When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

Your State Senator Needs to Hear from you on Paid Sick Days!


We are very excited to announce that the Senate Commerce and Labor committee has scheduled a hearing for Paid Sick and Safe Days (HB 1313) on Wednesday, February 26th at 1:30 p.m.

Thanks to your emails and phone calls, the bill passed out of the House of Representatives on January 29. Now, HB 1313 faces a tough fight in the Senate.  We must do all we can if Paid Sick Days (HB1313) is going to make it through the Senate Labor and Commerce committee. Here's what you can do right now:

1.  Sign the Paid Sick Days Action Alert here.

2. Contact key members of the Senate Commerce and Labor committee and tell them to pass this bill out! 

Curtis King R 14th
(360) 786-7626

Janea Holmquist Newbry, Chair R 13th
(360) 786-7624

John Braun R 20th
(360) 786-7638

Mike Hewitt R 16th
360 786-7630

3.  If you live in the 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th legislative districts, your support is especially important!

Paid Sick Days ensure people can care for their health needs without losing a day’s wages or their job and promotes healthy business by preventing the spread of food-borne disease and boosting employee morale and productivity.

Teamsters Back in Olympia, Making their Voices Heard


Teamsters 117 was back in Olympia today to speak out in support of issues that are important to working families.  Together with members of several other Teamster Locals, Local 117 members met with their legislators to discuss raising the minimum wage, passing a paid sick days bill, and protecting workers against wage theft.

"This is the second time that I've done a Lobby Day, and I had a lot of fun the first time," said Jess Turney, a 2-year Teamster at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. "I think the strength of the Teamsters is activism and the membership has to participate in order for the union to be strong and for us to accomplish our goals." 

Local 117 members continued to lobby their State Senators on a bill (HB 2152) that would allow Teamster taxi drivers the choice to opt into the State's Labor & Industries system.  On February 7, the bill passed out of the House by a vote of 93-1, and it is now working its way through the Senate.

Members also discussed the need to alleviate prison overcrowding and to address other safety and security-related issues for our state's correctional employees.

Today's event was organized by the Joint Council of Teamsters 28, an organization of 12 Teamster Locals in Washington, Alaska, and Northern Idaho.

DOC Facility News - February 2014

For a sample of the representational work on behalf of Teamsters at the DOC for the month of February, check out the DOC facility news section of the website.

In February, contract demands meetings began in facilities across the state.  You can view a more detailed look at representational work by facility here

Keep in mind that the work described in the facility news section is not comprehensive.  The section will be updated regularly and can be accessed in the member center under Department of Corrections and Law Enforcement.

Any feedback or suggestions you have would be appreciated.  Thank you!

King County Coalition of Unions - Total Comp. Update

On February 12, King County met with the King County Coalition of Unions to address two key components of the Coalition’s November 21 proposal.

Matt McCoy from the County outlined the cost incurred to provide an additional two steps (Step 11 and Step 12) to the Squared Table, as well as a Vacation Cash Out option. It was discussed that 63% of Coalition employees are at Step 10. Adding two steps would result in a 2.78% on-going, long-term cost increase in total payroll. The vacation cash out option would be a one-time payroll cost increase of 4.75% (or $29 million in real dollars). Therefore, the immediate combined increase in total payroll cost to the County would be 7.53%.

According to Dwight Dively (Budget Director) at a December presentation to the Coalition, the General Fund Revenue is expected to have an “…average long-term revenue growth of about 2.5%.”

View the entire update here.

Secretary-Treasurer's Message: Teamster Power

Tracey-A.-Thompson.jpgBrothers and Sisters:

I recently spent two amazing days with over three hundred labor leaders, community activists, faith leaders and environmentalists from across the country. The Partnership for Working Families is a national network of regional advocacy leaders who are committed to working together for economic, racial and environmental justice. The Partnership provides a voice for working families, promoting policies that create quality jobs and thriving, healthy communities. 

It is not surprising that a significant focus of the two-day summit was civic engagement. Your Union has long understood that if we are to succeed in protecting the rights and improving the lives of our members and all working families in our region, we must actively engage our members in the political process, both locally and state-wide. 

117 is on the Winning Team


“We take our little league seriously,” said Javier Solheim, a 17-year Teamster mill operator at GP Gypsum.  Javier’s son, Andrew, is 8-years old and plays baseball for the Rainiers, a team based in Lakewood.  Last year, the Rainiers were 12-0, and won a league championship.   

Teamster Talk #28 - This is Why We Fight

Teamster-Talk---Feb2014.jpgThe new issue of your Union's newsletter, Teamster Talk, is now available.  Teamster Talk is a bi-monthly newsletter that provides a closer look at some of the issues impacting members of Teamsters 117.  

In this issue, you'll find stories on a number of topics including:

  • Local 117's participation in the MLK Day march and rally;
  • A PERC ruling impacting members at DOC;
  • Our Farm to Family Rally;
  • Teamsters 117 Lobby Day;
  • Teamsters volunteering in the community;
  • A message from your Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey Thompson.

For print copies of Teamster Talk, talk to your Business Representative.

Two Teamster Officers Assaulted at WSP

Two officers, members of Teamsters 117, were assaulted yesterday by an inmate in the library of the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.  The officers were transported to a local hospital, where they were treated for injuries sustained in the attack, and then released.

The West Complex at the facility, where the attack occurred, is currently on restrictive movement.

The case is still under investigation.  As details emerge, we will share them here.  Once again, this incident, along with the assault on staff last week at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center, are a solemn reminder of how difficult and dangerous the work is of our state's correctional employees.

We can't thank them enough for the tremendous job they do every day in keeping our communities safe.

Taxi L&I Bill Passes the House!


We have some great news out of Olympia!  Representative Cyrus Habib's proposed legislation (HB 2152) that would lift the Labor & Industries requirement for taxi cab operators has just passed the State House of Representatives on a vote of 93-1! 

The Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association (WWTCOA) and the Teamsters have been working hard to pass the bill since the start of legislative session on January 13. WWTCOA members testified at a Labor and Workforce Development Committee hearing on January 16, and dozens of drivers spoke to their representatives about the importance of the bill at our Teamster Lobby Day on January 28.

The next big fight will be in the Senate, where we will need to speak out in legislative hearings and meet with our State Senators. Under the bill, drivers would still have the option to participate in the State's L & I insurance program, but they could opt out if they so desired. 

Report from Olympia #2 - 2014 Legislative Session

Olympia2.jpgThe new issue of our Local 117 Report from Olympia is now available.  

This bi-weekly newsletter provides the latest updates on bills and initiatives from the 2014 legislative session that impact Teamster families.  

This issue contains updates on:

  • HB 1313 - the paid sick leave bill;
  • HB 2152 - the taxi Labor & Industries bill;
  • News about a full-scale performance audit of the DOC;
  • News from our Teamster Lobby Day on January 28

For print copies of the newsletter, talk to your Business Representative.

DOC Facing Full-Blown Performance Audit

Thank you to the many members who spoke with legislators in support of HB 2421, Representative Schmick’s bill, which would fund a study of DOC staffing levels.  While the bill has been pulled from executive session and will not be moving forward this year, lawmakers have given good reason for doing so. 

After speaking today with the State Auditor’s office, Representative Schmick, and legislators on the House Public Safety Committee, we have learned that the bill was pulled because a comprehensive performance audit of the DOC, which had been on hold due to pending litigation, is now underway. 

Rep. Mike Sells seeks clarity from AG regarding pension

Mike-Sells.jpgRepresentative Mike Sells of the 38th Legislative District has sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson requesting a legal opinion regarding supplemental pension options for state employees that exist outside of the state's plans.

The letter is similar to one that the Teamsters 117 Legal Department sent to Ferguson after he was elected in 2012.

An opinion by the AG's office would determine whether or not we are permitted under current state law to negotiate the Teamsters pension as an option into the DOC contract that can be voted on by the membership.

Member Assaulted at Clallam Bay Corrections Center

The Clallam Bay Corrections Center is on lockdown after an offender stabbed a Local 117 corrections officer in the neck with a fabricated weapon at approximately 10:15 a.m. on February 3. The officer was taken to a hospital in Port Angeles, where he was treated and released.

The case is currently under investigation.  We will provide more information as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, please remember to stay safe, cover your co-workers' backs, and send your thoughts and prayers to your fellow member at Clallam Bay.

DOC Facility News - January 2014

For a sample of the representational work on behalf of Teamsters at the DOC for the month of January, check out the DOC facility news section of the website.

January was a busy month for DOC Teamsters.  Contract surveys were mailed out to all members in the state, and we had our first Teamsters Lobby Day on January 28.  You can view a more detailed look at representational work by facility here

Keep in mind that the work described in the facility news section is not comprehensive.  The section will be updated on a bi-monthly basis and can be accessed in the member center under Department of Corrections and Law Enforcement.

Any feedback or suggestions you have would be appreciated.  Thank you!

PERC Ruling to be Posted at all DOC facilities

Starting Monday, February 3, the DOC is required to post a ruling in favor of the Union by the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) indicating that the Department committed a series of Unfair Labor Practices on a statewide basis and that it must comply with the remedies outlined in the notice.

The notice must be posted at all DOC facilities for 60 days.

Thank you to all of the members who had the courage to speak out when your rights were violated and to the many Shop Stewards who helped represent them throughout the process.