When we fight, we win!

Public Sector


Give Blood, Save Lives at our Local 117 Blood Drive

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It is that time of year for our annual Blood Drive event! 

Our Teamsters Local 117 Blood Drive will be held on Saturday, November 18 at the Union hall in Tukwila from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  All donors will receive a $25 Safeway gift card.

If you don’t live in the area, you can still participate!  Any donations made between November 8 and November 22 will be rewarded with a $25 Safeway gift card as well (just mail in the proof of donation to the Union Hall).

Come give the gift of life!


Can you help collect toys for our Teamsters Toy Drive?

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This holiday season our union is holding a Toy Drive to give back to children in need. To successfully pull this off, we need your help!

The toys will be donated to Local 117 families who are struggling this year. All remaining toys will go to Treehouse for Kids, a local non-profit that works with foster children.

Can you commit some time to collect toys in your shop?  

If you can help, please email Taylor House at Taylor.House@Teamsters117.org with your name, email, current phone number, and day you will be able to come pick up your donation box.  

You can pick up your box and flyers promoting the Toy Drive at the union hall between Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Nov. 17.  From there, you place the boxes in your designated break areas so your co-workers can donate. The boxes will need to be returned to the hall by Friday, December 15.

This deadline ensures we can get the gifts to Local 117 families and deliver excess toys to Treehouse for Kids in time for disbursement. For last minute donations, we will also be collecting toys during our Thursday, December 21 Holiday Membership Meeting.

Thank you for all of your hard work on the shop floor. Let's work together to help our communities this holiday season! 


Jessica Olivas: Our New Rep with Skills as an Organizer

Jessica_copy.jpgJessica grew up in a small town in the Yakima Valley in a family of Teamsters. Her brothers are both police officers and members of the union.

At the University of Washington, she majored in Political Science and engaged in Latin American studies and Law. She credits her activist skills to working with a non-profit fighting for immigrant rights.

“I learned the basics of organizing and become a truly passionate activist there.” Since then she has worked in the labor movement for almost 7 years, most of which she spent as an organizer with UFCW.


Holding politicians accountable through our member-driven endorsement process

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Local 117 members gather on the Capitol steps in Olympia during our 2017 Lobby Day. 


As a part of our strategic planning process, we surveyed Local 117 members at the end of 2016 asking what priorities our union should focus on, in addition to bargaining strong contracts.

One priority that came through loud and clear was the need to “hold politicians accountable.” Elected officials make decisions that affect our pay, our benefits, and our right to collectively bargain. We need to make sure that we’re holding their feet to the fire.

To work toward that goal and to ensure that our endorsement process is member-driven, we created a Statewide Political Advisory Committee. Our committee this year consisted of nine rank-and-file members from each of our divisions in the union (public sector, private sector, and the DOC).

This committee is the decision-making body to determine whether a candidate for office receives our endorsement, or not.

If a candidate wants our support, here’s the process that person must go through:

  1. The candidate must fill out a questionnaire, which was written by our committee. The questionnaire asks for a candidate’s positions on labor and community standards, and where the candidate stands on promoting fair pay and benefits for workers. 
  2. Once we receive the completed questionnaire, we schedule the candidate for an interview with our Statewide Political Advisory Committee. These half-hour interviews are an opportunity for members to ask more specific questions about where the candidate stands on issues like wages, health care, and retirement security for working families.
  3. Once the interviews are completed for a given race, we then make an advisory recommendation to our elected Executive Board, which has the final say on whether to endorse a candidate or not. We don’t typically endorse or contribute to a candidate unless they go through this process.

Once candidates are elected to office, we don’t stop there. We make sure that they are holding true to the policy positions and pledges made during the member interview process. 

We are incredibly proud of our Statewide Advisory Committee and the outstanding work they have done this year. For the 2017-2018 election cycle, you can view our endorsements online.

If you’d like to get involved with this committee, please reach out to our union’s Political Coordinator, Dustin Lambro, at dustin@teamsters117.org or 206-441-4860 x1262.


Tune in today at 2PM! Learn how a court case threatens the freedom of public sector union members

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Our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team celebrates a fully-recommended Master Labor Agreement. 


Teamsters across the country have a special opportunity today to learn more about a Supreme Court case that presents a grave threat to the freedom of members working in the public sector. 

The Rick Smith Show will be devoting today's episode to Janus v AFSCME, a case that takes aim at the ability of working people to join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities.

You can view the show online starting today at 2PM at www.TheRickSmithShow.com. If you have a question or wish to express an opinion, you can call in at 717-422-5215. This episode of the show will also be available online after it airs. 

Rick Smith is a fellow Teamster who grew up in a working class neighborhood in Cleveland. He took his straight shooting no nonsense Teamster outlook to the air and started mixing it up with working people across the Midwest. His show grew steadily, attracting listeners starved for a voice that spoke to working stiffs who felt the economic floor crumbling beneath them.

Smith will focus today's show on the Janus case, which is the culmination of decades of attacks on working families by wealthy CEOs and the politicians who do their bidding to rig the economy in their favor. They want to weaken unions because unions have played a central role in defending the freedoms we cherish to build and protect the middle class.

No one knows exactly how the Court will rule on Janus, but experts believe there is a strong likelihood that Janus will eliminate your freedom to negotiate union security clauses in the public sector. If this occurs, members would be able to abandon their membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits of representation without having to pay for it. Unions would lose resources, contracts would become weaker, and the membership would become divided.

The so-called “Freedom Foundation”, a front group for wealthy corporate interests and a strong supporter of Janus, has already started contacting union members in Washington State, encouraging them to abandon their unions. You can learn more about the Freedom Foundation’s anti-worker agenda at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.

The best way for us as members of Teamsters Local 117 to prepare for an adverse Janus ruling is to stand together with our co-workers and reaffirm our commitment to each other. We have a plan to win and be even stronger, with members leading the way. Many members across our union who work in the public sector have already signed cards or an online pledge committing to stick together with their co-workers no matter how the Court rules.

Our union is incredibly resilient. We have faced many challenges in the past, and we’ve proven that when we stand together, we can improve our lives and our communities. We are confident we will prevail this time as well.


Coalition achieves fully-recommended agreement with King County over Master Labor Agreement

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Our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team declares victory after nine months of tough negotiations. 


We have some exciting news! Today, after nine months of challenging negotiations, our King County Coalition of Unions reached a fully-recommended tentative agreement with the County over a Master Labor Agreement (MLA).

From the outset, our goal in MLA bargaining was to solidify the strongest language from the myriad of County contracts into one unifying agreement. Despite many difficult moments, we were able to partner with the County to successfully achieve that goal.

The MLA, if ratified by your bargaining unit, will determine many of the terms and conditions of your employment at the County. There are 40 articles that cover topics such as union recognition, union bulletin board usage, safety gear, safety allowances, after-hours support, holidays, vacation leave, bereavement leave, parental leave, jury duty, reclassification, and many others.

"Today is a great day for the laborers who work for King County." - Dan Fernandez, Local 117 member

In nearly all cases, we were able to achieve the best language that currently exists in the many union contracts across the County and incorporate it into the agreement. As a result, the MLA will mean significant improvements to the contracts of Coalition members.

A fully-recommended MLA represents another critical step in the bargaining process that started with Total Comp negotiations last year. The next step is for us to return to our small table negotiations. Once those negotiations are complete, Coalition members in their individual bargaining units will have an opportunity to vote on their small table agreements and the MLA.

As we complete our small table (individual contract) negotiations, your specific contract/bargaining units should continue to update you on their progress. 

Thank you to the outstanding work of our Coalition bargaining committee. Our team did an extraordinary job navigating the challenging issues that arose at the bargaining table. Thank you also to the County for listening to the concerns of union members and being a willing partner in these negotiations.

If you have questions, please reach out to your bargaining committee member or talk to your union representative.  Thank you for your service to the residents of King County.

 


King County MLA bargaining hits logjam

King County Teamsters -

Master Labor Agreement (MLA) bargaining between our Coalition of Unions and King County has been an extremely challenging process that has lasted for six months. 

Our union bargaining team has worked hard to incorporate the strongest possible language from the myriad of County contracts into the MLA. 

Yesterday was our last scheduled bargaining session, and although we have TA'ed many articles, we still have not reached a final tentative agreement with the County. 

The Coalition chairs, Denise Cobden (PTE 17) and Michael Gonzales (Teamsters 174), put out a brief statement today to update members on the status of bargaining. We should have a more complete update some time next week. 

KC Coalition Members --

Sept. 28 was the last scheduled bargaining session for the Master Labor Agreement (MLA) with King County. It lasted from 9 am to 7:30 pm and considerable progress was made, however, we are still far apart on several language items.

With no more meetings scheduled – at least, at this time -- the Coalition of Unions leadership will be working hard over the next few days to determine if there is a way to get through this logjam. We are hopeful and confident that we can find a path forward.

We will provide a much more detailed report later next week. If you have questions about MLA bargaining, please contact your bargaining committee member or your Union Representative.

Thank you for your service to the residents of King County.

Respectfully,

John Scearcy
Secretary-Treasurer


Secretary Treasurer's Message: Case threatens workers' freedom

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Sisters and Brothers -

This September, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will consider a case, Janus v AFSCME that will likely have a profound impact on union members, especially those working in the public sector. 

Janus is a case, supported by the so-called “Freedom” Foundation", which will almost certainly eliminate your freedom to negotiate union security clauses in the public sector. 

If this occurs, members would be able to abandon their membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits of representation without having to pay for it. Unions would lose resources, contracts would become weaker, and the membership would become divided.

We don’t know exactly how the Court will rule on Janus, but there is a strong likelihood that your voice as a public sector union member could be significantly weakened as early as June of next year.

The Janus case is the culmination of decades of attacks on working families by wealthy CEOs and the politicians who do their bidding to rig the economy in their favor. They want to weaken unions because unions have played a central role in defending the freedoms we cherish to build and protect the middle class.

The best way for us as union members to prepare for this attack is to stand together with our co-workers and reaffirm our commitment to each other. We have a plan to win and be even stronger, with members leading the way.

Our union is incredibly resilient. We have faced many challenges in the past, and we’ve proven that when we stand together, we can improve our lives and our communities. We are confident we will prevail this time as well.

Thank you for your service to our community, and for your membership in Teamsters 117.

Respectfully,

John Scearcy
Secretary-Treasurer

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement


King County MLA bargaining down to the wire

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Members of our Local 117 union coalition team representing Teamsters at King County in MLA bargaining. 


King County Master Labor Agreement (MLA) bargaining is getting down to the wire. The county is interested in ushering any tentative agreement reached with the coalition through the county’s contract transmittal process by December 28. To meet that timeline, they have proposed wrapping up MLA negotiations by next week and small table bargaining by October 2.

Our union coalition is committed to achieving the best possible agreement on behalf of the membership based on your feedback. We are amenable to the county’s timeline, but not if it means sacrificing our priorities at the bargaining table.

Any agreement reached by our coalition and the county is subject to ratification by the individual bargaining units in the coalition. If we are able to reach an agreement with the county, we anticipate giving you the opportunity to vote on the MLA this fall.


Local 117 E-Board commits to Hurricane Harvey relief

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Teamster families across the country, including many at our Local Union, have been afflicted by the devastating storm that has swept across the southern United States over the last several days. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the storm's victims.

Our Local 117 Executive Board has committed to support the ongoing emergency relief effort. 

We will be passing the hat to support disaster relief at our upcoming membership meeting on September 21. Our Local Union has pledged to match the donations collected at the meeting.

Teamsters on the ground at Joint Council 58 are assessing how our disaster relief donations can best support the millions of people stricken by this terrible storm.

If you are unable to attend our membership meeting on September 21, but would like to contribute, please send a check payable to Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund c/o Teamsters Local 117, 14675 Interurban Ave. S. Tukwila, WA 98168.

Your tax-deductible donations WILL make a difference in the lives of a Teamster family.

Thank you for your support!