Teamster Talk #14: No more Wal-Mart style jobs!
Quote of the month: "We need to stand up together and fight, otherwise pretty soon the only jobs you will be able to get in this country are Wal-Mart style jobs,” – Marty Munce, Local 117 member at SuperValu.



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

Brothers and Sisters:

In 2010, 21% of America’s children lived at or below the poverty level.  For the first time in U.S. history, 40 million Americans received food stamps.  Banks currently own a greater share of the residential housing net worth in America than all individuals put together.  Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression.

The rich are getting richer at the expense of regular working people.  The middle class, which has been the heart and soul of America, is being gutted by corporate greed.  

Unlike most of America, Teamsters 117 members enjoy wages, benefits and working conditions protected by collective bargaining agreements.  It is a dangerous mistake, however, to think that we are not at risk of losing all we’ve fought hard to achieve.  Powerful corporations see this time as their opportunity to get rid of unions once and for all.

The only way we are going to push back the ever-growing power of big money is by joining forces and mobilizing people.  Labor unions, faith-based organizations, environmental groups, community activists, and all workers – employed and unemployed - must join together in action and speak together with one voice. 

The message is simple.  Workers, who produce the wealth in this country, deserve their fair share of it.  We will not accept anything less.

In Solidarity,

Tracey A. Thompson

Teamster grocery workers gear up for battle
Teamsters from across our region’s grocery industry joined forces on May 21 for the first-ever Grocery Workers’ Summit to prepare for contract negotiations set to begin this summer.

Contracts are open this year for over 1000 Teamsters at four major grocery houses – Fred Meyer, Safeway, SuperValu, and Unified Grocers.  Read more.

Emerging leaders join forces for change
Sometimes it gets a bit exhausting to think about the future of the labor movement.  Not because there is any doubt in my mind as to the absolute need to fight for workers' rights or to continue to build a platform for social and economic justice, but simply because of the sheer immensity of the task that young unionists are up against as we struggle to rebuild our nation.

Make no mistake, it is a scary time.  Union membership in this country is at an all time low of 11.9% and union members are taking the blame for just about every economic catastrophe that has plagued this country since the 80s. Read more.

Local 117 PACs building political power
At 6 AM on May 23, a group of Correctional Officers, weary from a night of patrolling the tiers at the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), met at the Guest House Inn in Monroe to help build political power at their Union. 

The gathering was part of a bold, new political action program at Local 117 aimed at enacting pro-labor legislative reform and electing public officials who care about working family issues. Read more.

Union's PERC complaint outlines widespread retaliation at DOC
On Monday, May 23, your Local Union filed an extensive Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) on behalf of numerous Local 117 members at the Department of Corrections who have been subjected to retaliation by the Employer as a result of their voicing concerns about staff safety issues.  

According to your Local Union’s 35-page complaint, retaliation against Union members occurred in at least five DOC institutions. The ULP was written by Local 117’s Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement and Staff Attorney Jim Smith.

The ULP can be read in its entirety on your Local Union’s website at

May/June 2011

Mark your calendars!
June 4 - Black Teamsters United

June 13 - Spokane PAC

June 16 - Membership Meeting

Black Teamsters United- June 4
Join Local 117's Black Teamsters United for a meeting to plan upcoming events, fundraising, and organizational goals. For more information, contact Local 117 Business Representative Marvin Patterson at 206-441-4860 ext.1266.

Spokane PAC - June 13
Please join us at our next Spokane County PAC meeting as we continue to fight for legislative and political reform that benefits working families.  For more information, contact Political Action Coordinator Lily Wilson- Codega at (206) 794-2606.

Membership Meeting - June 16
Join your fellow Teamsters for our quarterly general membership meeting. Dinner will be served starting at 5 P.M.!





* Teamster Talk: News from Teamsters Local 117 *

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14675 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 307, Tukwila, WA 98168

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