On June 29th, Teamsters Local 117 will march in the LGBT Pride Parade in Seattle. In previous years Local 117 has maintained a booth at the Seattle Center, which marks the end of the parade route. Why is Local 117 marching? “Because this is a workers’ rights issue,” explains Dustin Lambro, who is the Political Coordinator for 117. Dustin has been given the responsibility to coordinate and tackle the logistics of organizing this march.
“The Teamsters have a proud history of standing up for everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. That's why on Sunday, June 29th, we will participate in Seattle Pride. All members, gay or straight, are invited to march with us that day to show our solidarity with our LGBT sisters and brothers,” Dustin explained.
“It is important to have a presence in this event. The Teamsters have always supported equal rights, Civil Rights, and we have a deep long lasting legacy of that in this community. Local 117 has an obligation to lift ALL of us up; after all, our strength is in our unity. No one should be discriminated against, and we remind ourselves what the Teamsters stand for, ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’”.Read more
Check out this awesome composite of Local 117 members talking about their Union. It comes from Erik Olsen, a Shop Steward at Seattle Cold Storage.
Erik is a member of our new Communications Committee. If you would like to join the your Union's Communications Committee, contact Paul Zilly at 206-441-4860 ext. 1269.
Today I pose the question: How would you like to be part of a union that is built, designed, and ready for the 21st century. Well guess what? You are a part. A part of a well–oiled fighting machine that is ready for this war on workers.
Teamsters Local 117 is not like most unions. Instead of waiting for change, we change things. Instead of waiting for employers to treat us with respect, we demand respect. In a word, we adapt. Adapt to the climate of the world we live in, while teaching members to adapt within their workplace environment.
So how did we get here?Read more
"I'm ready to do whatever it takes to build a stronger union - give as much as I can to this movement because it makes us stronger."
- Johnny Uzzell, 9-year member at Aramark
Given the onslaught of attacks on labor, unions are far too often forced into a corner, dodging punches left and right – trying to avoid hitting the mat while the corporate bullies slander the ring with their anti-union rhetoric and jam-packed pocketbooks. This forces unions into a reactionary position, trying to stave off the next blow.
One of the ways that Local 117 avoids getting trapped into this cycle of reactivity is by engaging in a comprehensive strategic planning process every three years.
By making a concerted effort to plan for the future, we are able to set the tone for what’s to come by identifying short and long-term goals and building strategies for achieving those goals. Some successes resulting from the previous plans have included, establishment of a local union strike fund, increased public sector organizing, insuring our financial stability, and expanding our visibility and public presence. In sum, by setting our priorities and finding strategies for achieving our goals, we have been able to take a proactive approach to planning for the future and continue to improve our ability to advocate for working families.Read more
When Teamsters Local 117 decided to hire Nancy Santos as a new Business Rep, I knew they had made an outstanding choice. I was hired at the Fred Meyer warehouse in 1999, and one of the first things I noticed was a big sign, proclaiming Nancy as the most productive worker for the week. As I would learn, this was not an unusual occurrence; her work ethic week in and week out was something to behold. This was a worker at the top of the productivity list who did NOT kiss up to management. In fact, she didn’t take nonsense from anybody, and would not only stand up for herself, but others as well.
Nancy started at Fred Meyer when she was 16 year old, working at the Burien store for five years. She had originally requested a transfer into her store’s Grocery Department, and had to stand by and watch as other male associates, with less seniority, were granted transfers ahead of her. Denied the opportunity to advance at the store, she transferred to the warehouse in 1995, partly because she knew it was a Teamster warehouse. One of the supervisors told her that they were reluctant to even approve the transfer, because they didn’t think that a woman could do the job. Nancy proved them very very wrong.
Both of Nancy’s parents were union, and her dad always told her, “Never take a job that isn’t union”. Nancy always knew that being union meant something. “As a kid, I always had the impression that you don’t mess with the Teamster," she said. "Nowadays it’s commonplace for corporations and politicians to mess with the Teamsters, and all of the working class. People have died fighting for the rights and working conditions that too many people today take for granted.”Read more