arose from it required another major operation, just to save my life. I knew that statistics gave me and anybody that got this horrible disease a 5% chance of survival.
The operation as successful as it was, left me with one paralyzed vocal cord during the procedure (I had no voice). My stomach replaced my esophagus and literally moved close to my left lung where it was not able to expand as needed to freely breathe after a tiring day.
The operation to remove my cancerous esophagus was experimental and the complications that arose from it required another major operation, just to save my life. But with Gods grace and the many prayers from many friends and family, the cancer had not spread to other parts of my body.
|Me with Vivian on our |
Well, to make the story short, I rehabilitated myself enough to walk but was having a tough time adjusting to my new and dilapidated body. I would never be the same. The smell of car fumes alone was having a effect on my ability to breathe and my lack of sleep because of my condition was taking a huge toll on my health and my family.
|My work station|
From day one after my return, they bent over backwards and allowed me to work inside, away from the damaging dust and diesel fumes out on the field. I worked the computers in a container yard (POMTOC) receiving and delivering containers, dealing with drivers just as I had on my first day of work 41 years ago in the container yard until my final day of my retirement.
|Getting my watch!|
My journey began with me wanting to make good money, have good insurance and the ability to have all the comforts I needed. But I also ended up with an undying allegiance and respect that I have grown to have for this great Union and the awesome band of brothers that I've grown to love.
|Thanks to Danny and |
Michelle for this awesome
and yummy cake!!!!!!
I am a better person having known you all.
See more Pictures here.... http://evelio-perez.blogspot.com/2014/11/ila-pictures.html
MAY GOD BLESS THE I.L.A.