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Across the country, working people are ramping up the fight to create and preserve good jobs.
After watching their wages stagnate or decline for decades now, workers are starting to turn up the heat on a small handful of corporate cronies who are trying to destroy the middle class.
Brothers and Sisters -
As Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117, I am repeatedly overwhelmed by the solidarity and fortitude of our members, who fight every day against tremendous odds for dignity and respect at work.
I’m thinking of our members at Davis Wire who stood up to a heartless employer during a 3-month strike, or members at the Department of Corrections who fought for safer working conditions after the tragic murder of one of their own, or members at UNFI who braved the winter rains to stand in solidarity with 72 of their brothers and sisters who were unlawfully permanently replaced by the company late last year.
We have some good news to report out of Olympia. Teamsters 117, along with a coalition of state-employee unions, has reached a tentative agreement over your health care coverage.
Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject the company’s latest contract proposal. Voting took place throughout the day during three meetings held at 10:30 A.M., 3:00 P.M., and 5:30 P.M at the Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila.
“Darigold is disrespecting its workers and undermining the bargaining process,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “The company broke the law when they walked away from federal mediation, leaving no one with the authority to bargain. They have spied on workers and illegally attempted to circumvent the union.”
Last year, Teamsters 117, working together with a coalition of state-employee unions, was unable to reach an agreement with the State over health care for the 2013-2015 biennium.
The coalition proposed maintaining the status quo on premium share and other elements of the plan, but the State refused to agree.
Now, the coalition has resumed health care bargaining with the State, and the State is dragging its heels again.
On Thursday, September 19, your Local Union held its nominations meeting in a packed Union hall in Tukwila for all Teamsters 117 Executive Board positions for the coming three-year term.
At the meeting, Tracey A. Thompson, Local 117’s current Secretary-Treasurer, along with the entire Executive Board, were nominated, without opposition, to continue to lead the Union. Since there were no other nominations at the meeting, an election is not necessary.
Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, distributed leaflets at ten Walmart and Sam’s Club locations throughout the day today to inform consumers about the company’s multiple violations of federal labor law and the growing threat of a potential lockout or strike.
The workers handed out information and talked with shoppers at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Renton, Puyallup, Federal Way, Auburn, Covington, Bellevue, and Seattle. Approximately 150 workers participated in the leafleting action.
Warehouse workers, employed at the IKEA distribution center in Frederickson, WA, have voted to join Teamsters Local 117. The 64 workers at the facility came together seeking job security, fair and equal treatment, strong representation, and respect.
“We are excited to have the strength of the Teamsters behind us,” said Mario Sapilak, a 4-year IKEA employee. “We need to have a voice at work and to have management listen to our concerns, and the Teamsters will help us achieve that.”
Darigold walked out of federal mediation late Monday night setting the stage for a potential lockout or strike at the company’s production facilities in Issaquah and Seattle. The walkout left no one with authority at the bargaining table, and was the latest in a series of unfair labor practices that undermine the bargaining process and foreshadow a possible labor dispute.
Ken Marshall, a Local 117 member at the Monroe Correctional Complex, grew up just outside of Monroe, in the City of Sultan, and has lived there his entire life.
As a young man, Ken cared about his hometown so much that he decided he would run for political office there one day. Two decades later, that is exactly what he is planning to do, as he vies to retain his current spot on the Sultan City Council.
This is how a Teamster retiree does it! John Van Buskirk, former King County employee and Teamsters 117 Steward Advisory Council member, and current delegate to the MLK King County Labor Council, enjoying his retirement in Glacier National Park in Montana.
Congratulations, John, and keep on truckin!
Every day at every level of government, elected officials make decisions that affect your job, your family and your life.
Register to vote today. The stakes are too high not to care.
Teamsters 117 launched its new website in August. The new site is designed to provide information and resources to Local 117 members, integrate with new social media tools, and engage members to take legislative and political action so that we can build union power and best fight to protect the rights of working families.
As we continue to build the new site, please share your impressions and/or suggestions so that we can create a site that best reflects your needs as a member of the Union. Thank you for your participation!
The City and Joint Labor have been meeting on a weekly basis to negotiate the entire Joint Labor Agreement. Health care benefits continue to be the primary issue, although the employer is bringing many language items to modify the entire agreement.
Starting in mid-September, your Local Union will begin negotiations with the County over contracts for the Professional, Technical, and Administrative Support and the Joint Units Agreement (formerly Joint Crafts Council) bargaining units.