When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

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.

Read more


Help homeless families at our Teamsters Volunteer Day on May 19

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As Teamsters, we work hard at our jobs, but also strive to build stronger, more livable communities.

An exciting upcoming event at our Union Hall in Tukwila is designed to help us do just that. It's our Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, May 19 from 12 to 2pm.

We will be preparing 144 care packages for the homeless and making signs in solidarity with the teachers striking nationally. This is a family-friendly event and we will have plenty to do for all ages. Can you join us?

To ensure that we have enough hands on deck, we need your help. Please reach out to your co-workers and let them know about the event. Contact Taylor House at taylor.house@teamsters117.org  or (206) 441-4860 ext 1251 with the names and phone numbers of members who plan to attend by May 15.

You can also RSVP for the event on our website. 

This is a great way Teamster families can join together to give back to our community.


Thank you Teamster nurses for your outstanding service

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This week we pay tribute to our incredible nurses, members of Teamsters 117 who work at the Department of Corrections and the Washington State Nurses Association.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.  It features a host of events across the U.S. to honor nurses for the work they do and educates the public about nurses’ role in health care.

Nursing is a challenging profession that requires patience, professionalism, and compassion. Our Local 117 nurses work long hours, often with limited resources, in stressful environments to provide critical, ethical care.  

We are incredibly grateful to our nurses for the essential, exceptional services they provide. Please take a moment to thank a nurse today!


King County Council expected to approve MLA this week

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Teamsters on our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team for Total Comp negotiations.


Important revelations have emerged in recent Total Comp negotiations between our King County Coalition of Unions and the County.

For one, we’ve learned that the Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which we negotiated much of last year, is expected to go before the County Council today with a recommendation for approval. According to Megan Pederson, the Director of the Office of Labor Relations, the MLA should hit Dow’s desk for his signature the week of May 21.

Once signed by the County Executive, the agreement will be fully executed and members will receive retro pay negotiated in the agreement thereafter. The MLA, which King County Teamsters voted overwhelmingly to ratify earlier this year, provides a total wage increase of 3.25% for 2018 in addition to a number of other improvements.

At Total Comp negotiations with the County last Thursday, our union bargaining team received a presentation from expert advisers at Mercer about the state of our Protected Reserve Fund (PFR).  

The PFR was established in 2013 by the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC) to help safeguard health care benefits for union members at the County. Since then, the Fund has grown from $25 million to a projected $64 million in 2018.

This is excellent news and means that there will almost certainly be no employee premium share for the foreseeable future. Teamsters Local 117 has been instrumental in successfully managing the fund to protect the excellent health care benefits you enjoy as a union member at the County. 

With this great news and negotiations underway, it’s more important than ever for us to stand together, stay united, and commit to each other. Click here to sign a commitment card and protect your freedom to stand together with your co-workers for a strong union.  Learn more at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.  

In the next Total Comp session scheduled for May 17 in Tukwila, our Coalition team will be presenting a counterproposal as we continue the process of negotiating over the high-priority compensation elements in your contract, including wage increases for 2019 and 2020.

If you have questions, please talk to a bargaining committee member or your union representative.


Welcome to Our New Negotiator, Scott Clifthorne!

Scott.jpgWe’re proud to welcome Scott Bailey Clifthorne to our staff!

Negotiating for Teamsters is not new to Scott. Since 2017, he has helped us negotiate contracts with ABM, SP+, Seattle Times (Pressman), Pierce County, and Spicers Paper. Now he is coming aboard as a full-time member of the team.

Scott grew up in South Seattle, earning his BA at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma before moving on to earn a Masters degree at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, Scott became active with his union, the UAW. After serving as a Steward, he went on to serve as both President and Financial Secretary of his statewide local.

Since returning to Washington, he has worked with the American Association of University Professors and the Washington Federation of State Employees (AFSCME Council 28). He currently lives in Olympia where he serves as a School Board Director (District 5).  Scott is thrilled to bring his experience as an elected official, organizer, and negotiator to Teamsters 117!


Volunteer drivers and unloaders needed for this Saturday's NALC food drive

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Since 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers has organized one of the nation's largest all-volunteer one-day food collection effort. This year's Letter Carriers' Food Drive will take place on Saturday, May 12. 

You can participate by leaving your donation of canned food on your doorstep for your letter carrier to pick up this Saturday.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Emergency Food Network is seeking a few volunteer drivers and unloaders to assist with this Saturday's food drive.

Volunteer Driving Teams are groups of 2-4 volunteers with a personal vehicle who drive around designated neighborhoods and pick up food in the community. Times are flexible between 10am-3pm

Drivers Needed at the Following Locations:

  • South Tacoma (4 teams needed)
  • Lakewood (1 team needed)
  • Fife (1 team needed)
  • University Place (3 teams needed)
  • Proctor (1 team needed)

Volunteer Unloaders are also needed to help postal carriers unload the food from vehicles at the Post Office.

Unloaders Needed at the Following Locations

  • Sumner (1pm-5pm)
  • Lakewood (2:30pm-6:30pm)

To register, contact EFN's Coordinator of Volunteers at volunteer@efoodnet.org or (253) 584-1040.

Thanks for helping to stamp out hunger!


"Freedom" Foundation tries to divide DOC members at critical time

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Last week the so-called “Freedom” Foundation sent out a mailer to all DOC Teamsters trying to stop us from signing commitment cards that strengthen our union.

The Freedom Foundation is an anti-union think tank funded by wealthy special interests. They want to convince us not to sign the cards so they can weaken our ability to stand together for better wages and benefits.

They’ve used lax public disclosure laws to get ahold of your personal information. Now they’re trying to divide DOC staff at a critical time - just as our union’s contract negotiations are getting started with the State. They’re using the expected ruling on the Janus court case to weaken our union.

Don’t be fooled!  The Freedom Foundation has fought AGAINST wage increases for DOC Teamsters. Their goal is to defund our union, privatize public services, and outsource public sector jobs.

With DOC contract negotiations and the Janus ruling coming up, it’s more important than ever for us to stand together, stay united, and commit to each other.

Show the “Freedom” Foundation that we will not be fooled and weakened by their tactics. Click here to sign a commitment card and protect your freedom to stand together with your co-workers for a strong union.  

Learn more at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.  


Bargaining team ready as DOC negotiations get underway

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Our DOC bargaining committee met with the State on May 2 to begin negotiations over our 2019-2021 contract.


Our outstanding bargaining team of 21 rank-and-file DOC Teamsters gathered yesterday at the union hall in Tukwila to finalize our proposals for upcoming contract negotiations.

“We looked over the contract and determined what articles we would open based on the wishes of the members,” said Becky HaneyNixon, a classification counselor at the Washington State Penitentiary.

“I think we’re going to have really good representation,” added Lynn Kunkle, a registered nurse at the Monroe Correctional Complex. “We’re not here for one, we’re here for all.”   

Sergeants, officers, nurses, counselors, cooks, a mechanic, a pharmacy technician, and a ferry operator will join union representatives and our union’s legal counsel to negotiate with the State over your 2019-2021 DOC contract.


Teamsters Political Survey 2018

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In 2017, we began an intensive three-year Strategic Planning Process for Teamsters Local 117. One of the priorities identified by Teamsters 117 members and staff was to grow our political program and to become the most politically-engaged Teamsters Local in the country.

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As part of that planning process, we identified four key objectives for our political program. One of those included doing a survey of our membership to identify how politically involved our members already are.

Politics in this country all too often is divisive and polarizing, making it hard for well-meaning people on either side of a given issue to have constructive conversations. Understandably, this is the reason many Local 117 members don’t want anything to do with politics. We want to change that.

Please take a few minutes to participate in this survey. If you have any questions, please call or email our Political Director Dustin Lambro at Dustin.Lambro@teamsters117.org.


45-year member at American Steel, Kim Ferguson, hangs up his torch

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Longtime Teamster steelworker Kim Ferguson (r) congratulated by his union rep, Lance Asher.


The work of Teamsters shows up in some remarkable places.

The roof at Safeco Field retracts on wheels that were burned by Teamsters. Ditto for the pontoons that anchor the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. The Space Needle itself was fabricated with Teamster steel.

Through their labor, Local 117 members like Kim Ferguson and his dad have helped fashion some of our region’s most renowned landmarks.  Together the two share 78 years of membership in Teamsters 117.

“I got a dose of it when I was a young kid,” Ferguson remembers. “I’d go to union meetings with my dad and it was packed, wall-to-wall, standing room only.”

Ferguson started going to union meetings back in the ‘60s when he was 10 years old. In the summers, he’d ride the crane with his dad down at Stack Steel & Supply, one of our region’s most prominent steel service centers at the time.

Ferguson’s dad spent 33 years in the steel industry with Local 117. At 18, it was Ferguson’s turn to go down to the old hall to get sworn into the union he would call home for the next 45 years.


Gearing up for DOC contract negotiations starting this week

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Brothers and Sisters -

As your union's Secretary-Treasurer, I've had the privilege over the last several weeks to attend many of the contract proposal meetings across the state as we prepare for upcoming negotiations over our 2019-2021 Department of Corrections contract.

At those meetings, I spoke with many of you about the challenges you face in the workplace and improvements you would like to see in our contract.

I want to thank you personally for talking openly about your concerns. The input that so many of you provided, both at our meetings and in contract surveys, has been invaluable in helping our union bargaining team develop meaningful proposals for these negotiations. 

Negotiations with the State officially get underway next week. On Tuesday, May 1, our union team, which consists of 21 member leaders from facilities across the state, will meet independently to finalize our proposals. We will be across the table from the State for the first time on May 2. 


Airport drivers suspect retaliation as contractor terminates 29 from airport fleet

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Teamster taxi and flat-rate drivers pack a Port of Seattle Commission meeting on April 24.


Sea-Tac Airport taxi and flat-rate drivers responded with calls for justice after taxi airport contractor Eastside for Hire announced the termination of 29 drivers from the airport fleet. Drivers received a communication from Eastside of the terminations on Tuesday, April 24.

“I don’t have thousands of dollars to pay to work at the airport,” said driver Fitaber Gudina in her testimony before Port of Seattle Commissioners on Tuesday. “The only money I have is to buy bread for my children. Please, stop this injustice.”

“We want to be able to work to pay our mortgages and pay for college for our children,” testified Michael Megnta, who has been driving in Seattle for 27 years. “We believe in this society and want to raise the next great generation. Let us work!”  


Teamsters at Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County Say No to Inhumane Treatment: Vote Unanimously to Authorize Strike

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There was no hesitation from any of the predominantly female Teamsters who care for animals at the Humane Society when a strike authorization vote was taken. Never in all her 18 years of being a Teamster has Sarah Anderson – Cat Foster Coordinator, shop steward, and member of the bargaining committee – seen a proposal from an employer that has been so extreme with takeaways.

“We take care of animals that are forgotten and neglected, and work everyday to ensure needy animals find new homes,” she shares. “The hard work and overwhelming commitment of my co-workers is inspiring.”

“That’s why it’s so hard to understand why the new management team is working so hard to attack our pay and benefits after years of productive bargaining with Teamsters,” said Anderson. “It feels like we are fighting for basic human rights at this point,” she shares. “They are aggressively trying to break us down.”


Your kid need $$ for school? Scholarships available!

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Are you the parent of a student in need of money for trade school or college?

We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship. The Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding students whose parents are members of Teamsters Local 117. 

The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, May 31, 2018.  View application materials below:

The Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding students whose parents are members of Teamsters Local 117. If you have questions about the scholarship, talk to your Business Representative, or call 206-441-4860 or 1-888-872-3489.

The founders of the scholarship fund, Ralph and Sue Alfieri, established the scholarship in memory of their son Jeff Alfieri, a former Business Representative with Teamsters Local 117.


Meet the Member Leaders on your DOC Bargaining Committee

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As contract proposal meetings for Local 117 members who work at the Department of Corrections have come to a close, please welcome the rank-and-file members of your DOC Bargaining Committee.

They are volunteer Shop Stewards from across the state representing a comprehensive range of DOC positions. Together with union staff, they will be sitting across the table from the State over the next several months to negotiate over our 2019-2021 DOC collective bargaining agreement.

Negotiations will begin on May 1-2. All negotiations will take place at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila. Here is the schedule for negotiations:

  • May 1-2
  • May 23-24
  • June 5-6
  • June 20-21
  • July 10-11
  • July 17-18
  • July 23-27 (Mediation, if necessary)
  • August 22-31 (Interest Arbitration hearing, if necessary)