As COVID-19 is changing the way we lead our lives, we need more than ever to stand together for safety at work and fair pay.
Teamsters are on the frontlines of this pandemic, and the priorities for our Union have been protecting worker rights, securing appreciation pay, and raising standards across industries.
One way to achieve that for Local 117 members is to expand our ranks and organize more workers to become Teamsters.
Take our organizing survey to share your thoughts on the necessity of building worker power.
Maverick employees at the Great American Casino in Tukwila celebrate certification of their union!
More than 1,700 card room workers employed by Maverick Gaming have chosen Teamsters Local 117. The Seattle-based Local Union was authorized as the workers’ exclusive bargaining representative through a card check process conducted by an independent arbitrator today.
“We are thrilled to welcome Maverick employees to our Union,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “Workers in the many card rooms across Washington State deserve a strong voice in the workplace and a contract that protects their rights and reflects their priorities. We are committed to working with them to achieve that goal.”
"We are thrilled to welcome Maverick employees to our Union."
Maverick employees will be the first unionized gaming-industry workers in Washington State. They sought representation with the Teamsters because they wanted a voice over issues like their wages, health care, retirement security, scheduling, and other working conditions.
“I feel it’s time for gaming employees to have a collective voice and input in the decision-making,” said Babet Vanvolkenburg, a dealer at the Macau Casino in Renton with over 20-years’ experience in the industry. “With the union we can have more job security.”
“I want the union because we’ll have an opportunity to improve our working conditions. My priorities are things like paid holidays, more vacation, and better wages,” said Mariano Quizapa, a cook at the Silver Dollar Casino in SeaTac.
Throughout the organizing process, Maverick remained neutral and allowed workers to determine for themselves whether they wanted union representation. “Maverick provides an excellent example of how a company should conduct itself during a union organizing drive,” Scearcy said. “While some employers fire workers or aggressively spread anti-union propaganda, Maverick trusted its workers to decide for themselves whether they wanted to join the union.”
The certification of Teamsters Local 117 as the workers’ exclusive representative triggers the process for contract negotiations. In January, workers will meet to establish their priorities for negotiations and identify rank-and-file leaders to participate on the union bargaining committee.
“This is a historic moment for workers in a previously unorganized industry in Washington State,” Scearcy said. “We look forward to sitting down with Maverick and negotiating a contract that reflects the priorities of these workers – things like good family medical benefits, a secure retirement, and secure scheduling – all of the protections and benefits of a strong Teamsters contract.”
Seattle-area drivers employed by Chariot, a micro-transit service owned by Ford Smart Mobility LLC, have chosen to join Teamsters Local 117. The workers authorized the union as their exclusive bargaining representative through a card check process conducted by an independent arbitrator last week.
The group of eighteen drivers joined together to ensure that they have a voice over issues like their wages, benefits, and working conditions. “Having a union will allow us to work with our employer to create greater protections and a better working environment for all of us,” said Mark Creighton, a driver with the company.
"Having a union will allow us to work with our employer to create greater protections... for all of us."
Throughout the organizing process, Chariot remained neutral and allowed workers to determine for themselves whether they wanted union representation.
“Chariot provides an excellent example of how a company should conduct itself during an organizing drive,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. “While some employers fire workers or aggressively spread anti-union propaganda, Chariot trusted its workers to decide for themselves whether they wanted to join the union.”
The certification of Teamsters 117 as the workers’ exclusive representative triggers the process for contract negotiations. In the coming weeks, drivers will meet to establish their priorities for negotiations and identify rank-and-file leaders to participate on the union bargaining committee.
“We are thrilled to welcome Chariot drivers to our union,” said Scearcy. “Drivers at Chariot deserve a contract that protects their rights and reflects their priorities in the workplace. We are committed to working with them to achieve that goal.”
Congratulations and welcome to a group of clerical staff at Americold who have voted overwhelmingly to become Teamsters.
The group came together earlier this year to win retirement security, a voice on the job, and respect. Their NLRB union election took place today at the company's cold storage facility in Fife.
"I want to have someone to fall back on and defend my rights in the workplace."
"I support forming a union with the Teamsters because I want to have someone to fall back on and defend my rights in the workplace," said Allison Knight, who works in inventory control.
The clerical group joins a hundred of their Teamster Sisters and Brothers who work in the warehouse at the Fife facility.
"Congratulations to our newest members. We're excited to welcome them to our union," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "As members of Teamsters 117, we can all gain inspiration from the strength and determination these workers showed to stand together and win a voice on the job."
Teamsters in the Education Dept at the Woodland Park Zoo celebrate their new contract.
Congrats! to our new members, Teamsters in the Education Dept. at the Woodland Park Zoo. The group voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ratify a first-ever union contract.
The group came together last year to win better wages, working conditions, and a voice on the job. They officially joined our union in August after an NLRB election vote.
"It took courage and determination for these workers to stand together in their union and win a voice," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "Let's congratulate them on their first Teamsters contract and welcome them into our union."
The Education Dept. group joins 60 Teamster zookeepers, who are also employed by Woodland Park Zoo.
Congratulations to the newest members of Teamsters Local 117! A group of Kennel Aides who work at the Tacoma Humane Society have voted unanimously to join our union.
The group got together last night to celebrate winning a voice at work.
Employees of the Woodland Park Zoo's education department filed for Teamsters 117 representation with the NLRB on August 4.
Today, over thirty employees in the education department at the Woodland Park Zoo petitioned for union representation with Teamsters Local 117, filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and delivering a letter to management requesting voluntary union recognition.
Workers in the education department are passionate about what they do, fostering respect for our natural world and conservation leadership through educational programs that inspire our community to learn, care, and act.
"I am excited to form our Union..."
“I am excited to form our union because I love the Zoo’s mission, and the staff I work alongside with who bring that mission to life everyday deserve respect and support,” said Kristi Dodds, a Zoomazium Coordinator who has worked at the Woodland Park Zoo for 16 years.
After winning union representation, the education department employees will select a bargaining committee to negotiate their first collective bargaining agreement, after which they will join over 60 zookeepers, vet techs, and warehouse workers at the Woodland Park Zoo who already have a voice on the job as members of Teamsters Local 117.
Congratulations on taking this step, and welcome to your union!
David Niles, a correctional specialist at CRCC, is grateful to be re-joining the union.
Correctional Specialist, David Niles, of the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) in Connell is grateful to join the ranks of Teamsters 117 once again.
In his previous position at the facility, he was a member of our union, but he promoted out of the bargaining unit. Now, his correctional specialist group, along with 10 other DOC groups have voted to join forces with Teamsters Local 117, with two more waiting for PERC certification.
That makes 11 new groups at the DOC over the last two years!
Niles writes of his experience below:
Here is the list of all of the new Department of Corrections bargaining units that have joined our union since 2015:
- Registered Nurse 3
- Administrative Assistant 3
- Marine Department
- Recreation & Athletics Specialist 4
- Correction Specialist 2 (Supervisory)
- Correction Specialist 2 (Non-Supervisory)
- Occupational Nurse Consultants
- Administrative Assistant 3 (CBCC)
- Correction Specialist 1
- Correction Specialist 3
These groups contain hundreds of new members who are standing together in their union to improve their wages and working conditions and to gain the benefits and protections of a Teamsters contract.
Let's be sure to welcome them to Teamsters Local 117!
Chad Young is one of our new members at the state's Department of Corrections.
Another group at the state's Department of Corrections has joined Teamsters 117.
Seventy-one Correctional Specialist 2s were certified as Teamsters on Tuesday, March 7 by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC).
That makes five DOC groups that have joined our Union or are awaiting PERC certification since December.
"We now have the backing of a whole organization rather than just being a lone voice."
"Gaining representation brings a lot of value," said Chad Young, a CS2 who helped with the organizing drive. "Now we have the backing of a whole organization rather than just being a lone voice."
Chad and his co-workers were motivated by a growing pay disparity between his CS2 group and members of the Teamsters bargaining unit. Represented DOC staff performing similar work were receiving $300 more a month.
The only difference was that he was responsible for training staff while they were training offenders."I felt like the state was putting less money toward training staff than training offenders," he said.
At first some of his co-workers were hesitant about joining the Union, but when he showed them the pay gap, they got on board.
Now that the group is certified, they will have a chance to voice their priorities for bargaining, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
"I want to welcome these new members to our Union," said John Scearcy, Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer. "We look forward to ensuring that their rights are protected and that they receive the outstanding representation they deserve."