Local 117 members spoke out last night at a public hearing at Tacoma City Hall in support of a fair paid sick day’s measure for workers in Tacoma.  Teamsters in the steel and grocery industries testified as well as members in the public sector and at the Washington State Nurses Association.

Alfredo Espino, a twenty-year Teamster and Trustee on the Local 117 Executive Board, addressed the City Council backed by a group of his co-workers holding signs that read: “Tacoma needs paid sick days!”

"Paid sick days will make our community healthy and strong."

“My co-workers and I perform physically demanding work.  We stack, burn and sort ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal for customers across our region.  We work outside in all seasons of the year, in every kind of weather.  We urge you to pass a fair paid sick day’s measure for the city of Tacoma.  Paid sick days will make our community healthy and strong,” he said.

Josh Putnam, a Shop Steward at the Fred Meyer grocery distribution center, testified at the hearing:

“I have lived in Tacoma a long time and I love this city.  Paid sick days is more than a public health issue – it’s a human rights issue,” he said.

Teamsters and other union members, along with representatives of community and faith-based groups, turned out in force for the hearing to voice their concerns about the Mayor’s proposal that would provide workers the ability to earn only three days annually and that would exclude unions.

“Three days is not enough and no one should be penalized for being a Union member,” Espino said.