In a remarkable display of solidarity, determination, and strength, Teamsters Local 117 and Local 174 succeeded in achieving a collective bargaining agreement for sanitation workers at Waste Management that provides wage increases and secures health care protections for workers and their families over the next five years.
Sanitation workers overwhelmingly approved the agreement with a 96% vote on Sunday, May 2. The accord will have a lasting impact for Teamsters in the solid waste industry in our region, not only for Local 174 garbage haulers who are covered under the new agreement, but for Local 117 yard waste and recycling drivers whose contract will expire in 2012.
Undivided support from Teamsters Local 117 members, along with strong support from fellow labor organizations, environmental groups, faith-based groups and the community at large, was instrumental in achieving the new agreement. Local 174 pledged the same level of unwavering solidarity for Local 117 members when their contract expires and contract negotiations with Waste Management commence again in two years.
Teamsters at Waste Management went out on a two-day unfair-labor-practice strike on April 21-22 in an effort to combat the company’s illegal bargaining tactics. During the strike, not a single member of the Union, including 350 members of Local 117, crossed the picket line.
"I want to thank all of the Teamsters who supported the Local 174 drivers in their effort to win a fair contract," said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "Your commitment and solidarity were awesome."
To read more about the outcome of the deal, view an article on the issue in today's Seattle Times.