When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

Local 117 launches member Leadership Academy

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Members from the inaugural Teamsters Leadership Academy participate in a team building exercise on January 17.


Local 117 members from all corners of the state gathered at the union hall in Tukwila earlier this month for the inaugural class of our new Teamsters Leadership Academy.

The program is a central piece to one of our union’s key strategic priorities: to invest in member leadership and development.

“I’m incredibly excited to work with all of you,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117, as he welcomed the group.  “Our goal as Teamsters is to build unity and power for working families. You are on the forefront of helping realize that goal.”

"The sense of unity was wonderful."

In the first meeting, members discussed the qualities of effective leadership and reflected on the importance of leadership as it relates to working together as a team. They also engaged in a “problem tree” exercise where they identified and analyzed issues in the workplace.

Check out photos from the event here.


Congratulations, Story Challenge Winners!

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Team of Story Challenge Evaluators representing private and public sectors, drivers, steel workers, Department of Corrections, and Teamsters staff.


Last year, we launched a Story Challenge competition seeking union stories across all sectors of our membership, and now the results are in! It was a tough challenge — to pick the winning story. Each one reflected the incredible challenges that Teamsters overcome every day from struggles of a young single mother to surviving the horrific aftermath of Vietnam war.

To deal with this daunting task, we brought together a group of seven Teamsters from different industries. After long deliberation the winners were chosen as follows:

1st place: Adrian Johnson PENSKE
2nd place: Eric Sacks Pierce County
3rd Place: Cuong Huynh (Van)  Swire Coca Cola 
Honorary Mention: Jessica Poston South Sound 911
Honorary Mention: James Shepard King County

The awards were presented during our Holiday Membership meeting where winners read their stories and captivated the audience. Despite limited number of awards, all participants will have their story featured on our website. Visit www.familystrengthcommunity.org/stories to read the stories and stay tuned for more!


Oral arguments scheduled in Janus case

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Brothers and Sisters -

Many of you have requested that we continue to provide updates on the Janus v AFSCME case that threatens the resources that support our ability to continue to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.

The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on February 26. We are expecting a decision sometime this spring.

If the court rules as we expect, you will no longer have the freedom to negotiate union security clauses in your contract. This means that public workers would be able to abandon their union membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits of representation without having to pay for it.

It may sound appealing – no union dues – but the reality is that your wages and health benefits could be cut and your contractual rights weakened in an open shop environment if we don’t stick together and defend our union.

Wealthy special interest groups like the "Freedom" Foundation may even try to trick you into “opting out” of paying your fair share. 

We’ve launched a campaign called Family – Strength - Community to prepare for the Janus ruling and to defend against these attacks. Members are talking to members about how we can get ready for open shop. Over a thousand Teamsters have already signed cards committing to each other and their union.

You can learn more about Janus, hear from other Teamsters about the case and access resources at our Family – Strength – Community website.

In Washington State, workers must not experience the same erosion of rights that workers in Wisconsin have been suffering.  Wages and health care benefits plunged after that state passed laws that attacked public workers’ right to collectively bargain.

If you have any questions about open shop or about the Janus case, talk to a shop steward or your union representative. You can also email me directly.

Thank you for all that you do. And thank you for your membership in Teamsters 117.

Respectfully,

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John Scearcy
Secretary-Treasuer

 


The results are in! King County bargaining units vote to ratify contracts

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Lynn Constantine and other member volunteers tally up the votes for Local 117 King County bargaining unit contracts at the Teamsters hall in Tukwila on January 18. 


The results are in! All Teamsters 117 bargaining units participating in the recent contract vote at King County have overwhelmingly approved their respective contracts.

Voting took place over the course of two weeks at more than twenty meetings across the county. Turnout in the contract vote was historically high. 

On Thursday evening, member volunteers tallied up the votes on contracts covering 12 bargaining units and over 1200 King County Teamsters. 

You can view the results according to bargaining unit below: 

BARGAINING UNIT

APPROVED

Department of Public Defense - Management Unit

Yes

Dept. of Transportation Administrators

Yes

IT Managers and Supervisors

Yes

Joint Units Agreement

Yes

Legislative Analysts

Yes

Prosecuting Attorney's Office

Yes

Printers and Copiers

Yes

Professional & Technical & Administrative Employees

Yes

Security Screeners

Yes

Information Technology Managers & Supervisors

Yes

WWT PT&A

Yes

WWT Supervisers

Yes

In voting to approve a Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which was negotiated last year between our Coalition of Unions and the County, members will receive a total wage increase of 3.25%. Members also voted to approve their individual bargaining unit’s appendix agreements.

The MLA together with the appendix agreements contain many improvements, including a provision for economic equity, expanded bereavement leave, protections against sub-contracting, professional development opportunities, among others.

Mary Jane Friel, a county utility worker who served on the bargaining committee, said she is pleased with the results. “We were especially proud to change the language around discipline, the sunset clause. We fought really hard for that. And the boot allowance is important for our group.”

You can access a summary of the highlights of the MLA as well as a redline document of the agreement on our Teamsters website. Contract summary documents and the redline versions for individual units can also be found online.

"I want to congratulate our members at King County on their new contracts that provide across-the-board wage increases and critical workplace protections," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "King County Teamsters provide essential services to our community. These contracts represent an important step toward recognizing their labor and the invaluable contributions they make to the residents of King County." 


James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship - Apply Today!

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Our international union is now accepting applications for the 2018 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship. For the first time, scholarships will be awarded to students attending training and vocational programs.

The children and financial dependents of Teamster members are eligible to apply.

Academic scholarship awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for high school seniors planning to attend a four-year college or university and Training/Vocational Program awards of up to $2,000 for use at community colleges and trade schools.

A new and improved online application process can be found on the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund’s website: www.jrhmsf.org


Teamsters pushing back at Fleetlogix

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Great to see members who work at the airport's rental car facility today.

A manager at one of the transportation companies - Fleetlogix - tried to block our visitation access last week and we pushed back in a big way. The company has already been sanctioned by the NLRB for intimidating workers who were wearing buttons supporting the union.

We'll be negotiating again on January 19 and 24. It's time to get a fair contract that respects our members and the important services they provide!


E-Board trustee Scott Anderson: Quiet warrior fighting to save lives

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Scott Anderson giving the gift of life in the Safeway breakroom in the Auburn warehouse.


Scott Anderson, a Teamster of 43 years in the grocery industry, is soft-spoken, but don’t let his demeanor fool you.

Under the quiet exterior lies a man of great compassion and conviction who exudes a moral authority and a desire to help others through his actions.

Scott has served our Local 117 membership as a trustee on our union's executive board on and off for 20 years.

Since the mid-1980s, he has organized semi-annual blood drives for his co-workers in the Safeway warehouse. Over that time span, thousands of Teamsters have donated their blood to help save lives in our community. Their donations complement our union’s annual blood drive that takes place at the Teamsters hall each November.

"The Teamster blood drives come at a really important time of year for us."

“The Teamster blood drives come at a really important time of year for us,” says Robin Lulich, a donor resource consultant with Cascade Regional Blood Services. “There is usually high blood usage before and after the holidays. The Teamsters help boost the inventory back up.”

That means ensuring that there are ample blood reserves when disaster strikes, like when an Amtrak train derailed in Dupont last month. Cancer survivors, burn victims, surgery patients, sick kids – they all benefit from donated blood.

For Scott, the impetus to enlist his co-workers touches close to home.


Teamster Talk: Power in Face of Open Shop

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In memory of Rob Garberding.

 

Rob Garberding passed away battling cancer in the first week of January shortly after we featured his story. Our hearts go out to his family and friends who went the extra mile to support him and alleviate his condition.

 

In this winter edition of Teamster Talk learn about the amazing and heartbreaking story at Darigold, the powerful contracts we closed the year with, and WA Paid Sick Leave.

Legislative session kicks off this week - check out our priorities here!

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Legislative session kicks off on January 8, 2018

A 60-day session of the Washington State Legislature kicks off on January 8, 2018 and will run through March 9.

During that time, we will be working to pass bills that help workers, increase government accountability, and protect the health of our families and workers.

Our union employs a full-time Legislative Affairs Director, Brenda Wiest, who will be on the ground every day in Olympia working to protect the rights of Local 117 members and their families. Brenda works closely with Political Action Director, Dustin Lambro, who is organizing opportunities throughout session for members to speak directly with their legislators about critical issues.

We will be holding two major lobby day events this year, for our for-hire drivers on January 24, and for our public sector and DOC members on February 12-13. Talk to your union representative about how you can get involved or call Dustin at 206-794-2606.

This legislative session our priorities include:

Department of Corrections/Law Enforcement 

  • Our number one legislative priority for DOC this session is to secure funding in the supplemental budget for a study of the DOC staffing model;
  • We will also be working to: Expand the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) to include more DOC groups,  achieve interest arbitration for campus police, expand the presumptive disease designations, and include PTSD and other stress-related disease coverage under workers compensation.

Expanding collective bargaining rights

  • Under state law, some workers are barred from joining unions. We are working to pass a package of bills to expand bargaining rights for professional port employees, part-time workers, and interpreters.

Preparing for Janus 

  • Our union has partnered with other public sector unions to create a number of statutory changes to give us the best chance to maintain union strength in a post-Janus environment.

Taxi/ABDA

  • Oppose legislation that would preempt local governments from regulating the industry.
  • Pass legislation that moves app-based drivers into the for-hire framework and levels the playing field for all drivers in the industry.

Priorities that are good for workers and our communities

  • Pass the Equal Pay Act that will ensure differences in pay are not driven by sex or gender, and close the pay gap between men and women.  
  • Pass Prescription Drug Transparency to force big pharmaceutical companies to disclose the reasons for price spikes in medication.
  • Pass the Voting Rights Act and Automatic Voter Registration to change discriminatory voting systems and increase voter representation and registration. 
  • Pass Breakfast after the Bell to close the Achievement gap and give all kids access to a healthy and nutritious start to their school day.
  • Monitor Autonomous Vehicle policy to make sure workers and the public are protected.
  • Work with stakeholders and legislators to address issues related to creating a Portable Benefits structure that provides for a meaningful safety net and addresses the underlying problems with the misclassification of workers and abuse of independent contractors.

King County voting kicks into high gear this week

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The vote is underway. King County Teamsters have begun casting their ballots on their contract. The voting is the culmination of a year of bargaining, starting at the coalition level and concluding with small table negotiations.

Voting kicked off last week for several King County groups. The first vote meeting for all units was held on Saturday at our union hall in Tukwila. You can access a schedule of all the meeting times and locations here.

Lester Van Gelder, a wastewater treatment supervisor and shop steward who participated in coalition bargaining, encouraged his co-workers to participate. “It’s extremely important - this is affecting your livelihood,” he said.

“If you’re not voting, you’re not getting heard,” added Bobby Stalnaker, a steward in the security screener’s unit. “This is a chance for you to get your voice out there.”

"If you’re not voting, you’re not getting heard."

Members are voting both on a Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which was negotiated last year between our Coalition of Unions and the County, and their individual bargaining unit’s appendix agreements.

The MLA consolidates language from contracts across the county into one unified contract.


Secretary-Treasurer's Message: Labor History of Tough Victories

Sisters and brothers,

As we face the challenges of 2018 and with the impending Supreme Court ruling on the Janus case that could turn public sector unions across the country into open shop, let us remember that labor history has never been a cakewalk. We inherited our worker protections and union wages from our predecessors who were tough as nails. They fought and won grueling fights for the rights we now enjoy.

At work, we don’t give a second thought to the fire alarm on the wall, yet it wasn’t placed there by employer’s good will. In 1910, The Industrial Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union organized strikes involving over 20,000 workers against sweatshops in New York, yet companies like Triangle Shirtwaist Factory banned their workers from unionizing.

T_fire.jpgThe next year, disaster struck. In an attempt to prevent theft, garment workers – almost all women of Italian and Jewish origins, were locked by their employer on the top floors of a New York building when a fire broke out. Flames quickly caught the textile scraps and set the building ablaze. The employers had trapped these working women to burn alive in a building not equipped with any fire safety. People in the streets watched their neighbors catch fire and jump to their death from the tenth floor. It took this horrific tragedy, public outcry, and pressure from the unions to implement safety rules in the workplace.

During the notorious Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, sixty-two people jumped or fell from windows, not one of them survived. Image source Wikimedia Commons.



DOC Guardian: Are you ready for open shop?

The winter issue of the Guardian, our newsletter for Teamsters who work at the Department of Corrections, is now available!

In this issue, you'll find information on how to register for our upcoming Legislative Reception and Lobby Day on February 12-13, 2018 and an article on how members are starting to prepare for open shop, which is likely coming to DOC next year.

You can access a PDF of the Guardian online here. A number of member leaders will be distributing print copies over the next few weeks.


King County Contract Voting - Times, Dates and Locations

Starting in January, we will be conducting contract ratification meetings for all Teamsters who work at King County.

At the meetings, you will have an opportunity to vote on the Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which is unanimously recommended by all members of the King County Coalition of Unions, and on your individual bargaining unit's appendix or "small table" agreement.

To prepare for the vote, you can review the MLA and your individual unit's agreement here.

To vote, you must attend one of the drop-in ratification meetings below. If you have any questions, please contract your union representative or shop steward. For a print posting of the schedule, click here.

BARGAINING UNIT DATE TIME LOCATION
PAO & Security Screeners Thurs., 1/4/18 9am-1:00pm KC Courthouse, rm W842
PAO & Security Screeners Fri., 1/5/18 9am-12:30pm RJC, Kent - Rm A/B
Legislative Analysts Fri., 1/5/18  9am-10am KC Courthouse, Rm Horiuchi
Dept. of Public Defense Mang Unit Fri., 1/5/18  11:30am-1pm Meeker St. Bldg, Kent - 2nd fl conf rm
All units Sat., 1/6/18 9am-1pm  Teamsters Bldg, Tukwila 
All units Mon. 1/8/18 9am-6pm Teamsters Bldg, Tukwila
PAO & Security Screeners Mon. 1/8/18 10:30am-12:30pm KC Youth Services Ctr, PAO 5th fl conference rm
All units Tues. 1/9/18  1pm-6pm  KC Chinook, Rm 115 
JUA - Cadman Tues. 1/9/18 6-7am Cadman Rds Maintenance Crew Room
JUA - Fall City Wed. 1/10/18 6-7am Fall City Rds Maintenance Shop
All units Wed. 1/10/18 8:30am-5pm KC Chinook, Executive conf. rm
JUA - Black Diamond  Wed. 1/10/18  3pm-4pm  Black Diamond Rds Maintenance Shop 
Dept. of Public Defense Mang Unit Wed. 1/10/18 5-6pm SCRAP, Nickels conf rm - 2nd fl
All units Thurs. 1/11/18  9am-1pm  KC Admin Bldg, Lean Lab - Rm 300 
Wastewater PT&A & Supervisors Thurs. 1/11/18 1pm-3pm West Point WWTP, Upstairs conf. rm
Dept. of Public Defense Mang Unit  Fri. 1/12/18 11am-2pm  Dexter Horton Bldg. 2nd fl conf. rm 
 All units Tues. 1/16/18  8:30am-6pm  King Street Ctr, Conf rm 2A/2B 

 


VIDEO: Thank you firefighters for your heroic work in saving the animals

A year ago, a fire broke out at the Woodland Park Zoo and threatened hundreds of animals.

Thanks to the heroic work of Seattle-area firefighters, nearly all of the animals were saved. On behalf of all members of Teamsters 117, shop steward Peter Miller sends his gratitude to the firefighters for their heroic work in saving the animals.

Thank you firefighters and happy holidays!


A 500 Hour Gift: Teamsters Don’t Fight Cancer Alone

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Miguel Fuentes in front of Darigold facility in Issaquah.


At Darigold, Rob Garberding works at the butter cooler wrapping pellets and loading them into trucks. “I like driving my forklift. It’s not an easy job, but I like making it easy for everyone else,” he says.

For over seven years, Rob has worked with Ernest Batchelor and Miguel Fuentes, both Teamsters of 20 plus years. A few months ago, Ernest and Rob were challenging each other to weight loss. Rob, it seemed, has been doing so well that he’d lost 30 pounds, but Miguel suspected that something was wrong.  “He couldn’t swallow food, and it was obvious that he had lost too much weight,” remembers Miguel.

"That’s what being a Teamster is -- when someone needs help, you help them."