Family, strength, community - those are our values as union members.

Teamsters in our South Sound shops met in Tacoma on Saturday to talk about how to promote those values. 

"We want to find out what matters most to members so that we can continue to build strength through our commitment to each other and our communities," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.

To accomplish that goal, we're conducting Every Voice Counts interviews. These are short, one-on-one conversations, in which members will be interviewing other members about ways to build unity in their workplace.

Our commitment to each other is important, especially now, with the ongoing attacks on working families.

Wealthy special interests have dismantled laws that protect union members in Wisconsin, and elsewhere. They are also behind a pending Supreme Court case - Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association that could lead to a union-hostile environment for members in public sector workplaces across the country. (See who's funding the Friedrichs case here.)

If the Court rules against unions in the case, a "freeloader" dynamic would arise.  Members could abandon their union membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits of union representation without having to pay for it.  Unions would lose resources, and the membership as a whole would suffer. The Court heard oral argument in the case today.

"I'm new to the Teamsters," said Tracy Lyons, a Shop Steward from South Sound 911 who attended Saturday's training. "For our job - we're making life and death decisions every day - there's an important protection that the Union provides. We need to make sure that it stays that way."

For additional resources and to get more information about Friedrichs, we've set up a new website at Check it out and be sure to share it with your co-workers!