Teamster Talk #13: Stop the War on Workers!
Quote of the month: "Educate, agitate, organize must be our rallying cry." - Susan B. Anthony



A message from your Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson

Brothers and Sisters:

We are under attack. 
We all know that corporate greed caused the devastating financial freefall in 2008.  But do you know that Wall Street bonuses were 17% higher in 2009 than they were in 2008?  While working people lost their jobs and families lost their homes, those responsible were being rewarded.

By 2010, corporate profits rebounded and surpassed pre-2008 levels.  Those profits haven’t trickled down to working people in the form of wage increases or retirement security, however.  Instead, the gap between the richest people in our country and all the rest of us has grown.  Today, 1% of Americans own close to 40% of America’s wealth. 

Our government has chosen not to achieve some semblance of balance by taxing the richest in America.  Instead, federal and state governments are exempting wealthy corporations from taxes and allowing the already huge gap between the haves and the have-nots to grow.  As a result, budget deficits continue to grow. 

And who is the government blaming for the budget woes?  Not the wealthy individuals that don’t pay their fair share; not the wealthy corporations who are being allowed to keep more and more of their profits.  The government is blaming working people:  public employees who have committed their lives to public service and the working middle class who are trying only to hold onto their homes and feed their families.
In states across the country, the right to organize and collectively bargain is being stripped from working people.  Make no mistake, the goal is to kill the labor movement.
We must fight back. There is no choice.  This is a matter of survival. 

I am calling on each and every one of you to commit to fighting the war on workers.  We are an army of 16,000, and we will not be defeated.

In Solidarity,

Tracey A. Thompson

Put People First! Labor Rally in Olympia on April 8
The cynical attempt to destroy the American middle class in Wisconsin and elsewhere is having reverberations across the country.  Working people from Ohio to Indiana to Idaho are fighting back. 

In Washington State, Union members, including dozens of Teamsters, have attended solidarity rallies at the State Capitol in Olympia.   

The stakes of this fight are high as political renegades like Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and their corporate cronies attempt to strip working people of their hard-earned wages, benefits, and right to bargain collectively.  Read more.

Shop Stewards gear up to fight for working families
As the assault on working families in Wisconsin and around the country intensifies, Local 117 Shop Stewards are preparing for battle.

On Saturday, March 12, over 300 Stewards gathered at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle for the annual Shop Steward Seminar and Appreciation Day to discuss the ominous developments in Wisconsin and elsewhere as State governments across the country move to eliminate collective bargaining rights for Union workers. For information about how you can support Wisconsin working families, click here.

In her annual State of the Union address, Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer Tracey A. Thompson emphasized the critical nature of the moment and issued a call-to-arms. Read more.

Correctional Employees demand a greater voice on safety issues
Teamster correctional workers say that a National Institute of Corrections (NIC) report raises serious questions about the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) commitment to staff safety and that they are skeptical of the State’s assurance that it will implement the report’s recommendations after the NIC’s week-long investigation into policies and procedures at the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC).

“The NIC report makes good recommendations, but it remains to be seen if they will be implemented,” said Lynn Kunkle, a registered nurse at the Monroe Correctional Complex. “We have been urging the State for years to make these changes, but our input has fallen on deaf ears. It’s disturbing that it takes the murder of one of our co-workers before the State promises to take action.”  Read more.

Union wins King County re-classification case
Two King County employees will now receive fair compensation for their work plus a significant back pay award after they had been incorrectly classified by their employer, thanks to a Teamsters Local 117 arbitration victory.
The case involved three accountants – Nollin Ngoev, Emily Wang, and Connie Hughes – in the County’s Finance and Business Operations Division.  Read more.

April 2011

Mark your calendars!
Apr. 8- Labor Rally

Apr. 30- TFT Bowlathon

May 1 - May Day March

Labor Rally - Apr. 8
Join thousands of Union members statewide as we converge on the State Capitol in Olympia on April 8 to demand an end to the political and corporate culture that puts profits over people.  For more information, click here.

Bowlathon - Apr. 30
Join members of Teamsters Local 117 for a night of bowling, raffle, food, and fun.  The Local 117 BOWL-A-THON, sponsored by the Teamsters for Tomorrow, will take place at the Kent Bowl in Kent.  All members of Teamsters Local 117 and their families are welcome. For more information, click here.

May Day March - May 1
Members of Teamsters Local 117 will be joining thousands of immigrant workers, labor unions, social justice groups, and other community members to march on May 1 for humane working conditions for all workers. For more information, click here.





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