When we fight, we win!

Private Sector

Teamsters at Sysco Vote 150-0 to Authorize a Strike


“Record attendance,” said Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy, to resounding applause.  “This is serious.  The company is coming after us, but we will be ready.”

The Union hall was packed with Teamsters on Saturday who work at the massive food service conglomerate, Sysco.  

We have been in bargaining with the company since July and the temperature of the bargain has reached a boiling point.  Sysco has been playing hardball, coming after members’ hard-earned medical benefits, retirement security, wages, and more.

In the last scheduled bargaining session, our negotiations team made a good faith proposal and we were ready to stay at the table until bargaining was completed, but the company simply walked away from the bargaining table.  

The bargaining team called the group to the hall for Saturday’s meeting and, in an incredible display of solidarity, members voted 150-0 to authorize a strike.  

With the unanimous vote, we've sent a clear message to the company that we stand together and are united in our demand for good faith bargaining.

Thank you to the extraordinary work of our Union bargaining committee:

  • John Scearcy
  • Paul Dascher
  • James Borsum 
  • Will Buff 
  • Richard Chambless 
  • Erick Engel 
  • Rowan Griffin 
  • Mike Simon

Check out photos from the meeting here.

PETITION: Sign the Passenger and Drivers Bill of RIghts!

Bill-of-Rights---Photo.jpgChanges in the economy have led to poor working conditions and low pay for drivers in Seattle's for-hire industry. 

Things have gotten so bad that Uber drivers like Takele Gobena are reporting making less than $3/hr

You can HELP DRIVERS NOW and ensure that the public is protected by signing a Bill of Rights for Passengers and Drivers in the On-Demand economy: 


Your support will help pressure companies to treat drivers fairly and keep you informed about new legislation designed to give for-hire drivers a voice.

Please sign now! Thank you!

O'Brien Proposal Would Give Uber Drivers a Voice

uber-drivers_photo3.jpgYou know something is afoul in Seattle’s for-hire industry when a driver for a $50 billion company like Uber looks at his tax return and discovers that he made less than $3/hr last year.

But that is the reality workers like Takele Gobena are facing in the new "gig economy" as they try to cobble together a living without access to basic rights and protections of traditional employees.

Because they are classified as independent contractors, for-hire drivers don't have the ability to unionize through a traditional NLRB election process, and they aren't covered by Seattle's wage theft, sick leave, or new $15/hr minimum wage law.

Look What Happened to This Locker Room after Workers Joined Teamsters

Check out what a Union can do for workers who are determined to have a voice.  These before and after shots come from Industrial Container Services, where workers organized and joined with Teamsters Local 117 last year.  

This is the workers' locker room, before and after organizing with Teamsters 117:


Here is the workers' water source, before and after organizing with Teamsters 117:


Amazing the difference a strong Union can make!

Soccer Tournament Brings Members Together


Our annual Local 117 Soccer Tournament was a big success again this year.  Twelve teams participated in the event, which was held on August 22, at the Joseph Foster Memorial Park in Tukwila.  

Members from the grocery, taxi, dairy, steel, food service, and parking industries, and the public sector participated in the event.  The final game matched up two Safeway teams - the Safeway Ice Cream Dewayne Newbies vs. the Safeway Produce Aztecas.  

This year's trophy went to the Dewayne Newbies in a hard fought battle!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the event and for making it such a success.  We'll be looking to expand the tournament again next year, so look for the flyer in your shops next summer, and start getting your team ready now!

Check out photos from the event here.

Welcome new Business Rep, Dewayne Collins

DSC_9255.jpgWe are excited to announce our new private sector Business Representative, Dewayne Collins, who started at the Local last month. 

Dewayne brings a wealth of experience to his position at your Local Union. He became a Teamster in 1997 when he went to work at SCS Refrigerated Services, now Lineage Logistics.

Solidarity at Seattle Iron


Teamsters at Seattle Iron & Metals are fed up.  On multiple occasions, they have complained about poor working conditions at the company and their employer's basic lack of respect for their work.

Now, these workers are fighting back.  The overwhelmingly majority signed a petition and presented it to their employer in a collective action a few weeks ago.  The petition calls for safer, more dignified working conditions at the Seattle scrap yard.

Teamsters Call for Worker Protections in "Gig Economy"

Dawn---Al-Jazeera.jpgTeamsters who have partnered with members of the App-Based Drivers' Association have been in the news recently talking about the impact that the so-called "Gig Economy" is having on workers.

On Friday, July 24, Teamsters 117 Business Representative Dawn Gearhart, appeared on national news to call for sensible regulation of companies like Uber to ensure that workers are treated fairly and have an opportunity to earn a living wage.

New Members! Teamsters at Mutual Materials Ratify First Contract


Congrats! to the new members of Teamsters Local 117 at Mutual Materials who voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first contract this weekend!  

The photo above shows the group filling out their membership applications after the vote.

Teamsters at Mutual Materials showed incredible resolve and determination during a lengthy contract campaign. Please welcome them into the Union!

Shop of the Month: New Energy at QCD As Members Build their Union


Did you know that every time you sip a coffee or munch on a sandwich at Starbucks that the product was delivered by members of Teamsters 117?

Teamsters 117 represents approximately 70 drivers and helpers that deliver products to over 300 Starbucks stores across the Pacific Northwest.

"We deliver everything inside of Starbucks that you can purchase," said AC Jackson, a Shop Steward of 9 years.  "Coffee, sandwiches, juices, water, yogurt, tea - you name it.  Just about everything except for the furniture."