Ever report to work and find somebody else doing your job?  Maybe it’s a manager or a contract worker that the boss has brought in from the outside. 

The practice is called ‘skimming’, and it is a common ploy used by employers to cut costs at your expense.  With skimming, before you know it, your work area is in disarray, you’re losing out on overtime, or maybe your job is disappearing before your very eyes.

Skimming weakens the bargaining unit.  It threatens your job security, and it diminishes your leverage at the bargaining table.  

As a union member, you have protections against skimming under the law and possibly in your collective bargaining agreement.  It may be an unfair labor practice, for example, when an employer fails to bargain the decision to skim bargaining unit work.

Members of Local 117 should be aware of their rights with respect to skimming, and they should make an effort to preserve the work that they have historically performed. 

If you see someone who is not a member of your bargaining unit performing your work, report it to your Shop Steward or Business Representative immediately.  If you allow the practice to continue, it will harm your Union and be harder for you and your co-workers to get your work back.


Local 117 is fighting skimming at King County on several fronts.  Recent cases involve protecting bargaining unit work in payroll, in Information Technology, and in the Wastewater Division:

Payroll Department:  In payroll, an administrative employee from outside the bargaining unit performed 143 hours of accounting work that should have been assigned to members of Teamsters 117.  Your Union filed a grievance over the issue, and the County agreed to stop the practice.  We are now in the process of seeking payment as a remedy for affected bargaining unit members.

Wastewater Division:  The County is currently allowing employees from another union to perform Local 117 members’ work in the Wastewater Division.  Your Union filed a grievance in an effort to stop the practice, but the County is continuing to assign the work outside the bargaining unit.  We will continue to fight the County over the issue to ensure that your rights are protected.

Information Technology:  For the last several months, your Union has been fighting layoffs of computer operators and the proposed migration of County work to Amazon or Microsoft.  It is our understanding that the County’s Director of Information Technology, Bill Kehoe, wants to reduce the amount of software that the County manages by 20-30%.  Your Union has obtained data from the County through an information request, which shows that this will lead to a loss of jobs.  We are fighting to keep those jobs in order to best serve the residents of King County and the members.