Our very own Tracey Thompson was recognized with the Mother Jones award at the Washington State Labor Council convention this weekend.
The award honors an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, commitment and dedication to furthering the labor movement in Washington State in the spirit of Mary “Mother” Jones.
Your Union's General Council, Spencer Thal, wrote a powerful piece in nominating Tracey for the award:
If Reese Blizzard were alive today, he would declare Tracey Thompson “the most dangerous woman in America.” As leader of the second largest Teamsters local in the world, Tracey’s fierce, maternal leadership has inspired industrial workers to unite in their struggle against ruthless employers. With passion, she fearlessly led labor disputes against the world’s largest corporations: Coca-Cola and Waste Management, and in response these powerhouses of capital yielded to labor. She also led strikes at United Natural Foods and Davis Wire that epitomized labor’s fight in the State of Washington over the last decade.
During a time when the labor movement was in decline, she grew her union by successfully organizing workers at 12 different companies, and by building an association of independent taxi drivers from the ground up that has served as a model nationwide. Tracey has inexorably changed the image and reality of the “Brotherhood of Teamsters” to one that recognizes and respects the power of women. If her leadership does not honor and exemplify the Mother Jones legacy, no one’s does.
When a unionized corporation contracted out its drivers to a new independent operator, jeopardizing their employment and union representation, Tracey responded by uniting the group, and achieving a contract that exceeded industry standards. Her name will forever be remembered as a tenacious, unyielding labor leader reminiscent of Mother Jones.
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