Teamster Talk #8: The backbone of the Union
Quote of the month: "Shop Stewards are the backbone of this Union." - Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer



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

Brothers and Sisters:

Teamsters Local 117 is such a powerful Union largely due to its network of Shop Stewards. Local 117’s Shop Stewards are the Union’s foot soldiers, carrying our message to their co-workers. They are on the front lines, battling to ensure that our collective bargaining agreements are honored. Our Shop Stewards file grievances, investigate grievances, participate in grievance and investigatory meetings, and assist the Union in contract negotiations. Much of this work is done on the Stewards’ own time.

Outside of work, our Shop Stewards are active in their communities and involved in local labor councils. They coordinate and participate in community organizations, and they engage in collective action and political action.

Every year, Local 117 holds an Annual Shop Steward Training and Appreciation Day to honor and educate our Shop Stewards. Attendance this year was close to an all time high, which further demonstrates the commitment of our Stewards to their Union given that the Seminar was held on a sunny Saturday.

Please take a moment to thank the Shop Stewards at your workplace for all they do for you and for your Union.

In Solidarity,

Tracey A. Thompson

Stewards hone bargaining skills at annual seminar
On Saturday, March 6, nearly 250 Shop Stewards gathered at the Washington State Convention Center for the 22nd annual Teamsters Local 117 Shop Stewards’ Seminar and Appreciation Day.

The event kicked off with a welcome from newly-elected King County Executive, Dow Constantine, followed by a look at the history of the Local presented by Director of Organizing and Strategic Initiatives, Leonard Smith.

After looking back, Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson, took the Stewards into the future. “Our number one priority as a Union must be to increase the involvement of the members,” Thompson said. “Only by increasing membership involvement will we continue to grow and build strong contracts.” Read more.

3rd and Lander Teamsters poised for possible strike
Workers at Republic Services’ 3rd and Lander transfer station in downtown Seattle have voted to authorize a strike in an effort to protect their pension. A strike at the SODO district facility would have a ripple effect on recycling and sanitation services throughout the Puget Sound. The thirteen workers at the facility deal with solid waste and recycling materials that are delivered from all over the city.

“These workers know an assault on their pension when they see it and they are ready to defend themselves,” said Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson. “This is not just about the thirteen workers in this facility. The retirement security of all workers in the solid waste and recycling industries is at stake.” Read more.

Now accepting applications: Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship
Teamsters Local 117 is now accepting applications for the 2010 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship. The Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding high school seniors whose parents are members of Teamsters Local 117.

For a scholarship application form, and application instructions, visit the Local 117 website at The application must arrive to the office of Teamsters Local 117 by no later than April 30, 2010.

Last year’s recipients of the award were Abbie Smith, Taylor Church, and Lydia Duncan.

DOC news: Union to file lawsuit over denial of CBAs and personal holidays at AHCC
Your Local Union is engaged in an ongoing dispute with the Department of Corrections over the application of an arbitration decision out of the Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC) over their denial of both CBA days and personal holidays.

Since losing the arbitration, DOC has instituted an even more egregious practice and has refused to honor their obligation to bargain any changes that involve a mandatory subject of bargaining.

Your Union has filed a grievance over the new denials and is in the process of filing a lawsuit in Superior Court to enforce the arbitrator’s decision in the earlier case out of AHCC. The lawsuit should be filed by Friday, March 19 and will cover all DOC institutions statewide.

Be sure to monitor your Local Union’s website at for updates and any new developments in the case.

March 2010

Mark your calendars!
Mar. 18 - Membership Meeting
April 3 - TFT Bowl-a-thon
April 17 - Latino Forum

Membership meeting
Our spring membership meeting is this Thursday, March 18 from 7-9pm. Join your fellow Local 117 members for a gourmet-style dinner before the meeting prepared by retired lobbyist, Mike Ryherd..

There will also be an orientation meeting for new members held from 12-1pm and from 6-7pm earlier in the day.

TFT Bowl-a-thon
The Teamsters for Tomorrow are sponsoring a Bowl-a-thon event to benefit the Teamsters Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 3, from 6-10pm at Bowlero in Tacoma (3852 Steilacoom Blvd. Tacoma, WA 98499). All members of Teamsters Local 117 and their families are welcome.

If you pre-register, the cost for the event is $18 for members/$8 for guests - pay at the door; if you don’t pre-register, the cost is $20 for members/$10 for guests. Children 18 and under are free.

Price includes bowling, shoe rental, and food and soda. Important: This is a cash only event (there is an ATM at the venue).

To register, click here!.


* Teamster Talk: News from Teamsters Local 117 *

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

206.441.4860 * toll free 1.888.872.3498

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