Teamster Talk #15: 28th IBT Convention Special!
Quote of the month: "We are the face of the Teamsters Union in the West.” – Tracey A. Thompson, Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer



A message from your Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson

Brothers and Sisters:

It has been less than a month since the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention closed, yet we remain motivated and energized to do whatever it takes to beat back the attack on working families. One of the first things we need to do is educate ourselves about what is really going on.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Corporate CEO pay increased 23% in 2010. The pay for working people increased a mere 0.5%. Adjusted for inflation, middle class workers had less disposable income in 2010. The gap between the rich and the middle class continues to grow.

As Vice-President Biden said at the Convention, some politicians “believe that a strong U.S. economy rests upon an ever-increasing accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few enlightened guys who think they are smarter than you are.”

We know better. We know that in order to maintain the America we all know and love, a strong middle class is essential. It is our job to protect and grow that strong middle class.

In Solidarity,

Tracey A. Thompson

Local 117 delegation flexes muscle at IBT Convention
The overarching theme of the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Convention in Las Vegas was clear:  There is a war on workers in this country and Teamsters are fighting on the front lines.

Every speaker, including politicians on both sides of the aisle, referenced the overt, unbridled attack that corporations are waging on the American middle class.

The results have been devastating. In 2010, 21% of America’s children lived at or below the poverty line. Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression. Read more.

First-time delegates energized by Teamster power
Your Union’s delegation to the International Convention stood out for our diversity in age, race, and gender: Local 117 is the new face of the Teamsters. 

In addition to the seasoned veterans in the group, there was a strong contingent of newcomers.

Dave Roberts, a Corrections Officer from the Monroe Correctional Complex and your Local Union’s Recording Secretary, attended the Convention for the first time.  Dave was revved up by the Convention, not only from the energy in the room, but also from the opportunity to meet Teamsters from across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. Read more.

IBT Convention honors Officer Jayme Biendl
General President Hoffa honored our fallen Teamsters Sister, Jayme Biendl, with a moment of silence at the 28th IBT Convention.

“When tragedy strikes one of our own, we all feel the loss,” said Hoffa. “This was the case in January of this year when corrections officer and Local 117 member Jayme Biendl was killed on the job.”

Biendl’s murder shined a national spotlight on the dangerous conditions corrections officers face on the job, and reminded Teamsters everywhere just how important on-the-job safety measures are.

Hoffa recognized her sacrifice and showed a photo of Officer Biendl on the screen.  Thousands of Teamsters in the Convention hall paid their respects to Officer Biendl.

Back from the Convention - Local 117's delegation speaks out
“What did you learn at the Convention that you can share with your fellow Local 117 Teamsters?”

Floyd Griffin – Unified Grocers: “We saw firsthand the importance of unity and how the Brotherhood and Sisterhood extends worldwide.”
Deb Dahlin – Macys: “We learned that our Union is energized, dedicated, and ready to fight for working people and the middle class.”
Jesse Howard III – Unified Grocers: “Our delegation was professional, respectful, and showed a diversity that needed to be seen on the Convention floor.”
Sid Clark – DOC: “We saw how important it is to push DRIVE and turn out the vote in the IBT election.”

July/August 2011

Mark your calendars!
July 30-31 - Tacoma's Ethnic Fest

Aug. 5-15 - Paint Tacoma Beautiful

Ethnic Fest: July 30-31
Since 1986 Tacoma's Ethnic Fest has featured the many cultures and ethnic groups that make Pierce County a great place to live.

Join members of Teamsters Local 117 as we feast on exotic flavors, vivid costumes and dynamic rhythms as you experience two full days of music, dance, art, and foods from around the world.

For more information, contact Brenda Wiest at 206-441-4860 ext.1256..

Paint Tacoma Beautiful: Aug 5-15
Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful (Tacoma, Washington) organizes volunteer crews to paint the homes of low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities in Tacoma/Pierce County. Join a crew of Teamster Local 117 members as we paint Tacoma Beautiful! If you would like to join us, contact Brenda Wiest at 206-441-4860 ext. 1256.





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14675 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 307, Tukwila, WA 98168

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