News

  • Sand & Gravel Teamsters Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of Strike Action

    July 22, 2017

    It has been a busy week for votes here at the Teamsters Local 174 Union Hall, and last night the streak continued as Teamsters employed in the Sand & Gravel industry voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike action.

    This nearly-unanimous vote comes after a long week of contract negotiations that have led nowhere. The group had the Friday night meeting marked on their calendars for nearly a week – but everyone was originally hoping that the vote would be on a complete contract proposal from their Employers. Since no agreement was reached, the gathered employees instead voted to authorize a strike.

    Sand & Gravel Teamster casts a ballot

    “We really wanted to put a recommended proposal in front of our members at this meeting, but the Employers didn’t seem interested in cooperating with us on that goal,” said Local 174 Director of Negotiations Patty Warren. “Every proposal was met with ‘reject, reject, reject.’ They acted like the sky was falling with every proposal we made, which is outrageous behavior for an industry in the middle of a record-setting boom. I’ve never seen such blatant disrespect from an Employer in all my years of negotiating contracts.”

  • 100% Unanimous Strike Authorization at O.M.A Construction

    July 19, 2017

    This past Sunday, Teamsters Local 174 members employed at O.M.A Construction voted unanimously in favor of a strike action – for the second time in their brief history as Teamsters. The first strike vote came in October of 2016, and led to a one-day strike on October 20, 2016.

    O.M.A Construction group on strike October 20, 2016

    On August 24, 2016, The National Labor Relations Board certified Local 174 as the representative of the group of drivers and mechanics after a long and drawn-out election certification process. The battle that began before they even became Teamsters has only gotten worse since then, as the group fights an Employer who has refused to give them a fair and equitable contract.

    The fight reached its first peak in October of 2016 when the group held an Unfair Labor Practice strike at O.M.A. They braved near-monsoon conditions while holding picket lines in Seattle and Sumner. O.M.A vehicles in the Company’s lot sat empty for the day, costing their Employer more money with each minute they were not out earning revenue.

    The strike, while brief, was enough to get O.M.A Construction owner Barry O’Young’s attention and bring him back to the bargaining table – but not for long. While he came back to the table to resolve the unfair labor practices, he was not willing to continue contract negotiations.

    O’Young apparently has a short memory, as he quickly forgot about the money he lost while his employees were on strike. Progress in negotiations has been at a standstill, with the Company still refusing to pay the construction standard on private jobs in wages or pension, and in many other areas of the contract such as daily overtime.

  • Fighting the Beverage Tax: Seattle City Council Votes 7-1 in Favor of Amended Beverage Tax

    June 6, 2017 Yesterday, in a move that was as disappointing as it was unsurprising, the Seattle City Council voted 7-1 in favor of a tax on sweetened beverages. The amendments that had been made to the tax prior to the last Council meeting – to exclude diet soda, and to include $1.5 million for […]

  • Mondelez Teamsters Vote Unanimously to Authorize Strike Action

    June 5, 2017

    On June 3, 2017, Mondelez Teamsters from Local 174 and Local 117 all stood together in solidarity and voted unanimously to authorize a strike action if necessary. The group of workers includes Local 117 members working in a warehouse, and Local 174 members who deliver Mondelez products to stores. These workers have been in contract negotiations for several months with a Company that seems intent on giving them as little as possible — despite making billions of dollars in annual profit and having a stock price that has gone up more than 37% over the past three years.

    “They came to us at the bargaining table crying poor. But there’s just one problem: their financial information is public and they are anything but poor,” said Mondelez employee and Bargaining Committee member Mick Fleming. “Their CEO made well over $15 million last year. Now they want to take that money out of MY pocket? No way.”

    In 2016, Mondelez reported $25.9 billion in revenues and $2.57 billion in operating profit. Meanwhile, the Company is not even willing to provide its employees with sick leave.

  • Washington State Patrol Communications Managers Vote to Join Teamsters Local 174

    April 28, 2017 Teamsters Local 174 is proud to welcome the Washington State Patrol Communications Managers to our membership. Prior to joining the Teamsters, the nine workers in the group – who oversee all the 911 operations for the entire Washington State Patrol – were members of their own Guild called the Washington State Patrol […]

  • Rick Hicks

    Fighting the Beverage Tax: You can’t fight obesity by killing jobs

    Rick HicksAn Op-ed by Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks

    The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is a disaster in waiting for local workers, businesses and families. On its surface, the tax may sound like a good idea: fighting the obesity epidemic while funding education at the same time – who wouldn’t like that? But the reality is that it is working families who will end up shouldering the heavy burden of this proposed tax.

    Similar taxes have already been implemented in other major cities in the United States, and the effects have been devastating to workers. Teamster families at Local 830 in Philadelphia have already begun to feel the negative impacts that this tax creates, as Philadelphia started collecting a 1.5 cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages on January 1, 2017.

    Since then, Local 830’s Principal Officer Danny Grace reports that: Beverage companies as a whole have seen their sales decrease between 40%-54%; Pepsi Philadelphia has announced a first round of layoffs of between 80-100 employees, and Teamster commissioned salespersons for Pepsi have seen their weekly take home pay decrease between 50% to 70% due to lost sales in the market; Coca-Cola has initiated layoffs of approximately 30% of its work force in Philadelphia; Canada Dry/7-UP and Dr. Pepper has initiated layoffs of 35 Employees.

    All of these job losses have come from a tax of 1.5 cents-per-ounce – but Seattle Mayor Murray has proposed a tax of 2 cents-per-ounce. That is 33.3% higher.

  • Fighting the Beverage Tax: Press Conference on April 4, 2017

    April 4, 2017

    Our fight against the proposed Sugar Tax continued yesterday, as the Teamsters participated in a press conference to announce a coalition of small business, labor, and immigrant groups who all oppose this two-cent-per-ounce proposed tax on pre-sweetened beverages within the City of Seattle.

    Teamsters Local 174 Business Agent Pete Lamb gave a speech highlighting the job-killing effects of this kind of tax, which have already been seen by Teamsters in Philadelphia.

    View the Seattle Times article covering yesterday’s event below.

    You can read more about Teamsters Local 174’s position on this issue by clicking here.

    View our photos from yesterday’s event:

  • Fighting the Beverage Tax: How has a Sugar Tax affected Philadelphia, and how could it affect Seattle?

    March 29, 2017

    On February 21, 2017, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed a tax on sugary beverages for the City of Seattle. This tax, which would affect sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, pre-sweetened teas, coffees, and some fruit drinks, has already been implemented in several other major cities in the United States.

    One of the most recent cities to adopt this type of tax is Philadelphia, where a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages went into effect on January 1, 2017.

    The effects of this tax have been disastrous for the Beverage industry in Philadelphia. According to the Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 830, Danny Grace, the effects have been:

    • Beverage companies as a whole have seen their sales decrease between 40%-54%
    • Pepsi Philadelphia has announced a first round of layoffs of between 80-100 employees. Teamster commissioned salespersons for Pepsi have seen their weekly take home pay decrease between 50% to 70% due to lost sales in the market
    • Coca-Cola has initiated layoffs of approximately 30% of its work force in Philadelphia
    • Canada Dry/7-UP and Dr. Pepper has initiated layoffs of 35 Employees

    The tax proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray would be $.02 per ounce, which is approximately 33.5% higher than the tax that went into effect in Philadelphia.

    “The impacts of such a tax in Seattle will be devastating to the hundreds of Teamster members that are employed in the Beverage industry,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “And the impact wouldn’t stop there. This tax will have negative impacts on both Union and non-represented employees throughout the Beverage, Grocery, and Food Service industries as well. We cannot and do not support a tax that will put hardworking middle-class Americans out of a job, no matter how well-intentioned the tax may be.”

  • Paul Nerdrum of Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Writes Letter RE Burke-Gilman Trail “Missing Link”

    The saga of the “Missing Link” continues today as Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel Vice President Paul Nerdrum has sent a letter to Mayor Ed Murray, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation Scott Kubly, and Director of the Office of Economic Development Brian Surratt. For background of the story, click here. Nerdrum’s letter expresses […]

  • The “Missing Link” Bicycle Track in Ballard: Coalition Including Teamsters 174 Favors Alternate Solution

    On March 9, 2017, a press release went out from the Veris Law Group PLLC regarding the completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail, a multi-use recreational trail that runs from Ballard to Bothell along the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Lake Washington, and then turns into the Sammamish River Trail and runs through Marymoor Park and on to Issaquah. In Ballard, there is a 1.5 mile stretch where the protected trail ceases to exist, called the “Missing Link.” Efforts to complete the “Missing Link” have been ongoing for over 20 years.

    The Burke-Gilman Trail, with the “Missing Link” shown in light green

    The main reason for the delay is disagreement on exactly how to go about completing the trail. One group believes the trail should be built on Shilshole Avenue, a busy industrial corridor where the trail would have to cross 55 industrial driveways and compete for space with large trucks and heavy industrial traffic. Another group believes it should follow a path two blocks farther north along Leary Way and Market Street, which would be slightly longer and steeper for cyclists but would not disrupt Ballard’s busy maritime industry.

  • AmeriGas Teamsters Vote Unanimously to Authorize Strike Action

    March 3, 2017

    On March 1, 2017, AmeriGas Teamsters voted unanimously to authorize our Union to take a strike action if necessary. The workers, who deliver fuel and fuel products, have been in the process of negotiating a first contract since December 2016 after voting in September 2016 to join Teamsters Local 174. However, the Company’s offer falls short of our members’ expectations. The responsibilities that it takes to maintain a CDL with hazmat endorsement, and the skills needed to deliver these dangerous and flammable products to both commercial and residential locations, in all weather conditions, demand a certain level of compensation.

    “All we want is fair treatment. We want our employer to follow the law and negotiate with us to get a contract that is acceptable to all of us,” said one AmeriGas employee.

    In 2016, AmeriGas reported $2.3 billion in revenues and $422 million in operating profit across the United States.