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Teamsters 117 Wire

Aramark Member Loses Home in Oso Tragedy


When tragedy strikes, a community finds strength in standing together. First responders rush to the scene, while neighbors, family, and co-workers step in to lend a helping hand. The Oso mudslide cut short the lives of at least 41 people, but it didn’t quell the spirit of those afflicted by the disaster.

Mike Andrews, a 7-year member with Aramark who lost his home in the slide, expressed deep gratitude for the help offered to him and his family. But it hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been a real struggle,” Andrews said. “With the water levels fluctuating, we’ve had a lot of challenges. We were able to rowboat in and collect some of our valuables. But the house is lost.”

Rally for fair wages; $15 lifts the floor for ALL workers

Low-wage workers and their supporters will surround City Hall in Seattle today to demand that the City Council take action to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr.  A higher minimum wage in the City of Seattle will lift the floor for thousands of workers and make it easier for unions to negotiate contracts with higher wages for their members.

This week the Mayor's Income Inequality Advisory Committee faces its deadline for presenting its recommendations to the Council.  If the committee cannot reach agreement, Mayor Murray has said that he will offer his own proposal.    

DOC Bargaining Committee - Working Hard for You


The DOC bargaining committee met in Tukwila yesterday to finalize preparations for negotiations over your 2015-2017 collective bargaining agreement. 

Members of the team engaged in the final review process of proposals that were developed prior to and during the DOC Shop Stewards’ seminar on March 21.  The proposals are based on your direct feedback through contract surveys and at demands meetings.

Bargaining will cover all elements of the contract, including wages, overtime provisions, leave, bidding rights, seniority, as well as a variety of other issues.  The first session with State negotiators begins on April 23, in Tukwila. Bargaining is also tentatively scheduled for May 13 and 14 in Olympia.

Your Union’s Secretary-Treasurer Tracey A. Thompson, General Counsel Spencer Thal, and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement Michelle Woodrow will serve as the lead negotiators on your Union’s bargaining committee.  

King County Teamsters - Last chance to VOTE!

King County Teamsters - Today is the last day to do your civic duty and VOTE!  That's right, there's an election going on, about a critical issue for Teamsters - transportation.  If you haven't already, please mark your ballot YES for Proposition 1 to improve our transportation system by saving Metro and fixing roads.

Proposition 1 will decide the fate of our transportation future in King County for years to come, whether you drive a car or take the bus. A bipartisan, unanimous County Council voted to place this issue on the ballot, and it’s being supported by business, labor, non-profit organizations as well as both Republican and Democrat elected officials.  And it will support additional Teamster jobs.

Proposition 1 proposes a $60 annual car tab fee and a one-tenth-of-a-cent increase in the sales tax.  60% of the revenue generated by the measure would be spent on transit to prevent massive cuts to Metro, while 40% would go to maintain and repair our roads throughout the county, enabling cities and the county to:

  • Repave the heaviest-volume roads.
  • Fix or replace bridges that otherwise would need to be closed.
  • Make our roads and streets safer.
  • Improve flooding/stormwater management.
  • Widen roads and improve signals where needed to improve roadway carrying capacity.

These funds will go to every city and unincorporated area in the county.  For more information on how this would affect you and your city, please click here.

So vote now, and vote yes on Prop 1!

New Business Reps at WSP

Effective immediately, members at the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) will have two new Business Representatives.  

Eydie.Dean.jpgEydie Dean will cover WSP members whose physical work location is in the East Complex, plus engineering, maintenance, warehouse, and CI. Eydie's email address is Eydie.Dean@teamsters117.org and her cell phone number is 509-380-2167.  She can also be reached at 1-888-872-3489 ext. 1268.  

Tawny_Humbert.jpgTawny Humbert will cover WSP members whose physical work location is in the West/South Complex. Tawny's email address is Tawny.Humbert@teamsters117.org and her cell phone number is 509-220-2939.  She can also be reached at 1-888-872-3489 ext. 1245.

Both Eydie and Tawny have extensive experience working in a prison environment and have been extremely effective at providing representation to members at the DOC. 

Thank you for your patience as we implement this change, and as always, remember to stay safe.

Teamsters Volunteer at Emergency Food Network


Your Union is about bringing people together and creating a strong unified voice for working families.  Teamsters 117 is also committed to building stronger communities.  In that spirit, a group of 14 Teamsters volunteered for several hours on April 16 as a part of the Emergency Food Network's (EFN) Volunteer Repack Project.  

EFN is the primary food distributor to more than 60 emergency food sites in Pierce County. To get this food distributed to the individuals and families in need, EFN enlists volunteers to help repackaging fresh, frozen, and dry bulk foods into smaller, family-sized portions.

If you would like to volunteer for future EFN efforts to help feed families in need, give us a call at 206-441-4860.  Through May 12, Teamsters 117 is also sponsoring a Peanut Butter Drive to help feed hungry kids in Pierce County.  

If you would like to participate or for more information, talk to your Shop Steward or Business Rep.

Help Feed Hungry Kids in Pierce County - Peanut Butter Drive

peanutbutterDRIVE---Photo.jpgYou can help feed hungry kids in Pierce County by bringing a peanut butter donation to your Union Hall or giving it to your Business Rep!

The backpack program is an initiative that allows kids who may not have access to food over the weekend to prepare healthy meals for themselves.

Here’s how you can help local families and hungry children:

  1. Bring a jar (or more) of peanut butter to work and your Shop Steward will get it to your Business Rep. You can also bring your donations by the Union Hall.
  2. Ask your co-workers to donate peanut butter and remind them to buy it at a Union store like Fred Meyer or Safeway.
  3. Put a flyer for the program up in your shop.

Get your donations in by May 12!  Thank you for helping to fight hunger!

Scholarships for Teamster kids - Available from the Retiree Club

The Teamsters Retiree Club is now accepting scholarships applications for 2014. The deadline for applications is July 3, 2014.

The 2014 Teamsters Retiree Club scholarship application can be viewed here.

The Teamsters Retiree Club scholarship is open to sons, daughters, step-children and grandchildren of members of Teamster Locals #38, #66, #117, #174, #227, or #763.

The member may be either the parent who is in good standing and a dues paying member for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the date of application, or a grandparent who was a member in good standing for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the date of withdrawal or retirement.

Teamsters Retiree Club scholarships are awarded to the selected winners for study at any accredited College, Univesity or Vocational/Technical Schools.

Uber drivers demand an end to unjust working conditions

TNC and Town Car Drivers from Uber and UberX Will Hold a Political Forum Event on Sunday, April 13 at 2 P.M.

(Seattle, WA) – TNC and town car drivers from Uber and UberX will publicly voice their concerns about unjust working conditions at the company at a Political Forum event on Sunday, April 13, 2014.  The drivers have invited Seattle City Council members, key legislators, and members of the media to attend the event.

A panel of Uber drivers will speak on a variety of issues, including the company’s predatory practices, the unwarranted deactivation of drivers from the Uber app, and flaws with the company’s rating system. 

“My rating went to a 4.6 (out of a five-star rating) and they suspended me.  They just turned my phone off.  They didn’t give me a warning; they didn’t give me a week’s notice.  I just woke up in the morning to go to work and my phone was off.  And they’ve done that to a lot of people,” said former Uber driver, Will Anderson.  “That’s huge – if you make an investment in a vehicle and you have a family you need to feed.”

Uber drivers will be joined by members of the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association (WWTCOA), who will voice their support of the drivers, as well as representatives from Teamsters Local 117 and other community-based organizations, including OneAmerica Votes. 

Uber and UberX drivers 

Dawn Gearhart, Teamsters Local 117
Rich Stolz, OneAmerica Votes
Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Member
Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Council Member

Sunday, April 13, 2014 2 P.M.

Yesler Community Center
917 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122

DOCK TALK: News for Teamsters in the Grocery Industry


Check out the new issue of Dock Talk, the newsletter for Local 117 members in the grocery warehouse industry.  

Grocery distribution is one of our core industries, and this summer we are gearing up for contract negotiations with the four major grocery houses - Fred Meyer, Safeway, SuperValu, and Unified Grocers.

MCC Members Volunteer for Oso Disaster Relief

The Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC) is located just under forty miles Southwest of Oso, WA where one of the worst disasters in our State's history occurred on Saturday, March 22.  The impact of this natural event did not appear at first to have the breath of death and destruction that we now know occurred. 

As usual, when disasters strike our communities, our City, State, or Country First Responders and Public Safety professionals respond to the call of any need for rescue operations and support.

DOC members who work at MCC have heard that call and have volunteered to assist operations at the disaster site as well as in other vital ways.

Sergeant Jimmy Fletcher turned a day off into a day on-site when he made himself available to help in any way needed.  Fletcher wrote about his experience:

“I was able to take part in the search on Friday. I can say this much that seeing the video and pictures on television and the internet do not do the scene any justice. The physical demands were the hardest I have ever been involved with in my life. Just for my team to go a hundred yards probably took us 45 minutes because we were constantly doing self-rescues on our own team mates. A good number of volunteer search teams were off duty first responders such a medics, fire fighters, police, corrections and military. The dedication out of the volunteers was very comforting and also because each one was flying some form of insignia from their own department to show support and respect for the families of the victims and of course the victims themselves.”

The Red Cross and the United Way of Snohomish County have set up disaster relief funds for the families that have been affected by this tragedy. 

Fighting for Paid Sick Days - Tacoma Forum on April 8


Join us at the Tacoma Citizens' Forum on April 8th at 5:30 PM at Tacoma City Hall to speak out in support of Paid Sick Days for all Tacoma residents.

Teamsters 117 is part of the Healthy Tacoma Coalition, an organization that is making progress with Councilmembers on moving an ordinance forward, but we need your help to reinforce what we’ve been saying all along:

  • Paid Sick Days are the right thing to do; and 40% of Tacoma workers shouldn't have to suffer.

40,000 workers in Tacoma don’t receive a paid day off to take care of themselves or a loved one. We believe that every worker should be treated with dignity, and have the ability to perform in a safe and healthy workplace.

RSVP for this event here!

Political Action Committee Meetings - Sign Up Here!


Throughout the month of April and into May, we will be holding Political Action Committee meetings across the State.  View a schedule of the meetings here.

At the meetings, Teresita Torres, your Union's Lobbyist, and Dustin Lambro, your Political Coordinator, will be giving an update on the outcomes from legislative session and strategizing for the coming election cycle.

  • This is your opportunity to get involved and make your voice heard!

For more information, contact Dustin at 1-888-872-3489 ext. 1262. You can RSVP for the PAC meeting nearest you on the calendar section of your Union's website.

A Member Reflects on the Evolution of Local 117

Dewayne-Collins.jpgToday I pose the question:  How would you like to be part of a union that is built, designed, and ready for the 21st century.  Well guess what? You are a part.  A part of a well–oiled fighting machine that is ready for this war on workers. 

Teamsters Local 117 is not like most unions.   Instead of waiting for change, we change things.  Instead of waiting for employers to treat us with respect, we demand respect.  In a word, we adapt.  Adapt to the climate of the world we live in, while teaching members to adapt within their workplace environment.

So how did we get here?  

Members Speak Out: Johnny Uzzell, Aramark


"I'm ready to do whatever it takes to build a stronger union - give as much as I can to this movement because it makes us stronger."

- Johnny Uzzell, 9-year member at Aramark