Members of Teamsters Local 117, in coalition with other state employee unions, held a press conference in Olympia yesterday. The event, which took place at the Capitol Florist, highlighted the support of small businesses for funding state employee contracts.
Local 117 Shop Steward Sgt. Michael Boe spoke at the event:
"I supervise on a daily basis dangerous felons, the people the public doesn’t want to ever see or think about again. The legislature rightfully expects me to work hard and do my job, which I do proudly. But in return I expect the state to respect the work I do and the risks I take every day to keep our community safe. Not getting any kind of cost of living adjustment in seven years is not respectful," he said.
"I supervise on a daily basis dangerous felons, the people the public doesn’t want to ever see or think about again."
Boe thanked the hundreds of small businesses that are standing with state employees:
"It’s been incredibly gratifying over the last few months to see all of the business owners throughout the state who have signed on to support state employees in our effort to get our first raises in seven years."
Michael Steadman, the owner of Steadman Properties, a family-owned real estate business in the Olympia area, also spoke at the event. Steadman said that putting a little more money in the pockets of workers helps businesses like his, and he expressed gratitude for the services that state employees provide:
"I want to say first how much I appreciate the work of our public service workers. They clean up our environment, protect our children, and keep all of us safe, and they have gone for far too long without seeing any kind of pay increase."
After the event, Local 117 members helped deliver over 1000 postcards to legislators urging them to fund our contract.