When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

Scearcy elected as trustee on Labor Temple Building Association

Marie.jpgLocal 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy’s stature as a labor leader in our region continues to grow.

This week, Scearcy was elected as a trustee on the association of the Seattle Labor Temple. The nine-member group is charged with overseeing one of the Emerald City’s most historic landmarks.

“I’m very excited to be working with John Scearcy on the new Seattle Labor Temple,” said Nicole Grant, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Martin Luther King Central Labor Council (MLKCLC). “John is an amazing addition to this team because he comes from the rank-and-file and truly understands what workers are looking for in a community center.”

The iconic building in the heart of downtown Seattle has been the central gathering space for the labor movement since 1942.  It is home to the MLKCLC, which represents 150 unions of more than 100,000 workers, along with an active food bank and 30 additional tenants.

Scearcy joins at a critical juncture as the association grapples with how to manage the transition to a new home for the Labor Temple.  His election brings growing influence for Local 117 members and comes on the heels of being recognized as Best Principal Officer of an affiliate labor union by the MLKCCLC at its 130 anniversary celebration in February.

“It is an honor to serve on this association,” Scearcy said. “I am committed to working in solidarity to ensure that the labor movement in our region has a dynamic home for the future where workers can come to build power.”

DOC negotiations team pushes back hard as State comes after our vacation leave

DOC contract negotiations erupted this week when the State presented a proposal seeking to punish members for taking time off from work to spend with their families.

The proposal involves the vacation leave article (Article 21) of our DOC contract. Currently, members have the ability to request accrued vacation in excess of ten consecutive days in three segments per year with the exception of the summer months. This gives members the flexibility to schedule longer stretches of vacation to help mitigate the stress of working inside the prisons.

The State’s proposal would restrict the number of vacation days per segment for the entire year as opposed to the limited restriction between June and August, which exists currently. The employer also wants the ability to discipline members by defining certain vacation requests as unscheduled leave.

“How can they punish us for using vacation time that we’ve accrued? It’s outrageous,” said Teresa Bennett, a pharmacy tech on our union’s negotiations team.

"How can they punish us for using vacation time that we’ve accrued? It’s outrageous."

The State also presented a blatantly anti-union proposal, trying to modify Article 2 to restrict new members access to their union.

The time with new members is critical because it allows shop stewards and union reps to convey the hard-fought victories we have achieved through our union membership, like interest arbitration in our contract, extending assault benefits, and the across-the-board wage increases of 20.3% over the last four years.

At the negotiations table, our union team spoke forcefully about the need to preserve our existing rights under both Article 21 and Article 2. We also pushed the employer to take greater responsibility for reducing scheduling errors that can lead to excessive mandatory overtime.

It’s important to remember that without a union the State could unilaterally implement policy changes that would undermine your rights at work, such as their outrageous proposal to discipline you for using vacation leave.

If you haven’t done so already, please sign a commitment card so that we can preserve our rights as union members to stand together for a strong contract. By signing you are sending a clear message to the State that we are committed to each other and we are united. You can sign online at: www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org/sign.

Our next negotiations session will be held on June 20 and June 21 at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions, talk to your negotiations committee member or union rep.

You can view a short video update from members on the negotiations committee below:


Teamsters at SeaTac Defang the Threat of Expected Anti-Union Ruling in Janus


If you ask a credential specialist at SeaTac Airport whether the Janus v. AFSCME case will threaten their union’s strength, they would chuckle and shake their head. Not on their watch.

This U.S. Supreme Court decision is expected to drop anytime between now and the end of June and set restrictions on the freedom and unity of working people. Yet this intrepid group that works on the mezzanine level of SeaTac Airport and handles the task of ensuring trustworthiness of airport employees has already made their decision.

"We will remain union members. We refuse to be divided."

“We will remain union members. We refuse to be divided,” said Maryanne Davis who has worked at the airport for over 18 years.

The credential specialists have fought hard for their current wages and benefits. Many of them remember when their entire group was fired several years ago and stayed out of work for months. They persevered until everyone was reinstated. This diverse group knows how important every person is to the security of the team, so every member has committed to remain a Teamster regardless of the Supreme Court ruling.

Now they are the middle of contract negotiations and Marilee Fisher, who is a shop steward and part of the negotiations committee, shared her opinion. “I believe in my union. I will always be a union supporter. As unions fight for better wages and better conditions, workers’ lives and pay improve even in non-union workplaces. If it weren’t for the unions, we would have no middle class.”

Teamsters 117 Photo Contest 2018



We are excited to launch our new Teamsters contest!

Let's celebrate the work that Teamsters do every day. We are builders, caregivers, protectors, and public servants. Teamsters have a hand in almost every aspect of our lives from forging steel for the Space Needle to delivering food to grocery store shelves to running animal shelters. When our work day is done, we engage our communities by volunteering, organizing events and donating. Let's share what we do by creating a calendar of images of Teamsters in the community and at work.



How to Participate*

1. Take a picture of your coworkers while working at their job or participating in community events. 

2. Give your picture a title.

3. Write a brief description of what is going on in the picture, names of people in it, and the date it was taken.

4. Include your name, employer and phone number in the email.

5. Send the photo and the information to us!

Email yulia.issa@teamsters117.org or share it with your union representative.

* You must be a member of Teamsters 117 in good standing to enter.


Selection process

The photos will be posted on Facebook and the winning photos will be voted on by fellow Teamsters and their families. Bonus points if a Teamsters logo appears in the picture.

We will select 12 photos to be put into a 2019 Teamsters calendar. All winners will get copies of the calendar.


What are you waiting for? Start taking pictures!


Tips for a winning photo

Lighting makes a great picture. Let plenty of light fall on your subject, (but not to the point they are squinting at the sun!)

Think of what you want to show. Close in to show emotions on the face or small details. Step back for a bigger picture. Think of a different angle by crouching or taking a shot from above.

Take several shots, and then pick the best.

Since we are creating a horizontal calendar, take pictures in "landscape" orientation.

Send it to us in the largest size available!

Remember, the winning images must size to 8.5x11" while maintaining good quality. If your image looks too blurry, dark or pixellated, take another snap!


Airport Drivers Celebrate as Contractor Suspends Pay-To-Work


Teamster taxi drivers showing their collective power at the Union hall on Friday, May 25.

Teamster taxi and flat-rate drivers celebrated an announcement by airport contractor Eastside For Hire that the company would suspend its Pay-To-Work scheme and rescind the planned terminations of 29 vehicles and their drivers from the airport taxi fleet.

Drivers were prepared to take a strike authorization vote on Friday to protest the threat of terminations and a scheme requiring drivers to pay thousands of dollars or lose access to the airport. After Eastside’s announcement that it was suspending Pay-To-Work, the strike approval meeting turned into a celebration.

“This is a great victory. We stood together in our union to protect our jobs,” said Suldan Mohamed, a driver who has worked in the taxi industry for 13 years. “We are not divided by color, religion, or background. We are all one community trying to support our families.”

“We were able to achieve this through our unity,” added Harinder Singh. “But the threat is not over. We need to stay united and be ready to take action again if necessary.”

"We were able to achieve this through our unity."

On April 17, hundreds of drivers participated in a peaceful protest at Sea-Tac Airport to protest Eastside’s plan to reduce the taxi fleet and impose additional fees on drivers. Drivers spoke out at Port Commission meetings against the unjust terminations and met individually with commissioners.

The Port ultimately directed Eastside to rescind its plan and said it would exercise its right to inspect Eastside’s records related to the terminations. At today’s meeting, drivers wrote cards thanking the Commission for their support. “We want to thank the Port of Seattle for listening to drivers and taking this issue seriously,” Mohamed said. “This is a great day for us and our families.”

“I want to congratulate Teamster taxi drivers on this important victory,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. “Drivers showed that by standing together in their union they can protect their livelihoods and prevail in the face of unjust working conditions. Our union is stronger through their membership, unity, and resolve.”

DOC Bargaining Committee Issues Joint Statement Condemning “Freedom” Foundation


Negotiations between our union team and the State continued this week over our 2019-2021 DOC contract. The meetings took place at our Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila on Wednesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 24.

In our last sessions earlier this month, we established ground rules for negotiations and presented our union’s initial proposals.

In this week’s sessions, the State presented a few initial proposals on Wednesday morning, then requested a break to continue developing additional proposals. Much of Thursday’s discussion revolved around overtime and shared leave.

In our union caucus, we continued to refine our language proposals. We also focused on alerting members to attempts by the “Freedom” Foundation to divide our union at this critical time.

Our committee signed a joint statement condemning the “Freedom” Foundation and urging members to stay united and sign a commitment card so that we can protect our rights at work.

You can read the committee's joint statement here. DOC members will be receiving the statement in the mail in the coming days.

“The Freedom Foundation is trying to split our union,” said Teresa Bennett, a pharmacy tech and shop steward on the negotiations committee. “Don’t fall for their mailings – they are confusing and false. We need to stand together and not be divided."

"We need to stand together and not be divided."

Our next negotiations session will take place on June 5 and 6 at the Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or union representative.

Thank you for your service to our communities. Please stay safe.

Taxi Drivers at SeaTac Refuse to Give In


Airport Taxi drivers filled the room at yesterday’s Port of Seattle Commission Meeting to thank Port Commissioners for their support.

"Our diverse communities are united - Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs alike."

Twenty-nine of the drivers are two days away from termination by Airport contractor Eastside for Hire. “The SeaTac 29” were targeted for termination last month hours after testifying before the Port Commission about a controversial “Pay-to-Work” scheme requiring drivers agree to pay thousands of dollars in fees just to keep their jobs.

The Port of Seattle has formally notified their contractor that the terminations are not permitted, but Eastside has yet to rescind the termination notices.

Bachitter Singh, a driver of more than six years, said: "Thank you for standing with us. We are united as one, and we are looking for your further support in preventing unjust terminations of the SeaTac 29."

Despite pressure from the company, drivers are sticking together and continue to make their voices heard. "In this holy month of Ramadan, our diverse communities are united - Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs alike. We celebrate together, and we stand together for justice for all," Zenabu Bayaso told Commissioners.

King County total comp video update

Get caught up on what's happening in total comp negotiations with King County! Two Shop Stewards on the bargaining committee - Brian Pinney and Lisa Huntley - provide a short video update from the last bargaining session below. 

For a more comprehensive look at negotiations, you can link to all of our total comp updates so far.


We decide how strong our union will be


During contract negotiations, we are most effective when we are united. Our unity allows us to achieve higher wages, better working conditions, and a safer workplace for all Teamsters.

The last thing we need when we’re bargaining with the State or any other employer is for an outside group to try to divide us. But that’s exactly what the so-called “Freedom” Foundation is trying to do.

The “Freedom” Foundation is an anti-worker think tank that has used lax public disclosure laws to get ahold of the personal information of our members at the Department of Corrections. Now they’re using that information to send DOC members mailers trying to trick them into abandoning their union.

In a mailer sent this week, they claim members lose nothing by abandoning their membership. The truth is you have everything to lose – your wages, your benefits, and your power to negotiate a strong contract.

The Freedom Foundation fought AGAINST wage increases for DOC Teamsters. They want to privatize public services and outsource public sector jobs.

The best way we can protect ourselves is by standing together. Talk to your co-workers and make sure they don’t fall for the misleading information.

Show the Freedom Foundation that we are united and won’t be manipulated. If you haven't done so already, sign a commitment card to protect your freedom to have a strong contract and a strong union. 

If you have questions, please talk to your Shop Steward or Union Representative or visit www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.

Officer of the Year Award: Compassionate Policing


Under the roof of Museum of Flight at the Boeing Field, police officers who work at Sea-Tac airport gathered to celebrate the Annual Awards Ceremony in recognition of outstanding service that law enforcement officers do everyday to keep our communities safe and promote nonviolence.

"It absolutely is a rewarding job."

Representatives from Seattle Children's Hospital thanked the officers for their invaluable assistance escorting young patients and their parents flying in from areas as far away as remote Alaskan villages. Officers at the airport provide security and support for families in their most stressful moments. 

The highest award of the day, Officer of the Year, was presented to officer Matt Huston. He attended the event with his wife, three-year-old daughter and a baby they had welcomed just last year.


Despite taking the time off to care for his family and the newborn, Huston had responded to the highest number of incidents on patrol in 2017. His coworkers applauded his hard work and qualities of a proactive team player, yet what set him apart was his humanity. Huston's compassion in policing was evident when he spent over two hours by the side of a disabled motorist until his family arrived and when assuring highest level of care and protection when encountering a mentally distressed driver and her daughter fleeing domestic violence. It was also evident when he handled situations involving physically large and aggressive individuals nonviolently and without incidents.

It absolutely is a rewarding job," Huston said. "You see people sometimes at their worst, but you get to help them get a little better." This Teamster also received a "Soldier of the Mission" award for embodying Port of Seattle Police Department's mission statement. Sarena Davis, Teamsters DOC Coordinator, presented Huston with a cash gift on behalf of Teamsters in recognition of his outstanding achievement.

Teamsters Car Show 2018


Teamsters Car Show is back!

Join us on Saturday, August 25th, for Teamsters Car Show. There will be prizes, 50/50 raffle, a beer garden, and a DJ. For food we'll have hamburgers, hot dogs and street tacos. Little ones will have fun with bouncy house, face painting and balloon twisting. Bring your family and don't miss out on the fun! 

If you plan to enter a vehicle in the show, entry fee is $20 (day of the event) and $15 (pre-registration). If you are not entering a vehicle, there is no cost for this event. General public is welcome! 

Cars roll in at 10:00am, and the show begins at 10:30am. The event will take place at the Teamsters Union in Tukwila (14675 Interurban Ave. S.). Reach out to your union representative for a form to enter your car or print it out here.

2018 Corrections Pride Month Calendar


May 2018 at DOC

You can find the full calendar here.

MON 14

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

AHCC- Coffee Day

CRCC- Italian Soda Day

TEU 15

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia



WED 16

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

CCCC- Ceremony

HQ- Waffle Day

SCCC- Root Beer Floats

SECTION 6- Event

SECTION 7- Event

WCC- Ceremony

THU 17

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

CBCC- BBQ & Ceremony

LCC- BBQ/Awards

SECTION 3- Picnic

FRI 18

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

AHCC- Popcorn

MCCW- Ceremony

SCCC- Root Beer Floats

SAT 19

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SUN 20

MCC- Frisbee Golf

MON 21

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

HQ BBQ Event


TUE 22

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

WSP- Meal

CBCC- Nachos

MCCCW- Root Beer Floats

SCCC- Cookies & Coffee

WED 23

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

WSP- Meal

AHCC- Chili and Cornbread

CRCC- Cermony

LCC- Breakfast Burrito Bar

SECTION 1- Recognition Event

THU 24

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles


MCCCW- Nachos

SECTION 2- Event


WSP- Ceremony

FRI 25

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

SCCC- Popcorn

SAT 26

SUN 27

MON 28


SCCC- Guess the Nose


TUE 29

SCCC- Guess the Nose

CRCC- Ice Cream Popsicle Day

LCC- Root Beer Floats

WCC- Root Beer Floats


WED 30

SCCC- Guess the Nose

CBCC- Ice Cream

MCCCW- Coffee & Donuts

OCC- Ceremony



THU 31

SCCC- Guess the Nose


HQ- Root Beer Floats


SCCC- Ceremony


For-hire drivers will continue to fight to raise standards despite court's ruling

Drivers Call on City to Take Action to Pass a Driver/Passenger Bill of Rights

Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire industry expressed frustration at today’s ruling by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that partially reverses a lower court’s decision to uphold Seattle’s collective bargaining law.

“Drivers are deeply disappointed with today’s decision, which continues to delay our right to unionization,” said Don Creery, an Uber and Lyft driver and member of the leadership council of the App-Based Drivers Association (ABDA). “Anti-trust laws were put in place to protect the little guy from monopolistic practices from large corporations, not to shield a company like Uber – valued at over $70 billion – from negotiating with its workers over fair pay and working conditions.”

"Drivers have already waited for years for fair pay and the right to a union."

Drivers called on the City of Seattle to enact new policies to protect drivers, level the playing field in the industry, and ensure that drivers can earn a living wage. “Drivers have already waited for years for fair pay and the right to a union. Today’s court decision emphasizes the urgent need for the Seattle City Council to step in to improve pay for drivers and pass a Driver/Passenger Bill of Rights,” Creery said.

Because of their disputed status as independent contractors, for-hire drivers who work for Uber and Lyft have not been protected by traditional labor laws or state and local laws, such as Seattle's $15 an hour minimum wage law and Washington State’s new paid sick leave law. In April, the City of Seattle passed a resolution to study the industry and consider regulations that could lead to better pay and other protections for drivers.

In 2014, Uber and Lyft drivers sought assistance from Teamsters Local 117 to improve their pay and working conditions. In May 2014, drivers established ABDA to promote fairness, justice, and transparency in the for-hire industry.

“We are disappointed by the Court’s ruling that continues to block drivers from having a voice,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “Like other working people in this country, for-hire drivers should have the same freedom to stand together in their union to improve their pay and working conditions. We will continue to stand with drivers for their right to unionize, earn a family wage, and to raise standards in the industry.”

Teamster corrections employees serve all of us


This week is National Correctional Officers Week, a time to honor Teamster correctional officers as well as all other DOC Teamsters who serve communities across Washington State.

These are the workers who staff our state’s prisons. They are officers, sergeants, nurses, counselors, psychologists, chaplains, dentists, clerical staff, maintenance staff, and many others. They perform challenging, oftentimes dangerous work to serve the public and keep all of us safe.

Corrections is vital public service, yet corrections employees often receive little recognition for the critical work they perform. Few people know what goes on behind prison walls and many have misconceptions based on negative portrayals in movies and the media.

The truth is that corrections employees are everyday heroes. They put their lives on the line every day to oversee, train, counsel, rehabilitate, and care for convicted felons.

Many are veterans who have served our country in the military and are continuing their public service back home. They are often the first to volunteer when disaster strikes as our members did during the Oso landslide disaster in 2014. They volunteer in their kids’ schools, coach little league baseball, lend a hand at local food banks, and are an active force in building strong, safe communities.  

Thank you Teamster corrections employees for your integrity, professionalism, character, and strength as you perform essential, challenging work in a dangerous environment. We are grateful for your service.

Teamsters at the City of Black Diamond are fighting for equity

Teamsters at the City of Black Diamond are speaking out for an equitable contract. On April 4, several members raised concerns in a council hearing about the City's failure to recognize members in negotiations. 

Our members have made sacrifices by taking furlough days and wage freezes during the recession and a period of political instability. Now that the City is back on stable financial footing, it's time to recognize these public servants for the critical services they provide.

Check out the Courier-Herald's reporting on the issue here:

Black Diamond staff seeks cost of living increases after stagnant decade 

While much of the county seems to have achieved some form of recovery after the 2008 recession, Black Diamond city employees say they’ve been left behind.

During a passionate citizens comment period during the April 4 meeting, many employees and their supporters gave close to an hour of testimony to the Black Diamond City Council about their financial struggles with the city, which includes dozens of furloughed work days, hour and position cuts, and few cost of living adjustments for the last 10 years.

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