Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, met throughout the day today to discuss the company’s last contract proposal. The Union challenged the notion that the negotiations process is exhausted and called on Darigold to return to the bargaining table immediately.
“Darigold did not engage in meaningful bargaining during federal mediation on October 18,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We’re calling on Darigold to stop breaking the law and to return to the bargaining table so that we can reach a fair settlement.”
Want to know some of the issues facing Puget Sound taxicab operators, who are working closely together with Teamsters Local 117?
Check out the new issue of the Fare Times, the newsletter for the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association (WWTCOA).
Teamster 117 Brothers and Sisters:
I’m a production worker at Darigold’s milk plant in Seattle. I have worked there for over 25 years. It’s my job to process the milk that gets to your family’s table and is served at schools and hospitals throughout the Pacific Northwest.
I’m also a rank-and-file member of the Teamsters 117 bargaining committee.
Last night at 5:30 P.M., the union bargaining committee representing nearly 30,000 Puget Sound grocery workers announced that they had achieved tentative agreement with the major grocery chains, thus averting a strike at hundreds of area Safeway, QFC, and Albertson grocery stores.
Teamsters from around the nation, including three from Local 117, converged on Boston in September to join in an effort to organize thousands of workers in the city’s parking industry.
Yohannes Weldemariam, a 16-year member with Diamond Parking, Jigsa Yohanis, a 6-year member with Diamond, and Business Representative Paul Dascher partnered with Teamsters from Washington D.C., New Jersey, Minnesota, New York, and Canada for what was known as the “Boston Blitz.”
Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject the company’s latest contract proposal. Voting took place throughout the day during three meetings held at 10:30 A.M., 3:00 P.M., and 5:30 P.M at the Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila.
“Darigold is disrespecting its workers and undermining the bargaining process,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “The company broke the law when they walked away from federal mediation, leaving no one with the authority to bargain. They have spied on workers and illegally attempted to circumvent the union.”
Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, distributed leaflets at ten Walmart and Sam’s Club locations throughout the day today to inform consumers about the company’s multiple violations of federal labor law and the growing threat of a potential lockout or strike.
The workers handed out information and talked with shoppers at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Renton, Puyallup, Federal Way, Auburn, Covington, Bellevue, and Seattle. Approximately 150 workers participated in the leafleting action.
Warehouse workers, employed at the IKEA distribution center in Frederickson, WA, have voted to join Teamsters Local 117. The 64 workers at the facility came together seeking job security, fair and equal treatment, strong representation, and respect.
“We are excited to have the strength of the Teamsters behind us,” said Mario Sapilak, a 4-year IKEA employee. “We need to have a voice at work and to have management listen to our concerns, and the Teamsters will help us achieve that.”
Darigold walked out of federal mediation late Monday night setting the stage for a potential lockout or strike at the company’s production facilities in Issaquah and Seattle. The walkout left no one with authority at the bargaining table, and was the latest in a series of unfair labor practices that undermine the bargaining process and foreshadow a possible labor dispute.
Teamster production workers and lab technicians who work at Darigold participated in “just practicing” picketing actions on Thursday at the company’s facilities in Issaquah and Seattle. Workers were protesting the company’s refusal to bargain in good faith.
“Darigold is performing well financially, but instead of negotiating fairly and respecting the work that its employees perform, the company appears intent on provoking a strike, or repeating the history of its bitter lockout ten years ago,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.