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Teamsters 117 Wire

Teamsters Speak Out at Lobby Day in Olympia

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Teamster 117 members from all corners of Washington State converged on Olympia today for the first Local 117 lobby day of the 2014 legislative session.

View photos from Lobby Day here.

Members came from as far as Spokane, Walla Walla, the Tri-Cities, Clallam Bay, Aberdeen, Monroe, Vancouver and many other locations to speak with their legislators about critical issues facing Teamster families.  


TAKE ACTION: Tell your State Senator in Olympia to pass Paid Sick Leave

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You shouldn’t have to choose between your health and your job. It seems straightforward enough, but every day workers in restaurants, child care centers, grocery stores, and offices across our state are faced with that very decision.

On Wednesday, January 29 the Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill (HB 1313) that would enable workers the right to earn paid sick leave.  This is great news for workers, but now the bill heads to the State Senate, where it faces stern opposition from legislators who want to deprive workers of this basic right.

Hundreds of thousands of workers in our state currently don't have the right to earn paid sick days.  That means they have to choose between going to work sick or not getting paid.  It means they have to lose a day's pay when they stay home to care for a sick child. Many workers are simply fired when they call in sick.

  • A widespread lack of paid sick leave poses public health risks;
  • Paid sick leave helps protect the victims of domestic violence;
  • Paid sick leave contributes to a strong economy;
  • Employers' experience with paid sick leave is generally positive.

TAKE ACTION NOW!  Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and tell your State Senator in Olympia to pass Paid Sick Leave legislation!  Everyone deserves the right to earn paid sick leave!


Report from Olympia #1 - 2014 Legislative Session

1.23.14_Report-from-Olympia.jpgCheck out the latest news from the 2014 legislative session in Olympia with our Teamsters 117 Report from Olympia.  This issue outlines our legislative priorities for 2014 and gives a day-by-day account of our involvement with respect to a number of important bills that would impact working families.

The Report from Olympia will be published every other Friday throughout the legislative session.  To request a print copy of the report, talk to your Business Representative.

View a PDF version of our Report from Olympia here


DOC Members - Return your Contract Surveys by Feb. 3

Contract surveys were mailed out on January 17 to all Teamsters at the Department of Corrections, but the surveys have been slow to arrive in some parts of the state.

As a result, we will be extending the deadline for turning in the surveys to Monday, February 3, 2014.


The Power of Teamsters 117

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Last year, on our Teamsters Lobby Day, members at the Department of Corrections were joined by dozens of Teamsters from other industries, including 40 Teamster taxi drivers and several Local 117 members, who at the time were on strike at United Natural Foods, Inc.

DOC members had come to Olympia that day to lobby for interest arbitration rights, which we ultimately won by way of an MOU signed by the Governor last year. But they also voiced their support of their fellow Teamsters in the taxi industry and on issues such as workers’ comp, FMLA, and paid sick days. Similarly, taxi drivers spoke about the need to pass their own taxi bill, but they lobbied their representatives on interest arbitration as well.


Teamsters Call for $15/hr at Annual MLK Day Celebration

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Teamsters 117 joined thousands of community members for the annual MLK Jr. Day March and Rally in Seattle on Monday.

It was a daylong celebration honoring the slain civil rights leader, with workshops in the morning, an 11 A.M. rally, and a noonday march from Garfield High School in Seattle’s Central District to Westlake Park downtown.

The need to address growing income inequality and the effort to raise the minimum wage were central themes of the day. 

Hundreds of marchers filled the streets, carrying $15 Now! signs, and chanting, “What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!” 


Farm to Family Coalition Rallies in Support of Farm Workers

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Farm workers, Farm to Family Coalition members, and their supporters rallied at Darigold Corporate Headquarters in Seattle on Thursday to demand that the company put a stop to the abuse of workers on the farms that supply Darigold’s milk. 

View photos from yesterday's rally.

Dairy workers, who had traveled from eastern Washington to attend the event, described squalid conditions on the farms. They spoke of rest and meal breaks denied by their employers, a lack of access to clean drinking water, and rampant wage theft.


Guardian Newsletter: Preparing for Contract Negotiations

1.17.14_Guardian.jpgCheck out the new issue of the Guardian newsletter for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections.  This issue focuses on upcoming contract negotiations that are scheduled to start in April as well as our priorities for the current legislative session in Olympia. 

In addition, you will find articles on:


2014 Legislative Session Gets Underway

Leg-Session---Photo.jpgThe 2014 legislative session kicked off today in Olympia. We will be posting frequent updates on the website during session to report on the progress of your Union's legislative priorities.  

In addition to getting information from the Local 117 website, there are many ways to stay informed about what our state's lawmakers are up to and how to get involved.


WCC Officer Reinstated after Arbitration Win

harlan-finch.jpgTo be declared unfit for duty as a corrections officer is devastating.  It shatters your confidence, destroys your career, and implies a broken trust.

But when it is unjustified, as in the case of Officer Harlan Finch of WCC, you need the courage to challenge the DOC, and you need to have faith in your union.  Officer Finch has both.

In 2011, Officer Finch was unexpectedly placed on administrative leave.  He was an experienced officer, with 26 years at the Department.  Yet despite his tenure, the Department was determined to undermine his career.  


Negotiations to Kick Off at Graybar

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A big Seahawks playoff game was due to start, but that didn’t stop the crew at Graybar Electric from gathering at their Union hall to prepare for contract negotiations.

Graybar distributes electrical and communications products to businesses across North America.  Teamsters 117 represents members at the company’s facilities in Seattle’s SODO district and in Renton.  Members in the warehouse receive, store, select, pack, and ship company inventory.


Fare Times: News from the Teamster Taxi Industry

taxi-article-photo.jpgWondering what’s happening with our members in the taxi industry?  Check out the new Fare Times newsletter.  

In this issue you can read about:

  • a generous donation by taxi drivers to the Northwest Harvest food bank;
  • a new Taxi Ticket Program to help drivers who receive moving violations;
  • a recent taxi political forum;
  • taxi drivers' work to pass legislation in Olympia.

Check out the Fare Times here.


Advocating for Corrections in the Supplemental Budget

On December 17, Governor Inslee released his supplemental budget proposal, which includes $5.1 million for the opening of the 256-bed medium security unit at WSP to meet the demands of a rising male offender caseload and to reduce overcrowding. 

In the supplemental capital budget, Inslee proposes $1.8 million to complete redesign studies on capacity issues for male and female prison populations.  

Both levels of appropriation are necessary in order to ensure the safety, security, and well being of our state's correctional employees.


Secretary-Treasurer's Message: Attack on Pensions

Tracey-A.-Thompson.jpgBrothers and Sisters:

The Boeing Machinists are not the only ones seeing their defined benefit pension plans under attack. For the last several years, corporate-backed politicians and the media have been trying to gut the pensions of public employees in the name of "reform."

Typically these proposals favor moving workers from a defined benefit retirement plan to a 401k.


DOC Contract Surveys & Demands Meetings

We are in the process of preparing for collective bargaining over your successor labor agreement and for the first time we will have interest arbitration available to resolve any issues in negotiations that we cannot reach agreement on with the State/DOC.  Our negotiations with the State begin in April and we have scheduled the arbitration for the last two weeks of August, 2014.  We anticipate that we will need to present evidence to the arbitrator regarding the extent to which State compensation is deficient to comparable jurisdictions. 

As we prepare for the hearing, we will be compiling data from other jurisdictions and developing evidence regarding the impact that the deficient pay scale has on recruitment, retention and promotion. 

Your participation in the bargaining process is critical to achieving a strong contract that is acceptable to you.