Walter Chaffee, a longtime Union Shop Steward at King County and dedicated Teamster, retired at the end of 2014.
Walt will be missed by co-workers, the public, and especially the Local. The following is a tribute to Walter, written by former Local 117 Business Representative, Betty Robinson:Read more
It has been nearly 6 months since the membership of former GCC/IBT 767M, who work in the print and graphic arts field, voted to merge with Teamsters Local 117 and the changes are readily apparent.
The greater support has enabled members to ratify contracts at The Seattle Times pressroom, the Department of Enterprise Services - Print and Imaging Division, Capitol City Press, and the Spokesman Review pressroom.Read more
When workers get shorted on their wages, it may not necessarily be intentional on the part of the employer; sometimes an employer simply misinterprets the language in the collective bargaining agreement, personnel rules, or policy.
In a recent incident, a public sector member informed me that his employer had not been appropriately calculating set-up pay step increases for supervisors.Read more
Recently, one of our Teamsters 117 brothers was diagnosed with a rare incurable form of lymphoma. For all of you who are unaware of this situation, his name is Gabe Dizon. He is a truck driver at Sysco Food Service of Seattle.
He is a husband and also a father. I would call him a family man, but also a great guy who you will rarely see without a smile on his face. In his spare time you can probably find him out on the water, in the mountains, at his son Gabriel's soccer games or doing projects around his house.Read more
I wanted to share with you some of the exciting communications work Local 117 members have been up to as a part of our effort to feature more voices on our website and in our newsletters.
Check out the articles below and “like” them on the website.
For more information about your Union's Communications Committee or if you have ideas about labor-related articles or news from your shop, give me a ring at 206-794-6673 or send me an email.
We want to hear from you!
- Travis Brendelson, a member at Fred Meyer, created this amazing Local 117 strike demo – listen and you will be blown away!
- Joschue Reyes, a Shop Steward at CBCC/DOC, wrote this excellent piece that was distributed to DOC members on behalf of the DOC Bargaining Committee.
- Shane Zey, also a DOC Shop Steward at MCC, makes an impassioned plea for his fellow members to get involved.
- Cheryl Steele, a DOC Shop Steward at AHCC, published a letter to the editor of the Spokesman Review in support of working families.
- Josh Putnam, also a Fred Meyer Shop Steward, wrote an excellent article about the harmful impact of Walmart on working families.
- Erik Olsen of Seattle Cold Storage put together this great flyer with photos and quotes of Local 117 members taking about the power of the Union
Since the start of negotiations for the 2015-2017 contract, there has been a rollercoaster of emotional responses toward the intent of the bargaining team and the Teamsters 117 leadership regarding its rank-and-file members. We, the bargaining team, were made aware of many issues needing to be addressed in the new contract. However, two issues that seemed unanimous were that we were tired of the Washington State Government and the Department of Corrections balancing the budget on the backs of state workers and that we were grossly underpaid.Read more
The battle is won, but the war has just started
On 08/10/14 at 11:59 P.M., the polls closed for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections. When the count was over and the votes were all tabulated, our membership had finally come together and sent a resounding message of, “…we’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take it anymore” to the Washington State Department of Corrections management.
In all 3099 members (55.64%) voted on the contract proposal. The numbers showed that 3053 (98.52%) voted to reject the states offer, while 46 (1.48%) accepted it. It was an overwhelming rejection of what our bargaining committee deemed as an unfair and unequitable contract when they unanimously recommended a “NO” vote.
This is just the beginning of the fight.
Now our contract goes to interest arbitration. Over the next couple of weeks, the Teamsters 117 legal team will go before the arbitrator – Howell Lankford. Witnesses will be called, facts will be presented and our case will be made. Once he has heard all of the information, from both sides, he will make his decision and send it to the legislature for funding in the 2015-17 budget. This is when the fight really starts.
We need ALL of our members to again “SHOW UP.” Call and e-mail your legislators and the governor daily. Have your friends and family do this as well. They need to hear from us every day that the arbitrator’s award (whatever it is), needs to be included in the state’s budget. It takes 5 minutes. There’s no excuse to not do it. It’s your family’s financial stability and future on the line. Now is the time to take the momentum of this vote to the next level.
Who will stand with me???
Officer Shane Zey
Shop Steward - MCC
Quite possibly THE biggest threat to our way of life is competition from Walmart. Walmart will do anything and everything in its power to not allow their employees the right to form a union. Workers have been fired, and entire stores have even been shut down. The ability of workers to stand up for themselves is severely eroded in these situations. Walmart then takes advantage of those workers, paying them horrible wages, and the ones who are lucky enough to get benefits end up with an awful benefit package. The first part of that sentence is worth repeating: Walmart takes advantage of their workers.
So, what does this mean to us? Why should we care? By treating their workers so poorly, Walmart is able to offer lower prices to consumers, taking customers away from union employers. This means that those union employers aren’t as successful as they could be, and as a result, they hire fewer people. In addition, those same union employers feel the same pressure to erode OUR wages and benefits as well! EVERY TIME WE SHOP AT WALMART IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BEING TREATED LIKE A WALMART EMPLOYEE.Read more