When we fight, we win!

Private Sector

Critical Paid Sick Days hearing on November 18


The City of Tacoma is on the verge of passing a Paid Sick Days ordinance that could provide relief for workers who are currently having to choose between going to work sick or staying home to care for themselves or a sick family member.

But there's a hitch.  The proposal attributed to Mayor Strickland is heavily influenced by big business without input from the very workers the law should be designed to protect. The Mayor's plan calls for a measly three days of sick leave for workers annually and it exempts unions.

Sysco Teamster helps out a brother and his family


Recently, one of our Teamsters 117 brothers was diagnosed with a rare incurable form of lymphoma.  For all of you who are unaware of this situation, his name is Gabe Dizon.  He is a truck driver at Sysco Food Service of Seattle.

He is a husband and also a father.  I would call him a family man, but also a great guy who you will rarely see without a smile on his face.  In his spare time you can probably find him out on the water, in the mountains, at his son Gabriel's soccer games or doing projects around his house. 

Election 2014 - Silver Linings?


Working families suffered some disappointing outcomes last night with the loss of majorities in both the Washington State and the US Senate.  Voter apathy in Washington (we aren’t likely to break 50% here) and across the country have caused working family supporters to bear the brunt of the losses.

If there is one takeaway from this election, it is that people who care about building an economy that works for all of us - not just the wealthy - need to turn out and vote.

Amid the bad news, there were some surprises/silver linings: 

Teamsters Pension Update - Live Webcast

Interested in the overall health of your Teamsters pension plan?  The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust will be holding a Live Webcast on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 10-11 A.M. PST.  

Topics covered will include:

  • Latest trust financial information
  • Trust investments
  • Actuarial highlights and trends
  • Outlook

This event is open to all plan participants and retirees.  You can register for the event online.

To schedule a personal pension appointment to review your benefits under the Trust, see below: 

Got Teamsters medical? Save $200 on your 2015 expenses!

If you have Health and Welfare coverage through the Washington Teamsters (Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust), you can save between $200 to $600 off of your 2015 medical expenses.  To do so, you must:

  1. Complete your annual Personal Health Assessment
  2. Designate a Primary Care Physician

The deadline for completion is December 19, 2014.

If you have an eligible spouse or covered domestic partner, both of you must take the PHA and designate your Primary Care Physicians to receive the lower deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

If you have any questions, please talk to your Business Representative.


We're Not Backing Down!


Yesterday these workers learned that their employer is using underhanded tactics in an effort to delay their Union election.  Their reaction?  

"We're not backing down!"

Read more about how workers in a number of industries are winning respect and a voice at work with Teamsters Local 117.  

Join the Local 117 Communications Committee!

Communications-Photo.jpgI wanted to share with you some of the exciting communications work Local 117 members have been up to as a part of our effort to feature more voices on our website and in our newsletters.

Check out the articles below and “like” them on the website. 

For more information about your Union's Communications Committee or if you have ideas about labor-related articles or news from your shop, give me a ring at 206-794-6673 or send me an email.  

We want to hear from you!

  • Joschue Reyes, a Shop Steward at CBCC/DOC, wrote this excellent piece that was distributed to DOC members on behalf of the DOC Bargaining Committee.
  • Erik Olsen of Seattle Cold Storage put together this great flyer with photos and quotes of Local 117 members taking about the power of the Union

Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust - October Update

Here is the latest from the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust (WTWT) for Local 117 members with Teamsters health and welfare coverage: 

Every year the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust holds annual enrollment. Every participant – not just those with plan changes – must complete enrollment annually to maintain medical coverage. You will receive a packet in the mail in November asking you to verify or update your enrollment information and covered dependents. If you live in a Group Health Options service area, you will also have a choice of a Group Health Options medical plan.

Complete your annual enrollment when it’s offered to avoid a delay in claims processing, such as lab or medical bills. Make sure you and your eligible dependants are listed so that all of you continue to receive coverage, and that all dependents who are no longer eligible are removed from your plan.

Read the complete WTWT newsletter for the month of October for information about mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs, mail-order pharmacy benefits, transplant information, and more!

More and more workers winning a voice with Teamsters 117!


What do hundreds of local workers in the parking, warehouse, public sector and cold storage industries have in common?  They are all on the verge of winning their first Union contract with Teamsters Local 117!

Over the last year, workers at Animal Supply, Americold, Impark, Doug Fox, ATZ, and the City of Black Diamond have come together to fight for a voice in the workplace.  Now, after winning their Union elections, the workers are sitting down, face to face with their employers, along with Union staff, to engage in the collective bargaining process.

Teamster Talk #30: It's Our Work - We'll Fight for It!

TeamsterTalk_photo.jpgThe new issue of Teamster Talk, your Union newsletter is now available!  Check out stories about a win at Fred Meyer, our Local's community volunteer work, an interest arbitration award for DOC, and this November's election.

One of our DOC Shop Stewards, Cheryl Steele, has contributed a letter to the editor of the Spokesman Review in defense of labor and Secretary-Treasurer Thompson has a column about changes at our Local to encourage more member involvement.

View a PDF of Teamster Talk or ask your Business Representative for print copies.