Teamster Talk #9: Locals unite in battle royal
Quote of the month: "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will." - Frederick Douglass



A message from your Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson

Brothers and Sisters:

During the past few months, we have experienced the incredible power of solidarity.

In April, your Union stood in solidarity with our Local 174 brothers and sisters during a 36-hour strike against Waste Management, a billion dollar company. Local 174 represents the garbage collectors in the waste industry, and we represent the recyclers. When Waste Management refused to bargain in good faith with Local 174 and 174 called an unfair labor practice strike, one hundred percent of Local 117’s recyclers honored the picket line. It was this demonstration of solidarity that forced Waste Management back to the bargaining table and ultimately to a fair contract settlement.

In May, Local 117 stood in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters to rally for immigration reform and justice for all workers. Local 117 staff and 60 members led a May Day parade of tens of thousands of marchers to Memorial Stadium, letting employers know that we will fight for justice and equality for all workers.

It is our solidarity that gives us strength and the leverage to improve the lives of all working families.

In Solidarity,

Tracey A. Thompson

Teamster unity seals 5-year pact with Waste Management
In a remarkable display of solidarity, determination, and strength, Teamsters Local 117 and Local 174 succeeded in achieving a collective bargaining agreement for sanitation workers at Waste Management that provides wage increases and secures health care protections for workers and their families over the next five years.

Sanitation workers approved the agreement with a 96% vote on Sunday, May 2.  The accord will have a lasting impact for Teamsters in the solid waste industry in our region, not only for Local 174 garbage haulers who are covered under the new agreement, but for Local 117 yard waste and recycling drivers whose contract will expire in 2012.

Undivided support from Teamsters Local 117 members, along with strong support from fellow labor organizations, environmental groups, faith-based groups and the community at large, was instrumental in achieving the new agreement.   Local 174 pledged the same level of unwavering solidarity for Local 117 members when their contract expires and contract negotiations with Waste Management commence again in two years.

Teamsters at Waste Management went out on a two-day unfair-labor-practice strike on April 21-22 in an effort to combat the company’s illegal bargaining tactics.  During the strike, not a single member of the Union, including 350 members of Local 117, crossed the picket line. Read more.

Local 117 honored for community service
Local wins back-to-back community service awards
Members of Teamsters Local 117 pride themselves in giving back to their communities. Union members coach little league softball, run tutoring programs at local high schools, volunteer at soup kitchens, and participate in countless other activities that help build stronger, more vibrant communities.

Until now, Local 117's community service had gone on with little fanfare. Secretary-Treasurer Tracey A. Thompson was determined to change all of that.

At the start of her tenure as ST, Thompson announced that the Union would place a greater emphasis on community volunteerism. The Local created a community sponsorship program, began to recruit more actively for community events, and pledged to participate in neighborhood revitalization projects. Read more.

No on I-1082! Don't let corporations privatize our workers' comp system!
Corporate interests are hard at work in Washington State attempting to privatize Washington's workers' compensation system. Right now, Washington pays out the 3rd highest benefits to injured workers while our State's costs are 5th lowest in the country.

Although far from perfect, it is clear that our system in Washington State protects workers who are injured on the job and prevents them from falling prey to profit-greedy insurance companies.

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and its corporate bedfellows are scheming to change all of that. With the help of insurance behemoths like AIG, the BIAW is busy collecting signatures for a ballot initiative (Initiative-1082) that, if approved by voters, would allow out-of-state insurance companies to game the system in ways that would likely lead to wrongful denials or delays of benefits when a worker gets injured on the job.

Don't let corporate interests corrupt Washington's State's workers' comp. system! Don't sign the petition that would put Initiative 1082 on the ballot this fall!

King County Teamsters: Want to get involved?
Are you a Local 117 member at King County and looking for ways to get involved in upcoming labor negotiations?

Sign up to become a member of your Local Union’s Political Action and Communications committees.

On the communications side, responsibilities include joining a “speakers’ bureau” that will field interviews with reporters, speak out at community meetings, and organize press events.

On the political front, members will engage in lobbying visits, petition drives, labor-neighbor doorbelling, voter registration, and letter and email writing campaigns. For more information, talk to your Business Representative or visit your Local Union’s website at

May-June 2010

Mark your calendars!
June 17 - Membership Meeting

Membership meeting
Teamsters Local 117 will hold its next membership meeting on Thursday, June 17 from 7-9pm. Join your fellow Local 117 members before the meeting for a dinner served by the Teamsters for Tomorrow.

An orientation meeting for new members will be held from 12-1pm and from 6-7pm earlier in the day.

New members who attend the orientation meeting are eligible for a partial rebate of their initiation fee.



* Teamster Talk: News from Teamsters Local 117 *

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Mailing address:
14675 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 307, Tukwila, WA 98168

206.441.4860 * toll free 1.888.872.3498

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