Union solidarity was in full force down at Auto Warehousing yesterday. Dozens of members getting off their shift lined up for hot dogs as union reps from the Local manned the grill. People wore buttons that read, “This is what a Teamster looks like.”
“This is real positive,” said Hassan Ward, a 20-year Teamster and shop steward at the facility. “When we come together like this, everybody feels empowered. It’s beautiful.”
"When we come together like this, everybody feels empowered."
The group is in the middle of a tough contract fight with their employer. Members want contract proposals from the company that respect their work and their families. So far the employer has not come prepared to bargain and their proposals have been substandard.Read more
The new issue of the Guardian, our newsletter for Teamsters who work at the Department of Corrections, is now available. In this issue, you'll find articles on:
- successfully getting our 2017-2019 contract funded;
- more correctional employees joining Teamsters;
- our new associate general counsel, Marie Duarte;
- plans to fortify our union at the DOC;
- and more!
You can access an electronic copy of the Guardian online here. For print copies, talk your your union representative.
In last year’s interest arbitration hearing, one of our priorities for Teamsters working in BFOQ positions at WCCW and MCCCW was to address the issue of excessive mandatory overtime.
Charlotte Weimann, a 33-year officer at WCCW, helped make our case to the arbitrator.
After listening to our concerns, Arbitrator Lankford awarded officers: a two (2) range premium for all hours worked in a BFOQ position if and only if the facility in question assigned more than 30% more mandatory overtime hours to female Corrections and Custody Officers than to male Corrections and Custody Officers during the preceding calendar quarter.
For calendar quarter April through June 2017, the more than 30% threshold was met. This means that female CO’s will receive a two (2) range premium for all hours worked in a BFOQ position for the current calendar quarter.
Due to DOC payroll issues, affected officers at WCCW and MCCCW likely won’t see their additional compensation until their August 10 paycheck. But your premium pay is on the way.
This is another example of the power of interest arbitration and the impact it continues to have on members of our union. We can thank everyone who worked so hard to achieve interest arbitration for DOC Teamsters over the last several years and our outstanding union bargaining committee that successfully negotiated these rights into our 2017-2019 contract.
The new issue of Teamster Talk, our newsletter for members of Local 117, is now available! In this issue, you'll find stories on:
- our contract wins at UNFI and Republic;
- Teamster efforts to hammer out homelessness;
- an ongoing contract fight at Auto Warehousing;
- and more!
You can get your Teamster Talk online here. For print copies talk to your union representative.
Here are the Teamsters 117 political endorsements for the 2017 August 1st Primary Election.
For more information regarding the endorsement process or to get involved in election activities, contact Local 117 Political Coordinator Dustin Lambro at 206-441-4860 ext. 1262.
It was a celebratory moment. Rank-and-file member leaders on the Safeway bargaining committee lined up at the front of our union hall while their co-workers greeted and thanked them for a job well done.
The committee had helped produce an outstanding new contract, which was overwhelmingly ratified yesterday by the membership.
“This is one of the best contracts we’ve had in a long time,” said Billy Barnett, a Teamster shop steward, who has worked at the company for 38 years. “I’m feeling really good about it. There are good raises, good pension, and the medical is real huge.”
"This is one of the best contracts we’ve had in a long time."
The Safeway agreement provides wage increases of more than two dollars an hour over four years and pension increases of a dollar an hour. Our committee successfully achieved improvements to sick and bereavement leave, and break-in rates for new hires have been cut in half.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment in the contract is that it maintains the outstanding health and welfare benefits for members and their families.
Our union’s vice-president, Marcus Williams, took the lead in negotiations, with the support of union representative, Ryan Jarman, and Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer, John Scearcy.
“This contract is testament to all of the Teamsters in the grocery industry,” said Secretary-Treasurer Scearcy. "Our members perform backbreaking work in difficult conditions. They work hard to ensure that our economy remains strong and that food products arrive safely and securely to the dining tables of families across our region. I want to thank and congratulate our bargaining committee for their excellent work.”
Check out photos from the Safeway contract vote here.
Our Teamsters National Black Caucus (Pacific Northwest Chapter) is holding a BBQ and Back-To-School Drive event on Saturday, August 26 starting at 11am.
We'll be grilling up tasty BBQ and collecting donations of supplies for kids headed back to school. The supplies will be donated to families in need in Pierce and King counties.
If you can't make the event, bring your donations to the Union Hall between July 24 and August 26. Look for the donation box in the main entrance of the hall.
14675 Interurban Ave S
Tukwila, WA 98168
Google map and directions
Brothers and Sisters -
By standing together in our union, we’ve accomplished some major successes at the DOC.
We achieved a 20.3% general wage increase over four years and negotiated interest arbitration rights into our 2017-2019 contract.
Success did not come overnight. It took members speaking out in Olympia, testifying at hearings, and assembling a first-rate negotiating team. It also took careful, strategic planning to work toward long-term goals.
Over the last few months, we’ve been working to develop a strategic plan for 2017-2019. Thousands of DOC members participated in the process through our member surveys and planning meetings. Together, we’ve identified new strategic priorities that will guide us into the future.
One such priority is to fortify our union against attacks on workers. To achieve that goal, we will launch an initiative called Family. Strength. Community. This program involves members talking with members about how we can build a stronger union in the workplace. We’ll also be talking about the threats facing our union and how we can prepare for them.
Next year the Supreme Court will rule on a case called Janus vs AFSCME. With the current makeup of the Supreme Court, we expect a ruling against AFSCME and against all public sector union members. This decision will result in government workers throughout the country losing their freedom to negotiate union security into their contracts. It will also take away the freedom to have all workers pay their fair share for contract negotiations and enforcement.
If this happens, our union members could lose resources and suffer an erosion of their hard won wages and contract provisions. That is, unless we remain determined to support each other.
The best way to protect ourselves against an anti-union ruling is to stand together and re-commit to our co-workers and our union. That’s how we achieved interest arbitration, improved assault benefits, raised wages, and won a stronger contract at the DOC. Many unions thrive, grow, and continue to improve in open shop environments, but the members must engage and organize to be strong. If every member and leader is involved and committed, we will continue to improve our jobs and our lives.
To learn more about our Family. Strength. Community. initiative please visit FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement
Jennifer Abruzzo and Stephanie Scott sharing their National Police Week experience.
This year’s National Police Week took place May 14 – 20 in Washington, DC. Jennifer Abruzzo and Stephanie Scott, South Sound 911 Dispatchers, were the Teamsters who were union-sponsored to attend the event alongside Michelle Woodrow, Local 117 President and Director of Corrections and Law Enforcement. Scott has been a Teamster at SS911 for almost 10 years and worked as a police officer prior to that. She is also a newly elected Shop Steward at her workplace. Meanwhile, Abruzzo has 20 years at SS911 and 28 years in the industry under her belt.Read more
Safeway Shop Stewards in bargaining: Jose Madrigal and Bryan Vangstad.
Last night at the Tukwila Hall we reach a fully-recommended offer for over 300 members working under the Safeway Grocery agreement.
“The bargaining committee was focused and determined to achieve the top priorities of the membership. This offer meets those demands,” mentions John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 117.
"The bargaining committee was focused and determined to achieve the top priorities of the membership. This offer meets those demands."
Going into the bargaining, members' concerns included improving their pensions, protecting their family’s health and welfare benefits, and many were hoping to extend the leave of absence such as funeral leaves.
“We were looking for more ethical treatment. A employee’s job cannot be jeopardized if he or she is there for their family during a troubling time like that,” says Jose Madrigal, the youngest Shop Steward in the crew. His first bargaining resulted in a big win for him and his coworkers as he is expecting to welcome a third child into his family.
Marcus Williams, the union representative coordinator who took the lead on this challenging negotiation mentions:
“This contract would not have been achievable without the strong membership participation and our collective efforts with Local 174. Teamster Strong!”
Teamster contract wins are even more crucial for workers in the tough reality of our changing economy.