Last year, on our Teamsters Lobby Day, members at the Department of Corrections were joined by dozens of Teamsters from other industries, including 40 Teamster taxi drivers and several Local 117 members, who at the time were on strike at United Natural Foods, Inc.

DOC members had come to Olympia that day to lobby for interest arbitration rights, which we ultimately won by way of an MOU signed by the Governor last year. But they also voiced their support of their fellow Teamsters in the taxi industry and on issues such as workers’ comp, FMLA, and paid sick days. Similarly, taxi drivers spoke about the need to pass their own taxi bill, but they lobbied their representatives on interest arbitration as well.

This isn’t the first time Teamsters from different industries have supported each other.

At our DOC Day of Action event in 2012, dozens of Local 117 members from the private sector stood on the Capitol steps in Olympia to demand safer working conditions for state correctional employees. Later that year, correctional employees returned the favor when they walked the picket line in solidarity with our members at Davis Wire who were on a three-month unfair labor strike.

This is the power of Teamsters 117. Members in dozens of industries, from the public sector, private sector, and the DOC speaking together with one powerful, united voice.

Later this month, on January 28, we have our first Teamsters Lobby Day of the 2014 legislative session. We have confirmations from over 90 members, who will be meeting with their representatives throughout the day. As union members, we will be asking legislators to support a range of issues, impacting Teamsters at the DOC, members in other public sector jurisdictions, and the private sector.

The common thread of our legislative agenda is our steadfast commitment to protect and expand the rights of all working people. That is the work of our Union, and that is why we fight. We encourage you to join us in that fight.