Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy with a Local 117 fan after the Republic Services ratification vote.

Sisters and Brothers -

It’s been a busy, exciting year for our union. As we move into the last quarter of 2017, I want to give you a recap of what we’ve accomplished so far and a sense of where we are headed in our work to build unity and power for all members of Teamsters 117.

Contract Negotiations:

With over 80 contracts expiring in 2017, we have successfully ratified over 50 with another 30 remaining while building solidarity by focusing on member engagement with strategic contract campaigns. Our contracts have increased industry standards. Our DOC contract is the strongest in history for that group. Our contract for our recycle and yard waste drivers achieved groundbreaking wage increases and long fought-for wage equity with the garbage drivers.

New Organizing:

We have organized or are in the process of organizing the following new groups:

  • We Drive You (Facebook and Google transportation)
  • Additional DOC groups
  • Emerald Services
  • Woodland Park Zoo-Educators
  • Renton Printery
  • TransDev Dispatchers
  • Caretransit Drivers

Our recent action at SeaTac Airport exposed the exploitation of Seattle-area taxi drivers, which put in motion major improvements to their working conditions.

Political Action:

Working together with Local 117 members, our political team, helped pass Paid Family Leave and other worker benefits in Olympia this year. We also built member participation on our 9-member Political Advisory Committee that meets regularly to interview candidates and make endorsement recommendations to our union’s E-Board.

Internal Organizing:

Our Local has committed to member engagement and development through programs like “What A Teamster Looks Like”, “Family Strength Community” and a recent essay contest asking members to express the freedoms they enjoy as union members.

Member and Staff Training

We are developing a general Membership Training Program and a Member Leadership Academy focused on diversity, inclusion and development for the future.

Our Local 117 staff has had over a thousand one-on-one conversations with members to identify their co-workers with leadership qualities. Through this program, members have identified over five hundred fellow Sisters and Brothers that they trust as member leaders!

We are on track to begin our Local 117 Member Leadership Academy and general Membership Education Program in early 2018.  We are also putting together a development program for staff to ensure that members receive the best possible representation from their union. 

Thank you for the incredible sacrifices and efforts you all put forth each and every day, and thank you for your membership in Teamsters 117.

In Solidarity,


John Scearcy