Between November 2016 and January 2017, over 2,500 members of Teamsters Local 117 participated in our union’s strategic planning survey. The survey is one of many ways members have been participating in our strategic planning process. The results are helping shape our union’s strategic priorities for the next three years.

The results of our membership survey are listed below:

Graph_1.pngMembers want our union’s mission and purpose to be built on a foundation of bargaining strong contracts and organizing to build power in the workplace.  In order to achieve these goals, survey respondents identified the importance of growing our union, engaging in political action, conducting leadership training for members, and improving the community with charitable programs.

  • Holding politicians accountable emerged as an important priority, with nearly half of DOC members identifying political action in their top three priorities.
  • Over one-third of private sector members highlighted the necessity of organizing non-union workers to raise industry standards.
  • One out of every four members place high value on our union providing leadership training for members, and one-in-five want our union to prioritize improving our communities with social, educational, and charitable programs

Graph_2.pngMembers want our union to not only improve their own lives, but also lift up the community. 

  • While contract bargaining and enforcement is foundational to members’ experience with the union, a majority of members envision a broader role for their union in raising a collective voice and improving the community.
  • Twenty-six percent (26%) of members want our union to “help members create a better future – not only for ourselves at work, but also for our families and our communities.”
  • Twenty-two percent (22%) of members want a union that builds member power to have a voice at work, while one in eight (13%) want our union to “fight for justice for all working people, whether they have a union card in their pocket or not.”

Members believe we must build unity by sticking together and focusing on the needs of the membership (47%) and making sure all members’ voices are heard (42%).


Members are working together to improve union communication and build a union presence at work, both when a Union Representative is on the shop floor and in between visits.

  • Sixty-seven percent (67%) of members talk with their Shop Steward and other coworkers as a first step to figure out how to address issues in the workplace.
  • While a majority of members prefer to receive union communication one-on-one from a Shop Steward or trusted coworker, it is also important to be responsive to the variety of ways that members prefer to receive information about the union.  Other popular forms of union communication include visits from Union Representatives (47%), email updates (31%), bulletin board postings (26%), and union meetings (25%).



Nearly three-quarters (73%) of members stress the importance of being involved in our union, in order to improve working conditions and provide a better future for our families and communities.

  • However, fourteen percent (14%) of members identify barriers to participating as much as they would like, including family obligations & childcare, long commutes for union meetings, difficult work schedules, and even lack of confidence.  It is important to work to address barriers to involvement to build a stronger union.