When we fight, we win!

Public Sector

Secretary Treasurer's Message: Case threatens workers' freedom


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.


John Scearcy

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement

King County MLA bargaining down to the wire


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


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!

King County MLA bargaining update


Local 117 members have been working as a part of a broad coalition of unions to negotiate a Master Labor Agreement with King County.

We wanted to update you on the status of the Master Labor Agreement (MLA) negotiations between our coalition of unions and King County.

As you know, these negotiations started in March and have been ongoing throughout the summer. Our goal in bargaining is to consolidate the best language from contracts across the county into one general agreement that will apply to all unions in the coalition that vote to accept the MLA.

On July 29 and August 3, our coalition met, without the employer present, in caucus to discuss the county’s most recent proposals and to develop a strategy moving forward.

We are addressing issues that the membership identified, such as vacation leave, other kinds of leave (bereavement, jury duty, organ donor, donated, executive, etc.), volunteer time, holidays and eligibility, reclassification, special duty, professional development, longevity and merit pay, term-limited temps, and working out of classification.

Again, we are proposing to incorporate the strongest language found in county contracts on those issues for the purposes of the MLA.

Upcoming Pierce County Demands Meetings

We have several upcoming demands meetings scheduled for Teamsters who work in bargaining units at Pierce County. All of the meetings will take place at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma (3049 S 36th S Tacoma, WA 98409).

Here is the schedule for the meetings.

Assessor Treasurer's Office August 17 5pm
Custodian August 16  5pm 
Medical Examiners August 14  6:30pm 
Court Clerks and Pre-Trial Services August 8  5pm 
Parks August 14  5pm 
Facilities August 15  3pm 


These meetings are an opportunity to help establish priorities for bargaining. Please attend the meeting designated for your group to make sure your voice is heard! If you have questions, contact Union Representative Julie Yust at 206-441-4860 ext. 1275. Thank you.

Teamsters at the Pike Place Market Ratify New 3-Year Contract


Teamsters who work at Pike Place Market voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new 3-year contract on Wednesday.

The fully-recommended agreement provides a minimum of 3% wage increases in each year of the contract, limits on temps, improvements to holiday pay, and improvements to safety, training and health and welfare language.

Member activism played a critical role in achieving this contract. Members wore buttons at work and many attended a PDA board meeting on the grand opening of the Market’s $74 million expansion project.  

911 Dispatchers Attend National Police Week


Jennifer Abruzzo and Stephanie Scott sharing their National Police Week experience.

This year’s National Police Week took place May 14 – 20 in Washington, DC. Jennifer Abruzzo and Stephanie Scott, South Sound 911 Dispatchers, were the Teamsters who were union-sponsored to attend the event alongside Michelle Woodrow, Local 117 President and Director of Corrections and Law Enforcement.  Scott has been a Teamster at SS911 for almost 10 years and worked as a police officer prior to that. She is also a newly elected Shop Steward at her workplace. Meanwhile, Abruzzo has 20 years at SS911 and 28 years in the industry under her belt.

Teamsters 117 announces sole endorsement of Jessyn Farrell for Seattle Mayor


Teamsters 117 throws it support behind Jessyn Farrell for Seattle Mayor. A committee of members recommended the endorsement.

Today Teamsters Local 117 announced they are backing Jessyn Farrell for Mayor of Seattle, voting to give her their sole endorsement in the race.

Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy, the union’s principal officer, explained their sole endorsement by pointing to her three-term career representing the 46th Legislative District in the state House and serving as the Chair of the Working Families Caucus. “From her leadership on raising the minimum wage, her unwavering support for paid family leave, to her defense of collective bargaining rights, Jessyn has proven herself to be an ally and strong supporter of working families.”  

King County members present proposals in MLA bargaining


Teamster Bargaining Committee members in King County MLA negotiations.

Our Coalition of Unions continued negotiations with the County yesterday over a Master Labor Agreement (MLA) here at our Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila.

The idea behind the MLA is to consolidate language from the various contracts countywide into one general agreement that will apply to all Unions in the Coalition that vote to accept the MLA.

You can read more about the purpose and process for MLA bargaining here.

In previous sessions, our Coalition broke into sub-committees to develop counterproposals based on specific topics that the County presented where we felt there could be some shared interests. We had sub-committees for vacation leave, other kinds of leave (bereavement, organ donor, donated, etc.), holidays and eligibility, reclassification, special duty, and working out of classification.

In yesterday’s negotiations, rank-and-file union members presented the proposals to the County that they had developed in their sub-committees and vetted through the Coalition. 

Lisa Longdon, one of our Bargaining Committee Members representing Teamsters in the Professional, Technical, and Administrative Support bargaining unit, presented on the topic of reclassification: “Members were able to tell their stories of situations that they’ve experienced and it was an eye opener to management,” said Sister Longdon.

Our presentations by sub-committee took the better part of the morning. Afterwards, the County indicated that they wanted to break early for the day.  After some discussion with Union leadership, the County agreed to continue working and ultimately presented a counterproposal on leave in the afternoon. 

We will be meeting again with the County next Thursday, June 15 at the Teamsters Union hall where the County will be giving us their full counterproposal. If you have questions, please contact your Bargaining Committee Member or your Union Representative.

For more news about what’s happening at our Union, please attend our upcoming quarterly General Membership Meeting starting at 7pm on June 15. Join us for dinner starting at 5:30pm.

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

Video: King County Teamster gives an MLA Bargaining Update