Teamster Talk #22: A Call to Arms
Quote of the month: "They are telling us 72 workers will be permanently replaced right before the holidays. It's a disgrace,” Robert Jurey, UNFI



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

Brothers and Sisters:

With 2012 coming to a close I look back on our year, feeling both sorrow and hope.
I feel sorrow because we failed to educate so many working people that the middle class will cease to exist without Unions. One need only look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, a Federal agency, to see that unionized workers–women and men of every race – earn more, have more job security and enjoy better benefits than unrepresented workers. In 2011, the weekly salary of unionized workers in transportation and warehousing was $939, while for non-unionized workers it was $726 per week.These are real numbers. They tell the real story. It saddens me that working people don’t appear to be listening. Read more

UNFI strike resumes after ruthless act
On December 13, the organic foods distributor United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) announced that it would permanently replace 72 Local 117 warehouse workers who were prepared to return to work after a three-day strike.
UNFI had originally accepted the workers’ good-faith unconditional offer to return to work, but subsequently rescinded that commitment.
In a courageous show of solidarity in support of the 72 workers, all 163 members at UNFI returned to the picket line after discussing the situation in a meeting at the Teamsters building in Tukwila. Read more

Local 117 members gear up for action!
In December 2010, over 300 Teamster correctional employees and their supporters surrounded the State Capitol in Olympia. 
Draped in yellow ponchos, the officers, sergeants, cooks, nurses, and maintenance and office workers who staff our State’s prisons, chanted in unison:  “Who are we?  DOC!” and “What do we want? Safety! When do we want it? Now!” 
DOC staff was joined at the rally by dozens of Local 117 members from other industries.
Together, the Teamster voices echoed through the legislative halls and chambers, and representatives took note. Read more

Heartbreak at Hostess
It’s a tragic day for thousands of Teamster members employed by Hostess, and their families as the company announced this morning that it would cease operations and begin the liquidation process of its 82-year-old bakery business.
All 18,000 workers across the country, including 120 Teamsters in Washington State and 6,700 Teamsters nationwide, will lose their jobs.
The Teamsters Union worked hard to prevent the closure of Hostess and to preserve jobs. The IBT has been in negotiations with Hostess for over 18 months in an effort to find a viable solution to the company’s financial woes. Read more

A win-win for unions and King County
When public officials are a little less adversarial and are willing to work in a spirit of cooperation, together with Unions, good things are bound to happen, both for working people and for taxpayers.
Case in point:  King County.
Instead of bashing its labor partners, County officials signed on to an agreement with a coalition of King County Unions that will preserve Teamster health benefits without the risk of premium share through 2014 and likely beyond. Read more

December 2012

Mark your calendars!
Dec. 20 - Membership Mtg.

Jan. 10 - Day of Action!

Jan. 21 - MLK March & Rally

Holiday Membership Meeting - Dec. 20
Join your fellow Local 117 Brothers and Sisters for an evening of Union solidarity and a chance to win some salted nuts or a flatscreen TV!
Festivities begin at 7PM. For more info, talk to your Business Representative or visit

Day of Action! - Jan. 10
Join our State’s Correctional Employees and their families for a Day of Action in Olympia on Thursday, January 10, 2013 starting at 10:30 AM. REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

MLK March - Jan. 21
Join members of Teamsters Local 117 as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and commitment to civil and labor rights at the annual MLK Jr. March and Rally on January 21, 2013. The rally begins at 11AM at Garfield High School in Seattle; the March begins at 12:30 PM.




* Teamster Talk: News from Teamsters Local 117 *

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Mailing address:
14675 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 307, Tukwila, WA 98168

206.441.4860 * toll free 1.888.872.3498

Copyright (C) 2012 * Teamsters Local 117 * All rights reserved.