Perched atop a rainbow-striped flatbed truck displaying Stop the War on Workers signs, members of Teamsters Local 117 danced, waved to the massive crowds, and handed out stickers that read, “Equal pay for equal work.”
It was all part of Local 117’s participation in the 2012 Pride Parade, an event that drew 500,000 people to the streets of downtown Seattle on Sunday, June 24.
At the event, recycle and yard waste drivers and other Local 117 members leafleted spectators to raise awareness of Waste Management's unfair treatment of its workers.
Because the drivers are asking for the same pay as other garbage and recycling workers in the area, Waste Management is threatening to lock them out of work.
Local 117's participation in the parade was due in large part to the extraordinary efforts of Shop Steward, Walt Chaffee, and other Local 117/PRIDE committee members who volunteered dozens of hours of their time.
“I was incredibly happy with our Union’s participation in Pride,” Chaffee said. “The float was amazing and we got great publicity. A lot of people were happy to see the representation of the Teamsters. It showed that our Union values diversity and supports workers of all persuasions.”