When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

Members stand in solidarity with Republic drivers in Ohio


Over a dozen Teamster drivers at Republic Services in Bellevue sent messages of solidarity this morning to their brothers and sisters in Zanesville, Ohio, who are fighting to win a voice at work. 

The Zanesville drivers filed a petition recently with the National Labor Relations Board for a Union election to certify Teamsters Local 637 as their exclusive bargaining representative.

"We support you as you fight to get a voice on the job."

Marty White, who has been with Republic for 4.5 years, encouraged the Zanesville drivers to vote Teamsters. "Joining the Union is great because you have the support of Teamsters across the country," he said.

Antonio Hernandez has been working in the solid waste industry for 21 years. "Having a Union provides strong support for me and my family," he said. "We have good wages, a pension, and job security."

All of our members at the Bellevue yard had high hopes for the organizing efforts in Zanesville. "We support you as you fight to get a voice on the job," said Tyler Ayala, a member with 4 years of service.

Thank you to everyone for such a strong display of solidarity this morning! 

Teamsters at GP Gypsum Gear up for Strike Vote


Teamsters at GP Gypsum are fed up. Their contract has been expired since the end of July and the company is dragging its feet in bargaining.

We've sent them multiple bargaining dates; the company says it can't meet until the end of the year. They're also insisting that we go to mediation even though we haven't finished bargaining over language.  

A few weeks ago, management emptied all lockers that didn't have "labels" on them. Several members lost their valuables, cash, tools, and even a birth certificate.

Our Union responded by creating oversized Teamster labels which are plastered throughout the locker room. We also submitted an information request asking for info on wages, hours, seniority, policies, outstanding grievances, and more.

Next week, September 29, 30, and October 1, we will be holding a strike authorization vote at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma to send a message to the company: Respect our members and respect the bargaining process.

"We need to make sure that we're all together and to hear what everybody's concerns are so we can make the right move," said Daniel Fox, a Shop Steward and member of the bargaining committee. "We need to stand together."

Assaulted WSP Member Opens Up About about PTSD


Tammy Kimball hopes her story will bring awareness to the dangers of working in a prison and help prevent a future assault.

On the morning of June 14, 2014, Tammy Kimball’s life changed forever. She arrived at work early in the morning as she did every day. Tammy works as an AC Cook at the Washington State Penitentiary where she supervises inmates working in the kitchen. 

Working in a prison carries constant risk. Tammy had been on staff at WSP for four years. She has the instincts of a trained prison employee.

Local 117 Member at IKEA Gives Back Through Youth Basketball


Local 117 member Mario Sapilak gives congratulates one of the players on his youth basketball team.

When Local 117 member Mario Sapilak first started taking his daughter to the rec basketball court, he never imagined it would lead to an opportunity to coach a youth basketball team. 

Mario often stayed to watch his daughter practice, and eventually began talking with her coach, Ronnie Jones.

Teamster volunteers get out the vote for corrections member


Well over a dozen Teamster volunteers spent the afternoon on Saturday talking to voters in and around Walla Walla. 

Our group was getting out the vote for Jared Frerichs, a Local 117 member who is running for County Commissioner. 

Jared is a military veteran and a Correctional Specialist who works at the Washington State Penitentiary. 

"I’ve always felt a deep love and commitment to my community," Jared says. "Many of my values and lessons were formed in the fields, hills, and along the riverbanks of the Walla Walla Valley."

Jared's running on a platform of bringing more living-wage jobs to Walla Walla county, ensuring that residents of the county feel safe, and protecting the environment. 

To learn more about Jared and his campaign, visit his website at Jared4ww.com and his Facebook page at facebook.com/jared4ww.

Seattle workers win secure scheduling


Seattle workers won a major victory yesterday when the city council voted to approve a new law that would provide secure scheduling in the fast food and retail industries.

The law would require large employers to provide schedules at least two weeks in advance and to give workers an estimate of how many hours they can expect to work in a given week.

The proposed bill was passed unanimously by the council.

"Having access to a healthy work schedule should not be limited to those with a union card in their pocket," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117, addressing the council.

Our Union has been actively involved in the effort to win secure scheduling for Seattle workers and their families.

King County Contract Update Meetings

Our King County Coalition of Union has achieved a tentative agreement in total comp bargaining with the County. The proposal is fully recommended by the Union bargaining committee.

We will be holding contract update meetings in multiple locations around the County. At the meetings, we will present the proposal and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.

View the days, times, and locations of the meetings below. 

Tuesday 9/20/2016 11:30AM King Street Center
Tuesday 9/20/2016 2:30PM Renton Roads
Wednesday 9/21/2016 12:00PM West Point
Thursday 9/22/2016 11:30AM Cedar Hills
Thursday 9/22/2016 2:30PM Cadman Roads
Friday 9/23/2016 11:30AM Regional Justice Ctr.
TBD TBD TBD Fall City Roads
Monday 9/26/2016 11:30AM Chinook Building
Monday 9/26/2016 2:30PM Black Diamond Rds
Tuesday 9/27/2016 11:30AM King Co Elections
Thursday 9/29/2016 11:30AM King Co Admin
Friday 9/30/2016 8-9AM, 4-5PM Dutch Shisler Ctr
Friday 9/30/2016 11:30AM KC Superior Ct
Tuesday 10/3/2016 11:30AM KC Youth Services Ctr


Union hall packed for nominations of Local Union officers


General Counsel Spencer Thal addresses the membership at the Local 117 membership meeting on Sept. 15.

It was a packed house last night for our Local Union's general membership meeting.

View photos from the meeting here.

Members from all across our Union turned out to witness the nominations for Local Union officers. These include the positions of Secretary-Treasurer, President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, and three Trustees. 

Two complete slates were nominated for those positions at the meeting and will run against each other in an upcoming Local Union election.

Ballots will be mailed to members within the next 10 days. Your ballot must be received by mail to the designated post office box by no later than noon on October 24. 

We encourage all members to participate in your Union's democratic process. 

Teamster Talk: The Power of the Members

Teamster-Talk-2016-2.jpgWe're excited to announce the publication of the fall issue of our Teamster Talk newsletter.

In this issue, you'll find stories on an organizing win at Safeway Dairy and a first-time Teamster contract for our new members at Transdev.

Taxi drivers voted at their annual association meeting to become full-fledged members of our Union. We also have a great story about a huge arbitration win at United Natural Foods, Inc. 

Our Union's Secretary-Treasurer, John Scearcy, writes about coming up through the ranks and the importance of focusing on member leadership and development.

Check out a PDF of Teamster Talk. For print copies, talk to your Business Rep.

We're Hiring! Open Positions for DOC Business Reps

Your Union is currently recruiting for two business representative positions for the Department of Corrections. 

We are in need of a representative on the east side of the state as well as the west side of the state.  If this interests you, please find the attached job description that includes instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2016.

If you do apply, please include whether or not you are willing to relocate.  At this time, the specific jurisdictions have not been determined. 

Thank you!

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement

Unions reach agreement with State on health care


We're pleased to report that today our Coalition of Unions achieved an agreement with the State on health care for State employees. Under RCW 41.80, state employee health care negotiations must be conducted at the coalition level. 

The agreement provides for a maintenance of the status quo percentages of the prior agreement. The 85% / 15% split between the employer and the employee on the weighted average of the premium is therefore maintained for the 2017-2019 biennium. 

The only change under this agreement is that a $25 gift certificate is available for eligible members who participate in the State’s WELL BEING assessment. 

We’re still waiting to receive our interest arbitration award from Arbitrator Howell Lankford, which deals with the other compensation elements of your contract, but this agreement on health care will be incorporated into your collective bargaining agreement as required under the law. 

DOC Guardian Newsletter - Fall Issue!

Guardian-Sept.-2016.jpgWe’ve come a long way since the last issue of our Guardian newsletter. We completed the bargaining process and achieved some meaningful improvements to our DOC contract. We also made a strong case to significantly raise wages at our interest arbitration hearing. 

We expect the arbitrator to issue a decision on a general wage increase as well as on other compensation elements of our contract by the end of this month.

With so much to report, I'm excited to announce the fall issue of our Guardian newsletter. 

In this issue, you'll find a report from the interest arbitration hearing, a story about a WSP member who is running for office, and an editorial piece by our Union’s Secretary-Treasurer, John Scearcy.

You can access a PDF of the newsletter here. For print copies, talk to your Shop Steward or Business Representative. 

Thank you and stay safe!

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement

Coalition Achieves Tentative Agreement with King County

I’m excited to announce a major breakthrough in our total comp bargaining with King County.

Late yesterday afternoon, our Coalition of Unions achieved a tentative agreement with the County over all compensation elements in your contract. The agreement is fully recommended by your Union bargaining committee.

The agreement includes a 2.25 percent general wage increase in 2017 for all coalition members and a 2.75 percent increase in 2018 provided that the Union signs onto a separately-negotiated Master Agreement by the end of next year.

For the first time, the work of King County Union members will be recognized through a Coalition Premium and a separate wage table for Coalition members.

The agreement will increase the employer contributions to your health and welfare coverage. This means you will not pay any additional health care premium costs for 2017-2018.

We also achieved one additional vacation day added in 2017 and two vacation days added in 2018.

You can view an update from the Coalition with more details about the agreement here.

Our journey through the total comp bargaining process started over a year ago. It’s been an incredibly challenging experience. There have been many points along the way when it looked like negotiations would fall apart.

Our commitment, perseverance, and the outstanding work of your Union bargaining committee kept us together. Our team brought the voice of the entire membership to the table in powerful, persuasive ways.

I hope you’ll join me in extending my gratitude and appreciation to our entire team.

Over the next several weeks, we will coordinate meetings across the County to discuss the proposal. You will have an opportunity to vote on the agreement before the end of the year. We’ll let you know as soon as we have more information about the voting process.

Thank you for the important service you provide to our community and thank you for your membership in Teamsters Local 117.

Teamsters Speak Out for Secure Scheduling


Teamsters joined other union members and community activists at Seattle City Hall yesterday to speak out in favor of secure scheduling for workers in the fast food and retail industries.

A proposed city ordinance would require large employers in those industries to provide schedules at least two weeks in advance and to give workers an estimate of how many hours they can expect to work in a given week.

Under the banner Our Time Counts, dozens of workers testified before councilmembers about the importance of being able to plan for things like doctors appointments and taking your kids to and from school.

The Council will vote on the ordinance next Tuesday, September 13 at 9:30 AM. You can tell the Council you support secure scheduling by adding your name to the online petition here.

Stewards at Safeway Dairy Propel Organizing Win


Local 117 Shop Steward Matt Lewis at the Safeway Dairy plant in Bellevue

Safeway Dairy Shop Stewards, Alan Inderbitzen and Andy Peterson, work each day producing milk products and ensuring that their Teamsters contract is enforced.

Almost everyone working at Safeway Dairy is a union member, but there is a small group of lab technicians who have never been part of our Union.

Alan and Andy understand the value of their Teamsters contract and they wanted to extend the benefits and protections to the lab technicians. So they got to work.

They had conversations with the unorganized workers, explained to them the benefits of the contract and how they could become union.  Working with their Business Representative, Ryan Jarman, they set up two meetings with the organizers at Local 117 so the workers could ask questions.