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So long, Walter! Longtime King County Steward retires

Walt-Chaffee.jpgWalter Chaffee, a longtime Union Shop Steward at King County and dedicated Teamster, retired at the end of 2014.  

Walt will be missed by co-workers, the public, and especially the Local.  The following is a tribute to Walter, written by former Local 117 Business Representative, Betty Robinson:


When I think about what it means to be a "Teamster", the first thing that comes to mind is someone who is supportive of the union cause, and is willing to participate in all the activities that goes with that mission.  The first name that comes to mind is Walter Chaffee.  

I have known Walter for almost 30 years, starting back when he and I worked at King County.  Walter - who still had hair at that time! - was delivering the inter-office mail.  We became good friends, and I'm happy to say that our friendship has weathered through all of these years!

After my years at King County, I moved to Teamsters 117 where I was assigned to represent the people I used to work with. Walter, my ever-supportive friend, was very interested in becoming more active in the Teamster scenario.  

Over the next 15+ years, the list of his union activities are many:  Shop Steward, negotiation committee member, active in Pride where Teamsters Local 117 had a table, a booth, a banner, a group of walkers, a "float" or truck, and participants in the Bat n Rouge baseball game, Pride parade, Gay Bingo - you name it!  

Whenever I needed volunteers for a union activity, Walter was ALWAYS available - phone banking on dark and rainy nights after work, weekend doorbelling for candidates, and even assisting as a driver for the participants in Farm Aid.

It takes a special person to volunteer to be your own personal campaign manager (when I ran for King County Personnel Board); can you think of a friend who would stand in front of County buildings before work and handout flyers so that you could win an election?  That would be Walter.  A unique guy, friend to those who need help and doesn't ask for much in return.  Walter Chaffee.  Proud to call him MY friend, and fellow Teamster!

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