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
Negotiations are set to begin this summer with the four major grocery houses: Safeway, Fred Meyer, Unified Grocers, and SuperValu.
Grocery warehouse and distribution is one of our Local's core industries, so it is essential that we all rally together to support our Brothers and Sisters during the coming contract campaign.
"We need to show a willingness not to back down, and we need to make sure that members at all four distribution centers stick together." - Roger Fields, 31-year member at Supervalu
The reps have been out in the shops, conducting votes for new Shop Stewards, and scheduling demands meetings.
In the next few weeks, we will be issuing a newsletter for members in the industry, Dock Talk.
Drivers across Seattle’s personal transportation industry rallied at City Hall on Monday to demand regulatory changes that ensure safe and secure service to the public and dignified working conditions that allow drivers to earn a living wage.
Dozens of taxi drivers, for-hire drivers, and drivers from Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) attended the event.
“All drivers – whether they drive a taxi, a for-hire vehicle, or an Uber towncar – deserve fair treatment and a living wage so that they can provide for their families,” said Rich Stolz, Executive Director of OneAmerica Votes, one of the sponsors of the event. “The best way to achieve fairness is through safe, sensible regulation that puts workers and the traveling public first.”Read more
Members of Teamsters 117 joined hundreds of community members on Saturday to march for an increase of the minimum wage in the city of Seattle to $15/hr.
Special thanks to Erik Olsen, a Local 117 member at Seattle Cold Storage, for contributing many of the photos from the march.
The new issue of the Guardian, the newsletter for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections, is now available! With legislative session wrapping up and bargaining set to get underway next month, there is a lot going on.
This issue contains news and information on the following topics:
- A full-scale performance audit at the DOC
- Bargaining set to begin on April 22
- Update from our Teamster lobby days
- Outcome from the supplemental budget
View the latest issue of the Guardian here. For print copies, talk to your Business Representative. DOC Shop Stewards will have copies for distribution after the March 21 meeting in Seattle.
On January 28, dozens of DOC Shop Stewards met with their state representatives as a part of our first lobby day of the 2014 legislative session.
Here's what they had to say about why it's important to get involved:
“I see the fiber of state employees slowly eroding away. If I don’t take action myself, how can I expect other people to? I’m doing what I can to support the DOC family. We are the ones who make the prisons go. We’re keeping the public safe.”
- Thomas Orth, AHCC Sergeant
“My most important issue is staff safety. I’m a Teamster, and I want to let legislators know that we have a vote. When we show them that our vote matters, they will lend us their ear.”
- Stevie Fonseca, WCCW Classification Counselor
“We’ve all got ideas, we’ve all got opinions, we’ve all got answers, we’ve all got solutions, but if we don’t voice them, nobody is going to hear us.”
- Chris Hallgren, MCC CO
“The more we call and visit our legislators, the more minds we can change. The people in Olympia don’t work in this environment. They need to hear about it.”
- Steven Worden, WSP CO
“Legislators need to hear from the sergeants and the officers who do the work. We are the union. Teamsters 117 is our avenue for that, but if we don’t make our voices heard, they won’t get the message.”
- James Palmer, MCC Sergeant
“Being part of the Teamsters is a good feeling. It’s very uplifting for me. I feel like together we can accomplish a lot if we get involved.”
- Teresa Bennett, WSP Pharmacy Tech
“A lot of people think that nothing’s happening. People want raises, they want better retirement. Now we’ve got interest arbitration. If we get something in this next contract, a lot of eyes will open and I think more people will get involved.”
- Kellon Cunningham, CRCC CO2
“You don’t realize the impact you make until you’ve been there. Legislators will listen to you. What you have to say does mean something to them.”
- Ronny Matsen, SCCC Sergeant
Some Local 117 members have been questioning why labor and community groups are supporting a higher minimum wage. It’s a question that needs to be addressed.
$15.00 per hour buys less today than what the minimum wage bought in the late 1960’s. In fact, some economists say that for today’s minimum wage to have the same buying power as it did 50 years ago it would need to be in the $22.00 to $26.00 an hour range.
The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. Its buying power has eroded over time to where workers are having to go out and get two and sometimes three jobs just to pay the rent and make ends meet.Read more
Are you a member of Teamsters Local 117 and the parent of a high school-aged senior in need of money for college?
Teamsters Local 117 is now accepting applications for the 2014 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship. The Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding students whose parents are members of the Local.
The deadline for scholarship application submissions is May 9, 2014. View application materials below:
The founders of the scholarship fund, Ralph and Sue Alfieri, established the scholarship in memory of their son, Jeff Alfieri, a former Local 117 Business Representative.
If you are a Local 117 member seeking to further your own education, consider applying for your Union's Solidarity Scholarship.
It’s time to hit the streets to speak out for a higher minimum wage. We’re hearing about proposals to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016. That’s good, but not good enough. We need a $15/hr minimum wage and we need it now!
There will be several events in Seattle and Tacoma leading up to a National Day of Action on March 15. Hit the link on the event to RSVP:
Town Hall Meeting - Seattle
Wednesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.
1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA
15Now March - Seattle
Saturday, March 15 at 1 p.m.
Judkins Park - 1119 23rd Ave S.
15Now Rally - Tacoma
Saturday, March 8th at 2:00 p.m.
Intersection of South 23rd Street and South Union Avenue
15Now Public Meeting - Tacoma
Saturday, March 15th – 4:00 p.m.
1102 Tacoma Avenue South
Let's help build the movement to raise the wage and end low pay!
There is no doubt that taxis drivers are under attack, and it's time for all organized labor – not just the Teamsters – to step up and support them.
Last night, the city council watered down a proposal to cap the number of TNCs, such as UberX and Lyft, which are currently operating unlawfully in the city and essentially driving taxis out of business.Read more