On the first sunny Saturday in June, Teamsters 117 Women’s Caucus members were giving back! Thirteen members and their families showed up to support the Emergency Food Network, an organization that assists individuals and families in need in Pierce County.
Our Teamsters 117 volunteer crew at the Emergency Food Network warehouse in Lakewood sorted 16,000 lbs of apples for the organization’s Repack Project, which helps prepare bulk food for distribution to food banks in Pierce County.
I had the chance to interview Freda Cogger, a Local 117 member at Workforce Central in Tacoma, about her experiences at our recent volunteer event on the Emergency Food Network's Mother Earth Farm. The event was organized by our Women's Caucus.
A dozen Teamster volunteers and their kids helped out at the Mother Earth Farm near Puyallup last Saturday. The Teamster crew spent the afternoon pulling weeds and installing a new irrigation system.
The event, sponsored by our Teamsters Women's Caucus, benefited the Emergency Food Network's farm-to-table program that provides fresh, organic food to individuals and families in need in Pierce County.
The folks that run the farm say that our group was one of the most productive they've seen in a while.
If you missed this past volunteer opportunity, our Women's Caucus will be hosting another event on June 6.
We'll be helping the EFN at its Lakewood warehouse, repacking frozen vegetables. If you'd like to attend, please contact Andrea Canini at 206-441-4860 or RSVP for the event here.
Since our first meeting in December 2014, the newly formed Women’s Caucus has been working hard to establish short-term goals for the year and the long-term goals of the caucus.
One of the short term goals for this year is to involve Teamster families as we address issues facing women and families. The Women’s Caucus is taking its first step towards this goal.
This Saturday, May 16, we will sponsor a volunteer event at the Emergency Food Network’s Mother Earth Farm.
The online newsletter for members of Teamsters Local 117 is now available! In this issue, you'll find information on:
- JLMIC Healthcare Update
- King County Member Advisory Committees
- Your New Business Rep, Suzette Dickerson
- Issues Related to Term-Limited Employees
- What Teamsters Look Like
In addition, check out the calendar of upcoming Teamster events.
At King County, members of Teamsters 117 have always prioritized the smooth functioning of the County. However, in recent years this has become increasingly difficult.
Due to budget cuts and the County’s mandate not to limit the hire of new full-time employees following the recession, the use of temporary employees has become a more common practice. King County has gone beyond the scope of the initial term-limited temporary (TLT) employee program, both in numbers of TLT employees and the means in which they are used.
Over the last several months, we have been testing a new method to increase membership involvement at King County through our Member Advisory Committees.
So far, we have formed working advisory committees, consisting of several Local 117 members, in the KC Department of Information Technology as well as the Solid Waste Division
WOW! In my last report, I had predicted that the Protected Fund Reserve would end 2014 with close to $30 million (up from its original $25 million in funding in 2012). While that would have been an excellent outcome, I am pleased to report that the results are even better than expected.
- In 2014, the Protected Fund Reserve increased by $9 million to over $35 million. This represents a 34% increase in our safety net to protect against rising health and welfare costs.
- The new projections show that the Protected Fund Reserve will increase another $3 million this year, and at the end of 2016, the reserve is projected to close in on $40 million. Therefore, the experts at Mercer are now projecting that the Fund for the JLMIC unions will be stable through 2018!
As much as some try to lump us together, Local 117 Teamsters come in all stripes, and all political persuasions. Take Tracy Dillard, for example, who works maintaining streets and landscapes at the City of Tacoma.
“I identify as a conservative,” Dillard says. “Growing up in a strict Southern Baptist household, we learned that it’s fine to give people a helping hand, but not a hand out.”
Recently I attended the Next Up summit in Chicago, Illinois organized by the AFL-CIO. What I saw there was both uplifting and thought-provoking.
For one, right to work (for less) and its effect on other States has had created challenges for our brothers and sisters around the country.
However, what is more powerful is the work being done by emerging leaders in the labor movement.