We wanted to share a letter issued by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to members of Teamsters Local 117 at the Port of Seattle Police Department.
The letter comes as a result of a comment the Mayor made at a recent Seattle Police Officers' Guild meeting that denigrated the work of other law enforcement agencies, including the Port of Seattle.
As soon as we became aware of the Mayor's remarks, our union's Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy reached out to the mayor's office and insisted on an apology.
In her letter, Mayor Durkan states that she "never meant to impugn the hard work of the Port of Seattle Police Department or any other neighboring jurisdictions that keep our region safe..."
You can read the Mayor's letter in its entirety here.
With the holidays approaching, our ports of entry nationwide become packed with travelers and potentially more dangerous. Thank you to our members at the Port of Seattle for your sacrifice during this busy season as you serve and protect our communities and work so hard to keep all of us safe.
Port of Seattle bus driver Tambra Fontes shows off her union solidarity band.
You’ll see them on the wrists of bus drivers circling around Sea-Tac Airport – white bands bearing a message of unity and strength. The bands read: We decide how strong our union will be. When drivers pass each other on their routes, they raise their fists as a show of union pride.
Local 117 member Tambra Fontes got the idea for the wristbands, together with shop steward Monica Petty. “We were trying to unify all of us drivers and get us to become one,” Tambra said.
Tambra hails from a strong union family. Her father worked for the postal service, where he was a shop steward for his union. Her husband, Josh Hoopes, is a Local 117 member at Animal Supply. “Getting this job was everything for me,” she said. “Being Teamsters is exactly what my dad wanted for me. It felt like our future was set – you couldn’t ask for anything more.”
"It felt like our future was set – you couldn’t ask for anything more."
Tambra and Monica have been teaming up to alert their co-workers about the potential impact of the Janus court case. They’ve talked about the importance of sticking with the union.
Their call for solidarity has been effective as nearly all Port of Seattle bus drivers have signed cards committing to the union. “When we stand together, our freedom, power and unity cannot be taken from us,” Monica says.
Getting people signed up on commitment cards was essential, but the two women also wanted a symbol that matched the message. “Being a driver, it’s kind of hard for all of us to connect,” Tambra said. “The wristbands are something that we can wear to let everybody know we’re all one.”
With contract negotiations coming up next year sustaining that unity will be key. The drivers have already shown that no court case or external group can weaken their voice on the job. Tambra and Monica have decided that they want to keep their union strong. And because of members like them, it is.
Taxi drivers are being fined $100 for speaking out about the disgusting state of Port bathrooms.
The Port of Seattle has stooped to a new low. The Port has issued $100 citations to taxi drivers who participated in peaceful demonstrations in August over the deplorable state of Port bathrooms for drivers, among other issues.
By protesting publicly, drivers finally compelled the Port to acknowledge the problem and take action to fix it. Previous efforts by the drivers to raise the bathroom issue with Port officials had fallen on deaf ears.
The Port has approved funding for the design and construction of the new bathrooms, but apparently the drivers who exercised their right to speak out on horrendous state of the old bathrooms will be picking up part of the tab.
Drivers have five days to pay the $100 or face suspension and additional citations from the Port. Some drivers have reportedly appealed the citations, only to have their appeals denied.
Teamster driver Ali Sugule with his family. Sugule is fighting for his job after Eastside For Hire revoked his access to dispatch.
Port of Seattle commissioners spent the better part of their two and a half hour special meeting yesterday discussing a range of issues, including airport expansion and biofuel production, but when it came to taking public comment from drivers who are being exploited at the Port’s expense, they cut matters short.
The reason? They had a luncheon to attend.
“We have a hard stop on this meeting at 11:14,” said Commission President Tom Albro at precisely 11:07 A.M. That gave the public all of seven minutes to testify on critical issues impacting airport workers and the community.
A dozen or so Teamster drivers had been waiting more than two hours to speak out on a range of injustices at the airport. The drivers had taken precious time away from their workday to express their concerns, but had to leave without testifying when the Commission unexpectedly shut down the meeting.Read more
Officers Eric Miles (l) and Larry Murray (r) together with the man they saved: Dan Walton who suffered a massive heart attack at the airport in January.
Congratulations to our members at the Port of Seattle Police Department who were recognized for their outstanding service at the Department's awards ceremony last Thursday.
Three of our officers were honored with Life-Saving awards in two separate incidents.
Sergeant Dan Flynn, a Local 117 Shop Steward, quickly identified the symptoms of an extremely dangerous condition known as "excited delirium" in a disruptive passenger trying to board an Alaska Airlines flight in November 2014.
Flynn responded to the scene immediately, correctly diagnosed the individual, and requested medical assistance.
The medics were able to save the man's life, but only in the nick of time. The supervising medical officer said the man's temperature had skyrocketed to 104 degrees and he was moments away from death.
Sergeant Flynn's training and quick thinking led to the necessary medical intervention. As it turns out, the man was an Army veteran being treated for extreme PTSD. Flynn had saved the life of a veteran.
In a separate incident, Officers Larry Murray and Eric Miles performed life-saving CPR for several minutes on Dan Walton who had suffered a massive heart attack near the departures area in January.
Walton spoke at the awards ceremony, expressing his gratitude for the officers' heroics. “If it wasn't for the people, the skills, the dedication, and the people in this room today, I wouldn't be here,” he said.
Sergeant Mark Tanga and Officer Cory Stairs received the Meritorious Service award at the ceremony for their many years of outstanding service.
Congratulations to the award recipients and thank you to all of our officers at the Port of Seattle for your service to our community and for helping to keep us safe.