Stories

  • Calportland Strike Ends and Larger Strike Avoided as Teamsters Local 174 Members Ratify Contract With Sand and Gravel Companies

    Record-setting Deal Approved by Members, Ending Unfair Labor Practice Strike at CalPortland

    August 18, 2017

    Local 174 sand and gravel Teamsters celebrate their contract ratification

    A full week after 86 Teamsters at CalPortland walked off the job and 208 other Teamsters in the sand and gravel industry prepared to do the same, everyone is now back to work after a deal was finally reached in the pre-dawn hours between Teamsters Local 174 and the five companies involved in bargaining. The contract was voted on by Local 174 members at CalPortland, Cadman, Stoneway Concrete, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, and Lehigh Cement at a 9:00AM meeting this morning. It was ratified by a 92% margin.

    The four-year contract includes record-setting wage increases, increases in pension contributions, and full maintenance of benefits for healthcare over the entire length of the contract. Most importantly of all, it includes language that protects Teamster work in King County from being undercut by drivers brought in from outlying areas at lower wage rates.

  • Teamsters Local 174 Unfair Labor Practice Strike Poised to Expand

    Another Day of Mediation Leads Nowhere As Sand and Gravel Companies Continue to Refuse to Bargain in Good Faith

    August 16, 2017

    Today, on the sixth day of the Unfair Labor Practice strike against sand and gravel company CalPortland, the rest of the nearly 300 Teamsters in the sand and gravel industry prepare to join their 86 CalPortland Brothers on the picket lines.

    CalPortland strikers stand up to be recognized in the packed auditorium

    The potential for expanding the strike was discussed at a 9:00AM meeting at the Teamsters Local 174 Union Hall this morning, and the reaction from the crowd was thunderous: the drivers are absolutely ready to join CalPortland on strike to protest the various Unfair Labor Practices their employers have committed at the bargaining table.

    These Unfair Labor Practices, which include refusal to bargain in good faith, refusal to provide information necessary for bargaining, and rejecting proposals without explanation or counter-offer, have made it impossible for the Union to reach any sort of deal with the Employers.

  • CalPortland ULP Strike: Day 2 Photos

    August 12, 2017 Day 2 on the CalPortland Unfair Labor Practice strike line: The theme of the day was support! Support from Teamsters at different companies coming by to spend time with the picketers, support from families, children, spouses, and retirees, and support from other organizations that had no obligation whatsoever to be out there […]

  • CalPortland Strike: Day 1 Photos

    August 11, 2017 Today was Day 1 of Teamsters Local 174’s Unfair Labor Practice strike against Sand & Gravel Company CalPortland. Here are some of the photos from the day: The day featured some stunning displays of both malice and incompetence by CalPortland managers …   But the day also included stunning solidarity and courage from […]

  • Meet Local 174’s Newest Business Agent: Ron Dong, UPS

    August 7, 2017 The Local 174 family has grown once again, this time with the addition of a brand new Business Agent in our UPS jurisdiction: Ron Dong. Ron Dong has been at UPS since 1989, where he worked for three years as a part-timer and then 25 years as a full-time package car driver […]

  • Sand & Gravel Update: Another Lowball Offer Rejected as the Probability of Strike Increases

    August 3, 2017 For the second time in a week, concrete trucks across the Seattle area sat empty as their drivers attended another meeting at the Local 174 Union Hall to discuss their Employers’ latest contract offer. And also for the second time in a week, the Companies’ lowball offer was rejected with a boisterous […]

  • Sand and Gravel Update: Still No Deal as Both Sides Prepare for Possible Strike

    August 2, 2017

    The group of Sand & Gravel Teamsters gathers for a meeting at the Local 174 Union Hall

    Yesterday morning, the auditorium at the Local 174 Union Hall was once again packed with an army of orange shirts, as employees from five Sand & Gravel companies – Cadman, Stoneway, CalPortland, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, and Lehigh Cement – all attended a 9:00AM meeting to discuss the status of their contract negotiations. The contract had expired at midnight the night before.

    The status of their negotiations? “No deal,” Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks told the assembled crowd. “We were at it until almost one o’clock in the morning last night. They gave us a last-best-and-final offer, that wasn’t even close to what you sent us to get. Not just in the money, but in the language that would protect your jobs.”

    Teamsters in orange Rock Solid shirts listen to Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks update them on negotiations

  • 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.

  • AmeriGas Continues to Deny a First Contract to its Teamster Members

    Now we need your help to convince the Company to do the right thing

    July 7, 2017

    Teamsters at AmeriGas have been in negotiations for a first contract since December 2016, after voting in September of 2016 to join Teamsters Local 174. These workers deliver bulk fuel and fuel products, and also work as service technicians and utility yardmen – dangerous jobs requiring an enormous amount of training and skill to perform safely.

    They deliver these extremely flammable products to both residential and commercial locations in all weather conditions, and must maintain a Commercial Driver’s License with HAZMAT endorsement – no small feat given the rigorous requirements for maintaining this endorsement.

    AmeriGas propane tank exchange at a grocery store

    Despite this, AmeriGas management does not seem interested in recognizing the skill, training, and experience that sets their employees apart. They continue to resist making any upgrades to their employees’ pay, pension, or health insurance to reach industry standards, and so the struggle for a first contract drags on.

    This struggle heated up on March 1, 2017, when the workers voted unanimously to authorize a strike action against their employer. Frustrated by AmeriGas’s refusal to make any compromises at the bargaining table – an obvious ploy to drag out the process until the employees lost faith in their Union – the workers stood together and told AmeriGas that enough was enough.

  • No Independence Day for Charlie Brown and Selland Auto Transport

    Decert vote remains blocked as Selland continues to violate the law

    June 30, 2017

    As Independence Day rapidly approaches and Americans prepare to celebrate their freedom, employees at Selland Auto Transport remain locked in battle with an employer that acts like it is above the laws of this great nation. Even though freedom to assemble is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, Selland Auto Transport and its President, Charlie Brown, seem to believe that their own personal beliefs and hatred of Unions trump what rights the Founding Fathers saw fit to give to all Americans.

    After more than two years of negotiations – negotiations in which the Teamsters have proposed significant upgrades to wages, benefits and working conditions, while the Company has refused to bargain in good faith and has received numerous rulings against it from the National Labor Relations Board – Selland employees who voted in December of 2014 to join the Teamsters are still demanding a first contract.