In September, Teamsters Local 117 sent twelve members and staff to Chicago for the 2014 Teamsters Women’s Conference. Through speakers and workshops, the conference “showcased the impact unions have on women and the importance of women leaders,” explained Teamsters 117 Legislative Affairs Coordinator, Brenda Wiest.
Local 117 contributed to this effort with Wiest co-facilitating a workshop focusing on one-on-one communication to engage membership in the political process. Additionally, Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson, presented to the conference highlighting wins in both the $15 minimum wage and paid sick days campaigns in Seattle.
The conference highlighted major issues facing women in the workplace, such as breastfeeding on the job post-partum, and acknowledging that Teamster women are getting equal pay for equal work, even with the failure of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the U.S. Senate on September 15, 2014. Local 117’s Talisa Boad, a DOC member and Shop Steward, was able to attend the national conference for the first time. Boad gained substantial information allowing her to “bring back things that were beneficial to the members.”
Local 117 is doing its part to further empower women. Through a coalition for Shared Prosperity—Rebuilding the Middle Class, your Local will fight for WA to have a Paycheck Fairness Act and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Act during the 2015 legislative session.
If you would like to become more involved in your union, discuss issues facing women in the workplace, support legislation that is impactful for women, and support women in political office, please attend Local 117’s first Women’s Caucus meeting on December 18, 2014, 5:30-6:30pm. Following the Caucus is the Holiday Membership meeting. For more information, contact Business Representative Dawn Gearhart at (206)-441-4860, ext. 1254.