When we fight, we win!

Private Sector

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Safeway team wins back coveted soccer trophy in annual Local 117 tournament


Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our annual Local 117 Soccer Tournament a big success.

This is out 7th year running and the action was as exciting as ever. Check out photos from the tournament here.

The event took place on Saturday at Valley Ridge Park in Seatac. The championship match pitted a highly skilled Safeway Azteca (liquor distribution) team up against our Taxi members, with Safeway coming from behind to win an intense game in overtime 3-1.

The Safeway group had won the tournament in previous years, but not in the last two, and were excited to have the trophy back in the warehouse.

Members from Fred Meyer, Supervalu, a Safeway Ice Cream team (last year's champ!) along with a determined, but severely challenged Local 117 staff team also participated in the event.

"It's great to have our members and their families come together for an event like this and enjoy themselves," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "This is what union solidarity building is all about."

If you're interested in putting a team together for next year's tournament, it's never too early. Contact the Local 117 office at 206-441-4860 for more information.


Pressure from Uber Drivers Leads to Minimum Fare Increase


When Uber drivers come together and speak out with one voice, good things happen. 

Just two days after drivers packed a hearing room at City Hall to demand swift, fair implementation of the City’s new collective bargaining law, the company announced that it would raise its minimum fare from $4.00 to $4.80.

That means that drivers who get dispatched on short trips will see a modest increase in their earnings.  As far as we know, Seattle is the only city where Uber is offering a higher minimum fare for drivers.

The reason for that is clear. Uber drivers in Seattle are getting more engaged in the political process. They’re letting the City, the company, and the public know that they want their rights under the new law to be respected. 

Major arbitration win nets whopping 50k for UNFI members


James Williams knew he was getting shortchanged. His contract had clear language stating that employees were entitled to overtime pay when they worked in excess of 40 hours during the week.

His company, United Natural Foods, Inc., generally followed that rule. But James detected a glaring exception. “I pay close attention to my paycheck,” he said. “I noticed that the hours worked on a holiday weren't being counted toward my 40 hours for the week.”

That meant that whenever James worked on a holiday and then went on to work more than 40 hours in the week that followed, the company was miscalculating his overtime. James and his-co-workers were getting ripped off.

For James, a driver of 15 and a half years, the error was a big deal. He worked a lot of holidays and tons of overtime. UNFI had been shorting him hundreds of dollars, several times a year.