When we fight, we win!

Private Sector

Help Raise Wages for Workers!


Working families all across the country are fighting to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.  Now the spotlight is on Seattle.  This Thursday, the City Council could vote on amendments to the Mayor’s $15 minimum wage proposal.

Corporate interests are intensively lobbying the City Council to water down the proposal.  We believe the Council should make the ordinance stronger, not weaker.

Raising the minimum wage benefits all of us.  It strengthens our economy by putting more money in people’s pockets.  As a Union, lifting the floor helps us negotiate higher wages for all of our members.  Together, it allows us to build an economy from the middle-class out, not “trickle down.”

Please call and/or e-mail City Councilmembers today to let the Council know that you support raising worker wages in Seattle. 

Here is a sample message to communicate to the Councilmembers:

"I urge you to vote now to approve the Mayor's $15 minimum wage proposal, with no delays and no weakening loopholes.  Seattle City Council needs to:

  1. Refuse to submit to corporate pressure to amend or water down the proposal.
  2. Reject a "training wage" loophole.  Sub-minimum wages will only encourage some employers to substitute young workers for existing employees, or to take advantage of vulnerable persons with disabilities.  The training wage only institutionalizes discrimination. 
  3. Ensure a more adequate enforcement mechanism. The City should have enforcement authority including active investigations of violations, and not just sending responses to worker complaints.

Mayor Ed Murray: (206) 684-4000
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw: (206) 684-8801 
Councilmember Tim Burgess: (206) 684-8806 
Councilmember Sally Clark: (206) 684-8802 
Councilmember Jean Godden: (206) 684-8807 
Councilmember Bruce Harrell: (206) 684-8804 
Councilmember Nick Licata: (206) 684-8803 
Councilmember Mike O'Brien: (206) 684-8800 
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen: (206) 684-8808 
Councilmember Kshama Sawant: (206) 684-8016

Thank you for joining Teamsters 117 in supporting a living wage for all workers!

Teamsters March for Workers' Rights


On June 29th, Teamsters Local 117 will march in the LGBT Pride Parade in Seattle.  In previous years Local 117 has maintained a booth at the Seattle Center, which marks the end of the parade route.  Why is Local 117 marching?  “Because this is a workers’ rights issue,” explains Dustin Lambro, who is the Political Coordinator for 117. Dustin has been given the responsibility to coordinate and tackle the logistics of organizing this march.

“The Teamsters have a proud history of standing up for everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  That's why on Sunday, June 29th, we will participate in Seattle Pride.  All members, gay or straight, are invited to march with us that day to show our solidarity with our LGBT sisters and brothers,” Dustin explained.

“It is important to have a presence in this event.  The Teamsters have always supported equal rights, Civil Rights, and we have a deep long lasting legacy of that in this community.  Local 117 has an obligation to lift ALL of us up; after all, our strength is in our unity. No one should be discriminated against, and we remind ourselves what the Teamsters stand for, ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’”.

Welcome New Bus Rep Kris Fish

Kris-Fish-Photo.jpgLet's give a warm Teamsters welcome to our new private sector Business Representative, Kris Fish.  Kris joins the private sector team with 16 years of experience as a Teamster.

Kris became a Teamster in 1998 when he went to work in the warehouse at Pacific Seasonings. A year later, he moved to Nabisco/Kraft/Mondelez, another Teamster shop, where he worked for 14 1/2 years, with the last six years in the role of Shop Steward.

Kris was one of the founders of the Union’s Teamsters for Tomorrow (TFT) caucus, and he helped organize the first TFT conference in the country, which was held at Teamsters Local 117 in 2009.

“I want to achieve greater membership involvement in all areas to help make our Union a powerful force to be reckoned with,”
- Kris Fish  

He is a hardcore Union activist and stood in solidarity with his Brothers and Sisters on strike at Seattle Cold Storage, UNFI, Coke, and Davis Wire. Kris was also instrumental in achieving the passage of the Sea-Tac Good Jobs ordinance that raised the minimum wage for thousands of low-wage workers around Sea-Tac Airport.

In recognition of his outstanding leadership qualities, Kris was hired as a Local 117 Business Representative, and he began his job on April 16, 2014.

Kris will have a diverse jurisdiction and will represent members in a variety of industries. 

Transportation Network Drivers Vote to Form Association


Uber and UberX drivers met in Tukwila today to begin the process of forming an association which will work with Teamsters Local 117.

The drivers voted to approve by-laws, and they elected a 7-member leadership council that will run the day-to-day operations of the organization.  Job security, wage gouging, public safety, and a refusal of transportation network companies, such as Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft, to adhere to local laws and industry standards compelled the drivers to organize.

The new association will be called the App-Based Drivers’ Association (ABDA).

“We congratulate the drivers on taking this courageous step,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We intend to use our expertise in representing workers to ensure that the drivers are treated fairly and their concerns are heard.”

The new association plans to tackle a number of issues. Drivers want to bring transportation companies into compliance with municipal, county, and state regulations and laws.  They want sufficient liability coverage to protect themselves and their customers, and they want companies to end the predatory practices of disconnecting drivers from their apps without cause and arbitrarily gouging drivers’ pay.

“Today is an historic day for all app-based drivers in King County,” said Daniel Ajema, an Uber driver, who is one of the organizers of the association.  “We set a framework for the future and for the workers who follow us.  From now on, our dignity will be protected in the workplace.”

“The association will give us a voice, more control over our working conditions, and an opportunity to be heard.  Teamsters will help us with that.” said Ydediya Seifu, another organizer and elected leader.

TNC Drivers to Launch New Association


Hundreds of TNC drivers from Uber and UberX will gather at the Teamsters building in Tukwila this Sunday to launch a new association designed to protect drivers’ rights, promote public safety, and raise standards across Seattle’s personal transportation industry.

At the meeting, drivers are expected to approve by-laws for the association and submit nominations for a leadership council.  TNC drivers will be joined by members of the Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association (WWTCOA), who will share their experiences operating their own organization.

TNC drivers made the decision to form the association after a political forum event last month.  At the April 13 forum, a panel of Uber drivers expressed a number of concerns about the company, including its arbitrary deactivation of drivers from the Uber app, flaws in the company’s rating system, and the company’s unwillingness to provide sufficient liability coverage to protect drivers and their customers.

TNC drivers will be available to speak with the media before and after the meeting.

TNC Drivers
WWTCOA Taxi Cab Operators
Tracey A. Thompson - Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 117
Dawn Gearhart - Business Representative, Teamsters Local 117

Sunday, May 18, 2014
3:30 P.M.

Teamsters Local 117
Main Auditorium
14675 Interurban Ave. S. Tukwila, WA 98168

The Voice of the Members

Check out this awesome composite of Local 117 members talking about their Union.  It comes from Erik Olsen, a Shop Steward at Seattle Cold Storage.  

Erik is a member of our new Communications Committee. If you would like to join the your Union's Communications Committee, contact Paul Zilly at 206-441-4860 ext. 1269.


First Teamsters Contract for Warehouse Workers at IKEA

Congratulations to 64 warehouse workers at the IKEA distribution center in Frederickson, WA who voted overwhelmingly last night to ratify their first union contract.  Welcome to Teamsters Local 117!

The workers came together seeking job security, respect, fair and equal treatment, and a voice at work. 

“We are excited to have the strength of the Teamsters behind us,” said Mario Sapilak, a 4-year IKEA employee.

The new contract secures wage increases for the group, health and welfare protections, seniority rights, protections against arbitrary discipline, and a process for settling disputes.

The contract negotiation process began after workers voted to become Teamsters in an NLRB election on September 18. 

Prior to the election, workers received letters of support from UNI – Global Union, which represents 20 million service sector workers worldwide, as well as unions in Sweden that represent workers at IKEA.

“Workers at IKEA showed incredible strength and solidarity throughout this process,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117.  “They stuck together and stood up for fairness, equal treatment, and a voice at work.  With this vote, they have joined a union of 16,000 members strong who will fight on their behalf.  We are proud to have them standing with us.”

Workers Servicing Sea-Tac Airport Vote to Join Teamsters

Workers at two ATZ-owned parking lots (Doug Fox and Shuttle Park2) that serve Sea-Tac Airport have voted to join Teamsters Local 117.  The 40 workers came together seeking job security, fair and equal treatment, strong representation, and respect. The workers voted to become Teamsters in an NLRB election on April 18.

“We are excited to have the strength of the Teamsters behind us,” said Ahmed Dahir, a 2-year ATZ employee.  “The union gives us a voice and a chance to make a better life.”

The ATZ employees transport passengers to and from Sea-Tac Airport. They perform the same work as their counterparts at other parking facilities servicing the airport, but they are excluded from receiving the benefits of SeaTac’s new minimum wage ordinance.  Workers at the Shuttle Park2 lot are excluded because of the lot’s location just outside of the City of SeaTac; workers at the Doug Fox lot are excluded as a result of a King County judge’s ruling last December giving the Port of Seattle jurisdiction over the airport.  That ruling has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.

“We’re not waiting for the courts to rule on this, we need respect now.  Sea-Tac Airport brings millions of dollars into our community, but many workers are still struggling to make ends meet,” Dahir said.

Aramark Member Loses Home in Oso Tragedy


When tragedy strikes, a community finds strength in standing together. First responders rush to the scene, while neighbors, family, and co-workers step in to lend a helping hand. The Oso mudslide cut short the lives of at least 41 people, but it didn’t quell the spirit of those afflicted by the disaster.

Mike Andrews, a 7-year member with Aramark who lost his home in the slide, expressed deep gratitude for the help offered to him and his family. But it hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been a real struggle,” Andrews said. “With the water levels fluctuating, we’ve had a lot of challenges. We were able to rowboat in and collect some of our valuables. But the house is lost.”

DOCK TALK: News for Teamsters in the Grocery Industry


Check out the new issue of Dock Talk, the newsletter for Local 117 members in the grocery warehouse industry.  

Grocery distribution is one of our core industries, and this summer we are gearing up for contract negotiations with the four major grocery houses - Fred Meyer, Safeway, SuperValu, and Unified Grocers.