Thursday, October 23, 2014

Teamsters Local 117 is on an organizing tear

Hundreds of new Teamsters at Local 117 in Tukwila, Wash., are sitting down and bargaining with their employers for the first time.

Teamsters Local 117 has been on an organizing tear in the parking, warehouse and cold storage industries as well as the public sector.

According to Paul Zilly at the local,
Over the last year, workers at Animal Supply, Americold, Impark, Doug Fox, ATZ, and the City of Black Diamond have come together to fight for a voice in the workplace. 
 Now, after winning their Union elections, the workers are sitting down, face to face with their employers, along with Union staff, to engage in the collective bargaining process. 
Some groups, like the workers at Americold, have already met with their employer several times and have made slow, but steady progress at the table.  Other groups, like the Impark unit, are just pinning the employer down with bargaining dates.
Awgaw Fanta, a bargaining committee member and Impark employee, said,
We’ll be at the table soon, fighting for fair wages and good benefits.  We also need a break room. The Teamsters are good for us and have already helped us a lot.
Local 117 organizers are organizing three more companies right now in the Puget Sound region.

Here's a list of companies where new Teamsters can expect job security, a voice on the job and a way to settle disputes:
Puget Sound taxi cab operators - 600
Steeler (construction) - 40
IKEA (warehouse) - 65
GCA (airport shuttlers) - 175
AmeriCold (cold storage) - 30
Impark  (parking) - 86
App-Based Drivers Association (Uber drivers) - 160
Doug Fox (parking) - 25
Shuttle Park 2  (parking) - 21
Animal Supply (warehouse) - 85
City of Black Diamond (public sector) - 20 
They also have the 16,000 Teamsters of Local 117 standing beside them -- not to mention the 1.4 million hardworking men and women of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The organizing wins are good for all workers in the region. As the local points out:
Bringing new workers into the Union builds power by creating Union density in key industries, which helps improve wages and benefits for all members.