Nothing says union power more than hundreds of Teamster Shop Stewards gathered together in one room chanting, "When we fight, we win!"  That's exactly what we heard on Saturday, as the voices of 275 Local 117 Stewards echoed through the halls of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle at our annual Shop Steward Seminar and Appreciation Day.

Check out photos from the event here. Thank you to Erik Olsen of Seattle Cold Storage for contributing photos of the seminar.

Secretary-Treasurer Tracey Thompson kicked off the event by providing Stewards with an outline of our union's strategic plan and vision for the future:

We will lead the resurgence of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest.  That is our vision.  Your leadership as Stewards, your involvement in this Union, your commitment, your trust in me, all of that has allowed us to move forward to accomplish that vision. But 'a vision without action is merely a dream; action without vision just passes the time; vision with action changes the world.'  It is a privilege to represent you.  I am so proud of the work that you do for your Local Union.

Following Tracey, Lori Pfingst, our keynote speaker, the Research Director of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, delved into one of the defining issues of our time, income inequality, and how we all must band together to restore fairness and equilibrium for working people.

Our General Counsel and Associate General Counsel, Spencer Thal and Daniel Swedlow, were brilliantly entertaining during a 'stump the attorneys' session at lunch, and the two break-out sessions on 'Right to Work' and 'Putting the Team Back in Teamsters' provided an opportunity to exchange best practices and prepare for legislative fights looming on the horizon.

Thank you to the tremendous work that our Shop Stewards perform every day.  You are the eyes and ears, the indispensable rank-and-file leaders who make Local 117 a great union that cares for and is committed to defending and expanding the rights of all working people.  We are grateful for your service.

For those who attended the seminar, it would be great to hear your reaction below. What did you like? What would you like to see more of next year? What can you take with you to your fellow members back in your shops?