Let's welcome Carrie Barnett, a new Union Rep at Teamsters 117. Before joining our Local 117 staff, Carrie worked in the Transit Division at King County, where she was a Shop Steward and participated in contract negotiations.
Carrie comes from a strong Union family - both her father and brother were active Union members. She has experience lobbying in Olympia, handling grievances, and is a delegate on the Martin Luther King County Labor Council.
Carrie will be representing members at the City of Seattle and several other public and private sector jurisdictions. In January, we sat down with Carrie and talked about her new position at our Local.
Talk about your experience becoming a Teamster.
The thing I noticed when I became a Teamster was the level of solidarity. When I came to my first membership meeting, I saw how many industries were represented in the room. We had DOC, we had grocery, we had bakery workers – all across the board. It was powerful.
Why did you get involved in the Union in the first place?
It’s some genetics – my dad was a union pipefitter from an early age and then became a union rep later in his career; my brother was quick to follow suit. It is my belief that the union’s role is not only to protect the members, but to fight for all workers’ rights.
If there is something you can achieve with your members, what would it be?
I’d like to see our membership expanded. We’re faced with some challenging times. The right-to-work threat is especially troubling by its deceptiveness. I think we can help each other, but if we don’t band together, we’ll be at a loss.
What is special about being a Teamster?
It’s like a second family. You know somebody’s always got your back. I think the Teamsters embody that sense of family. I have a lot of respect for that.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m crafty - I like to crochet and make cards. And I’m active in my church - I play in the handbell choir and do the bookkeeping.