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 […]
An 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.
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:
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.”
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 […]
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 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.
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.
Several changes and additions have occurred here on the staff at Teamsters Local 174.
Firstly, after more than 50 years as a Teamster and almost 20 years as a Business Agent, Senior Business Agent Larry Boyd retired on January 13, 2017. Larry’s decades of experience mean that he left behind a very large pair of shoes to fill. We all wish him well and hope that he enjoys the next chapter of his life.
However, here at the Local, the show must go on. Larry’s jurisdiction, which included Sand & Gravel as well as Heavy Construction and over 40 Project Labor Agreements, will be split between two Business Agents. Heavy Construction, including Hos Brothers, ICON, Lakeside Industries, Merlino Construction, Mid Mountain Contractors, OMA Inc., and Scarsella Brothers, will fall to Senior Business Agent Carl Gasca. With ten years’ experience as a Business Agent here at Local 174, Carl is more than equipped to handle the needs of our Teamster members within this industry.
January 9, 2017
In a major organizing victory for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Western Region Tank Haul Division, APP/World Fuel Service drivers voted to join Teamsters Local 174. Despite a strong anti-union campaign by APP, a majority of the 90 person unit voted on November 3, 2016 in favor of Union representation.
“We are excited to welcome our newest members to the Teamsters Local 174 family,” said Dave Jacobsen, Western Region Tank Haul Director and Local 174 Senior Business Agent. “We have waited far too long for this victory. This is a prime example of the success we can have when the Local Union, the Division, the Joint Council and the International all work together to organize the unorganized.”
There will be a Stewards and Activists Leadership Development Program Oct. 15th at the Tukwila Teamster Building (14675 Interurban Avenue South). All interested members are welcomed and encouraged to attend. The program will include the following: Wondering about how the Pension Works? Is your pension in trouble like those you see in the Teamsters Magazine? […]
Tankhaul Company Illegally Withheld Raises From Union Workers TEAMSTER.ORG – After fighting on behalf of workers for six years, Teamsters Local 986 has won a $4.2 million back-pay settlement for employees at KAG West in Southern California. “This is a huge victory for the workers at KAG West who voted to join Local 986 in […]
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