When we fight, we win!

Private Sector

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.

Fighting for Paid Sick Days - Tacoma Forum on April 8


Join us at the Tacoma Citizens' Forum on April 8th at 5:30 PM at Tacoma City Hall to speak out in support of Paid Sick Days for all Tacoma residents.

Teamsters 117 is part of the Healthy Tacoma Coalition, an organization that is making progress with Councilmembers on moving an ordinance forward, but we need your help to reinforce what we’ve been saying all along:

  • Paid Sick Days are the right thing to do; and 40% of Tacoma workers shouldn't have to suffer.

40,000 workers in Tacoma don’t receive a paid day off to take care of themselves or a loved one. We believe that every worker should be treated with dignity, and have the ability to perform in a safe and healthy workplace.

RSVP for this event here!

A Member Reflects on the Evolution of Local 117

Dewayne-Collins.jpgToday I pose the question:  How would you like to be part of a union that is built, designed, and ready for the 21st century.  Well guess what? You are a part.  A part of a well–oiled fighting machine that is ready for this war on workers. 

Teamsters Local 117 is not like most unions.   Instead of waiting for change, we change things.  Instead of waiting for employers to treat us with respect, we demand respect.  In a word, we adapt.  Adapt to the climate of the world we live in, while teaching members to adapt within their workplace environment.

So how did we get here?  

Members Speak Out: Johnny Uzzell, Aramark


"I'm ready to do whatever it takes to build a stronger union - give as much as I can to this movement because it makes us stronger."

- Johnny Uzzell, 9-year member at Aramark

Fired Workers Picket SeaTac's Extra Park


Workers at SeaTac's Extra Car Parking picketed the company today over retaliation and lost wages.

View photos from today's action here. 

The workers, who were joined by community activists and members of Teamsters 117, were fired after they asked Extra Park to comply with SeaTac Proposition 1 and pay them $15/hr, paid sick days, and other benefits approved by SeaTac voters last year.  

Wayne Armstrong was the first employee to be fired after filing the complaint.  He and other employees are paid $10.32/hour despite the fact that Extra Car Parking has more than 100 parking spaces (it has 5 lots throughout SeaTac) and employs more than 25 non-managerial employees (estimated more than 40). Those are the two thresholds set by Prop 1 for businesses.

Competitor employers, like MasterPark, are complying with Prop 1 and have not laid off any employees.

New Business Rep. Nancy Santos is No Nonsense


When Teamsters Local 117 decided to hire Nancy Santos as a new Business Rep, I knew they had made an outstanding choice.  I was hired at the Fred Meyer warehouse in 1999, and one of the first things I noticed was a big sign, proclaiming Nancy as the most productive worker for the week.  As I would learn, this was not an unusual occurrence; her work ethic week in and week out was something to behold.  This was a worker at the top of the productivity list who did NOT kiss up to management.  In fact, she didn’t take nonsense from anybody, and would not only stand up for herself, but others as well.  

Nancy started at Fred Meyer when she was 16 year old, working at the Burien store for five years.  She had originally requested a transfer into her store’s Grocery Department, and had to stand by and watch as other male associates, with less seniority, were granted transfers ahead of her.  Denied the opportunity to advance at the store, she transferred to the warehouse in 1995, partly because she knew it was a Teamster warehouse.  One of the supervisors told her that they were reluctant to even approve the transfer, because they didn’t think that a woman could do the job.  Nancy proved them very very wrong.  

Both of Nancy’s parents were union, and her dad always told her, “Never take a job that isn’t union”.  Nancy always knew that being union meant something.  “As a kid, I always had the impression that you don’t mess with the Teamster," she said.  "Nowadays it’s commonplace for corporations and politicians to mess with the Teamsters, and all of the working class. People have died fighting for the rights and working conditions that too many people today take for granted.”

Gearing up for Grocery Negotiations


Negotiations are set to begin this summer with the four major grocery houses:  Safeway, Fred Meyer, Unified Grocers, and SuperValu.

Grocery warehouse and distribution is one of our Local's core industries, so it is essential that we all rally together to support our Brothers and Sisters during the coming contract campaign.

"We need to show a willingness not to back down, and we need to make sure that members at all four distribution centers stick together." - Roger Fields, 31-year member at Supervalu 

The reps have been out in the shops, conducting votes for new Shop Stewards, and scheduling demands meetings.

In the next few weeks, we will be issuing a newsletter for members in the industry, Dock Talk.  

If you work in the grocery warehouse industry and have ideas for the newsletter or would like to contribute, please send me (Paul Zilly) an email.  Thanks! 

Driver Unity Rally at City Hall


Drivers across Seattle’s personal transportation industry rallied at City Hall on Monday to demand regulatory changes that ensure safe and secure service to the public and dignified working conditions that allow drivers to earn a living wage.

Dozens of taxi drivers, for-hire drivers, and drivers from Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) attended the event. 

“All drivers – whether they drive a taxi, a for-hire vehicle, or an Uber towncar – deserve fair treatment and a living wage so that they can provide for their families,” said Rich Stolz, Executive Director of OneAmerica Votes, one of the sponsors of the event.  “The best way to achieve fairness is through safe, sensible regulation that puts workers and the traveling public first.”