Teamster press operators at the Seattle Times celebrate after ratifying their contract. 

Teamsters who operate the presses at the Seattle Times are celebrating their new contract. The group voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement last weekend.

Highlights of the pact include a meaningful bump in hourly wages and improvements to sick time and holiday pay.  

 “We’ve been trying to get double time and a half for holiday pay forever,” said Tyrone Love, a shop steward and pressman of 22 years. “This time we were able to get it for three of the major holidays – Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving. Guys are really happy about that.”

Love praised the process and what he called a “new approach to negotiations” since the group joined our Local Union four years ago.  “The process that led up to these negotiations was fluid, cohesive, and coherent. I really appreciated that,” he said. “Bargaining was smooth and orderly. It got contentious, but our team had it all under control.”

"The process that led up to negotiations was fluid, cohesive, and coherent. I really appreciated that."

Tyrone was joined on the bargaining committee by lead negotiator Scott Clifthorne, union representative Johnnie Uzzell, and fellow members, Jon Block and David Throne.

The Seattle Times group joined Local 117 as the result of a merger that brought 400 Teamsters who work in the graphic communications industry over from GCIU Local 767-M in 2014.

Members in the industry work in all craft and skill areas in printing and publishing. They operate web, sheet-fed, offset, letterpress, and other specialty presses. They also handle binding and shipping of finished products.

“Congratulations to our members at the Seattle Times on their new contract,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. “They perform critical work to ensure that the news is printed in a safe and timely manner so that our community is informed about the issues and events that shape our daily lives.”