Join us for our Holiday Membership Meeting on December 19 at 7PM at the Union Hall in Tukwila! Hundreds of Local 117 members will be gathering together that evening for solidarity and our annual raffle drawing.
Dozens of prizes are awarded each year, including electronics, power tools, bottles of wine, gift cards, televisions sets, and best of all, NUTS! All of the gifts are purchased from companies with whom Local 117 has a bargaining relationship.
If you work graveyard and are unable to attend the meeting, be sure to stop by the hall during the day on Thursday for some cookies and holiday cheer and to put your name in for the raffle.
The anti-union “Freedom” Foundation is making yet another attempt to obtain your personal information through a public disclosure request. The request seeks the following information from the Department of Retirement Services (DRS) for all public employees in the State of Washington:
- First name
- Middle name
- Last name
- Full birthdate
- Work email address
- The retirement system in which they currently participate
- FTE status/percentage
- Current annual salary
- Duty station location/address
To learn about what information DRS is planning to release, you can visit their website here.
In addition to the request submitted to DRS, the “Freedom” Foundation has made a similar request to the Office of Financial Management (OFM) seeking the personal information of all employees who work for the State of Washington.
A DIRECT ATTACK ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
Make no mistake – this is a direct attack on all public employees and their unions in Washington State. The “Freedom” Foundation is a radical group funded by out-of-state wealthy special interests. They’ve opposed our right to paid sick days and lobbied against wage increases for state employees. Their goal is to privatize public services, defund defined benefit pension plans, and outsource public sector jobs.
Due to outdated public disclosure laws, the efforts of unions and others to block the release of this kind of information in the past has not been affirmed by the courts. The best way we can fight back is by standing together.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Talk to your co-workers about the “Freedom” Foundation’s anti-union agenda;
- Warn your co-workers about the “Freedom” Foundation’s attempt to access their information.
Thank you for your service to our community and for your membership in Teamsters 117.
Mayor Jenny Durkan after a meeting with Uber and Lyft Drivers.
Seattle Uber and Lyft drivers celebrated the passage of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s ‘Fare Share’ plan by the City Council today, calling it a historic victory that will provide long-sought labor protections and lead to higher pay for the City’s 30,000 ride-hail drivers.
This groundbreaking legislation establishes first-in-the-nation legal protections against unwarranted deactivations. The legislation will also establish a Driver Resolution Center to provide a wide range of support services to drivers.
“After I was hit by an uninsured motorist, Uber shut off my app. Uber calls it deactivation, I call it getting fired for no reason,” says Bob Gulbranson, who has driven for Uber for several years. “This legislation gives drivers a voice and a chance to be treated fairly.”
In addition to creating a grievance process and funding a worker organization for drivers, the legislation mandates that all drivers be paid no less than Seattle’s minimum wage after expenses by July 1, 2020. The City will commission an independent wage study with driver input to determine appropriate pay for drivers based on hours worked, expenses incurred, and benefits.
At today’s City Council budget hearing, drivers said they were eager to participate in the study to help develop a fair pay standard so that they can finally earn a living wage after expenses and stop the race-to-the-bottom in Seattle’s ride-hail industry.
“I support my family with this job,” says Sukchain Banwait, a long-time Uber and Lyft driver. “We pay for the car, we pay for the gas, we pay for the maintenance, and we pay for the depreciation. We work long hours, and we deserve to get paid fairly.”
The legislation is funded through a 51-cent tax on trips by ride-hail giants Uber and Lyft. Proceeds from the fee will also support community investments in affordable housing and transit improvements so that drivers and other working families in Seattle have a greater opportunity to live closer to where they work.
Teamsters Local 117 has worked with the App-Based Drivers Association to improve conditions for drivers in Seattle’s ride-hail industry. Both organizations are members of a Fare Share coalition of over 60 housing, transit, labor, environmental, health, and social justice groups that have come together to support the legislation and to make sure Seattle’s growth works for everyone.
Teamsters at ABG, who score among the highest in the nation for their customer service, voting yes on a strong contract.
Teamsters at Avis Budget Group, Inc who work at SeaTac Airport have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new 5-year contract. The group of approximately 150 customer service agents and sales representatives met last week to approve the proposal. They have been in bargaining since May of this year and even as the company was sluggish in their response, the group was successful in achieving wage and pension increases, sick leave improvements and bargaining unit work protections.
"As the economy is set to be shaky in the next few years, we value the security of a good contract."
“We are very happy to lock the wage increases in for five years,” said Sean Reis, a Teamster shop steward and a service agent at Avis. “As the economy is set to be shaky in the next few years, we value the security of a good contract.”
This group of Teamsters services millions of customers passing through SeaTac Airport. The pressure on them is high to keep lines of clients satisfied, yet their performance is top-notch and customer reviews rank them in the highest tier across the country. Teamsters at Avis feel this contract is a reflection of their hard work.
“I’ve worked here for 30 years,” concludes Reis. “This contract is among the best we’ve had.”
Take your Personal Health Assessment (you AND your spouse must complete)
Got Teamsters medical? You can save on your 2020 medical expenses by taking a confidential Health Assessment if you are covered under the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust.
If you, and your eligible spouse or covered domestic partner 18 years of age and older, both take your annual Health Assessment between November 1 and December 15, you will qualify for the following incentives:
Medical Plan A, B, C, and Z – your annual deductible in 2020 will be $200 less for individual coverage and up to $600 less for family coverage than if you do not take it.
The assessment is a confidential questionnaire about your lifestyle and health. It's easy to complete and gives you the opportunity to improve and maintain healthy habits.
Angela Rogness works in King County's domestic violence advocacy program in the Regional Justice Center in Kent.
As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to provide a few updates for Teamsters who work at King County:
- Contract Negotiations: Master Labor Agreement (MLA) negotiations at King County will kick off in the first quarter of 2020 followed by bargaining over your individual appendix agreements. To prepare for bargaining, we'll be surveying the membership and providing lots of opportunities for you to engage in the process. Stay tuned!
- Your Teamsters Contract: With negotiations approaching, now is a good time to review your Teamsters contract. You can access the MLA and your bargaining unit's individual appendix agreement on our Union's website here.
- Wage Increases: All Teamsters at King County will receive a negotiated 3% wage increase in 2020, with 1.5% coming on January 1, 2020 and another 1.5% on July 1.
- Coalition Bonus: All members on payroll January 1, 2020 will receive a $500 coalition bonus. The bonus applies to members of the King County Coalition of Unions only of which Teamsters 117 is a part.
- Teamsters Holiday Meeting: Join us for our Holiday Membership Meeting and raffle drawing extravaganza on Thursday, December 19 at 7 p.m at our Union Hall in Tukwila! This is fun event with lots of prizes and a good way to connect with your Union. You can RSVP for the meeting on our Teamsters website here.
I have one other piece of good news to share. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures changes in prices associated with the cost-of-living, is hovering between 1.7% and 2.2% for the Seattle/Tacoma region for 2019. The fact that our Union Coalition was able to negotiate a 4% increase for 2019 shows the strength of our Coalition and the power of an engaged and informed membership.
Sysco Teamster, Will Buff, talks about the power of his Teamsters contract.
Our Union has filed a grievance with the State to protest inadequate and unsafe staffing levels for all Teamsters at the Department of Corrections.
The grievance is based on findings from an independent review of the DOC staffing model conducted by CGL Companies. You can view the grievance here.
CGL Companies produced a report titled Washington Department of Corrections Prison Staffing Model Review that was published in June of 2019.
CGL's audit revealed that the Department is significantly understaffed in several areas. The report concluded, for example, that an additional 250 custody staff are required above levels funded and that there are severe shortages in a number of non-custody areas as well.
You can view CGL's complete report here.
To resolve the grievance we are demanding that the State implement suggestions contained in the report among a number of other remedies.
We will keep you updated on the status of this grievance as we work our way through the grievance and arbitration process as outlined in our collective bargaining agreement.
If you have questions, please talk to your Union Representative.
UNFI/SuperValu negotiations committee is committed to protecting our members rights under their contract and under the Arbitrator's award.
UNFI arrived without their lead negotiator and unprepared to bargain with Teamsters Local 117 and Local 313 when they met with the Union on Thursday and Friday in Tukwila to discuss severance packages for Teamsters who are facing layoffs by the Company. As a result, the two-day negotiations session resulted in little progress.
In the last few weeks, more than 70 UNFI employees working at the Tacoma warehouse have been laid off with the remaining employees to be laid off over the next 30 days.
“UNFI is not interested in negotiating a quality severance package for the majority of our members and their families whose lives have been severely disrupted by the Company’s decision to relocate operations from Tacoma to Centralia,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We came ready to negotiate and we formally proposed to accept an offer the Company had made on October 1 without a single change – not even a comma – but the Company rejected their own proposal.”
The Union is consider filing additional charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over unlawful regressive bargaining tactics.
"UNFI is not interested in negotiating a reasonable severance package for the majority of our members."
UNFI is continuing to refuse to honor a neutral arbitrator’s decision to allow employees at the Company’s Tacoma warehouse to transfer to its Centralia facility with the same wages and terms and conditions that the Tacoma employees have been working under.
“Arbitrator Joseph Duffy ruled unequivocally for the Union in awarding full transfer rights to our members with the wages, benefits, and other protections,” Scearcy said. “His decision is legally sound and upholds contract language that the Company agreed to in negotiations. Not only did UNFI agree to the contract language enforced by Arbitrator Duffy, but it also agreed that arbitration decisions would be final and binding. We are confident that the courts will side with the Arbitrator and rule to make whole our members for any losses they may have incurred while they were unlawfully laid off.”
UNFI has a history of labor unrest with the Teamsters. In December 2012, members of Teamsters Local 117 employed at UNFI’s distribution center in Auburn entered into a 9-week strike over a number of alleged violations of federal labor law.
Shop Steward Andy Peterson served on the Union negotiations committee that achieved a settlement offer with Safeway Dairy.
Our Union negotiations committee has achieved a fully-recommended tentative agreement over a 3-year contract with Safeway Dairy/Ice Cream. Our Union team reached the agreement with Safeway in a negotiations session at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila on October 30 and 31.
A contract ratification vote will be held for Safeway Dairy Teamsters on Saturday, November 23 in Tukwila. The Union bargaining committee will unanimously recommend that the membership approve the settlement.
One of the central issues for the Union in negotiations was to ensure that the Company provided affordable health care benefits for retirees. Members voted unanimously to authorize a strike last month after the Company had refused to make an acceptable proposal on the issue.
"We appreciate the hard work of our Union negotiations team at having reached this tentative agreement," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "We are preparing the final contract documents and look forward to giving our members an opportunity to review and vote on the proposal."