Whether you are a new Teamster or a returning one, new to your Teamster-represented company or part of a newly organized group, we welcome you to our family and we hope that you enjoy being part of the strongest and most militant Teamster Local in the country. Our goal is to keep you informed, involved, and proud to be a member of this great Local Union.
One of the easiest ways to stay informed about what’s going on around here is to visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174 and click “Like”. You can also make regular stops by our website here at www.teamsters174.net.
Initiation Fee: $250
You can reduce your Initiation Fee to $150 by attending an Initiates Meeting within one year of your membership start date. Initiates Meetings take place two hours prior to General Membership Meetings and contain valuable information about your rights and responsibilities as a new Union member.
Are you part of a newly organized group? If so, congratulations, your Executive Board has the ability to waive up to the entire Initiation Fee under certain circumstances and commitments.
The $250 fee can be paid in full, or in six monthly installments of $41.67. The reduced $150 fee may be paid in full, or in three monthly installments of $50.
Dues: 2.5 x’s Hourly Rate + $6.00 Assessments*
*Several years ago, the members of this Local Union voted to assess themselves this $6.00 each month, which includes $3.00 to strengthen the Strike Fund and $3.00 to strengthen the Organizing fund.
If your rate of pay is less than $11.00/hour, then your dues will be 2 x’s your hourly rate + $6.00 in assessments
Dues are payable beginning the month following your hire date.
They can be paid monthly or quarterly. If paid monthly, payment must be made by the last business day of the month. Quarterly payments must be paid by the last business day of the first month in each quarter. A $10.00 per month late fine will be assessed for all late payments. If your membership is suspended (three months of dues arrearages), you will be charged a $250 re-initiation fee. If your Employer does not offer payroll deduction for Union dues, please make sure to make your monthly payments on time.
Please notify the Local of any changes in your employment, address, beneficiary, etc.
Request a withdrawal card should you ever leave Teamster employment! This is important. Otherwise, your dues will continue to accrue, and you will be suspended for non-payment and you may be penalized and required to pay a re-initiation fee.
2017 Meeting Calendar
Upcoming meetings will be displayed in the “Upcoming Events” sidebar on this page.
The calendar is also available here, and can be downloaded here.
Forms and Documents
The following forms and documents will have been mailed to you in your New Hire Packet. If you would prefer to print them out yourself, download the forms below.
Local 174 Membership Application and Dues Checkoff form: For ALL Local 174 members. Return form to Local 174 Dues Office.
Life with Dues Beneficiary Card: For ALL Local 174 members. Every member in good standing with dues paid in full is eligible for a $5,000 death benefit. Summary Plan Descriptions are available from the Local 174 office. Return this form to Local 174 Office.
Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust Participant Data Form: For members of the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust. Return this form to Northwest Administrators.
Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Beneficiary Card: For members of the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension. Return this form to Northwest Administrators.
Health & Welfare Beneficiary Card: For members of the Western Conference of Teamsters Health & Welfare Plans. Return this form to Northwest Administrators.
UEBT Medical Enrollment Form: For members of the United Employees Benefit Trust (UEBT). Return this form to UEBT.
If you are a member of a different Pension or Health & Welfare Plan, please wait for your packet to arrive in the mail.
If you are a member of a Company-sponsored Health & Welfare Plan, you will need to get your enrollment forms from your employer.
Contact Info/Addresses to Return Documents:
Teamsters Local 174
14675 Interurban Ave S.
Tukwila, WA 98168
Fax: (206) 441-4853
2323 Eastlake Ave E.
Seattle, WA 98102-3393
Who is my Business Agent?
A Business Agent is the Local Union official who is responsible for solving any problems that your shop steward cannot. Each Teamster Business Agent is responsible for a specific jurisdiction. To find out which Business Agent represents you, you can either look for your employer on the “Our Divisions” page (there is an index at the bottom), or you can look at our “Business Agents” page and read through each Agent’s jurisdiction until you find your employer. Once you find your Business Agent, you can either have their picture printed out onto a pillow case or the back of a dartboard, depending on your experiences.
Who is my Shop Steward?
Are you asking me? Because I have no earthly idea! But there are several easy ways for you to find out. First, you could check the Union bulletin board in your place of work, which should have a list of the shop stewards in your location. Another option would be to ask your coworkers. A third option would be to ask your Teamster Business Agent.
It is very important that you learn who at least one shop steward is at your location, because shop stewards will be your first stop if you have any problems at work. If management calls you into a meeting that could result in discipline, you are strongly encouraged to take a shop steward into that meeting with you. And if you think that you have a grievance against your employer, then you will need to talk to your steward first to see if the issue can be resolved before escalating to involving your Business Agent.
If you would like to learn more about what your shop steward’s responsibilities are, click here.
Resources and Learn More
If this is your first time being a Union member, you may want to do some reading to learn exactly who this mysterious entity is that takes money out of your paycheck every month. Even if you’re already familiar with that, you might want to learn just what makes Local 174 special!
Here are some links to resources that you may find helpful.
Organizing FAQ: This contains a great deal of basic information about Union membership, and is a good introductory piece for first-time Union members. If you have found yourself thinking anything like “who is my Business Agent? More like WHAT is a Business Agent,” then this might be a good place for you to start.
Local 174 Divisions: The IBT divides its membership into 22 Divisions. Here at Local 174, we have members in 15 of those Divisions. Each Division has its own page here on our site where you can see pictures, news, useful links, and see who the Business Agents are. Learn about the incredible diversity of our membership, learn more about your own industry, and maybe also find out if your UPS guy or trash collector is a Local 174 Teamster just like you! If they are, make sure you give them a fist-bump. They’re family now.
Steward’s Corner: This page is a crash course on how to be a Union shop steward. It can be incredibly helpful for newer Union members to find out just what a shop steward is and what kinds of things they do in the workplace.
Structure of the Teamsters Union: Local Unions, Joint Councils, Divisions and Conferences, “The International” — those words mostly sound familiar … but what do they mean in this context?
- The Teamsters Union is organized both by geography and by industry. It all starts locally with our Local Unions, of which there are hundreds across North America. These Local Unions negotiate most Teamster contracts and provide most of the services to our members. You are a member of Teamsters Local 174. Welcome! We are the best Local in the country, probably the universe (apologies to Labor Unions on planet Epsilon Eridani b — you need to step up your game).
- The next level above the Local is the Joint Council, of which there are 23 throughout North America. You are a part of Joint Council 28, which serves Teamster members in Washington, Alaska, and the Idaho panhandle. As it happens, the President of Joint Council 28 is Local 174’s Secretary-Treasurer, Rick Hicks.
- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, or IBT, is the Union’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The International is responsible for helping to herd the cats that are the Teamsters Local Unions, as well as handling any nationwide negotiations and organizing campaigns, and offering support to Teamster Locals as needed. Learn more about the IBT by visiting their website.
- The Union is also organized by industry into Divisions and Conferences. You can find out which Division or Conference you belong to by visiting our Divisions page and looking for your employer in the index at the bottom.
- Fun fact: The title of the Principal Officer of each Local Union can be either President or Secretary-Treasurer, as spelled out in the Local Union’s bylaws. Here at Local 174, the Secretary-Treasurer is the Principal Officer. This means that even though the President sounds like the Principal Officer, the real Principal Officer is Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks.
Why Join a Union?
It’s okay to wonder exactly what benefit you get from paying your Union dues every month. You wouldn’t be the first person to ask that question, and you definitely will not be the last.
If your workplace has been organized for a long time, it can be easy to lose sight of just how much being a Union member benefits you. Being part of a Union changes the basic power relationship at work. Without a Union, your employer has almost all the power. They can change your pay and working conditions at any time as long as they do not violate certain laws, like the minimum wage. Any benefits you receive are at the discretion of your employer. Your employer could decide one day that providing health insurance is too expensive and they’d rather pass all those costs along to you, starting tomorrow. Without a Union, your only options in that scenario are to quit, to lose your health insurance, or to pay up. Not to mention, when you are not a Union member, your employer can fire you at any time for almost any reason. They could fire you today because they thought you gave them a funny look, and there would be nothing you could do about it.
Belonging to a Union gives you rights under the law that you do not have as an individual. Once you have formed a Union, your employer must bargain with your Union over your wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions. Any benefits or working conditions covered by your contract are protected by law.
When you negotiate your contract, you and your coworkers decide what kinds of things could be improved at your work site, and then make proposals to your employer. A Union gives you strength in numbers to improve your pay, benefits, and working conditions.
Union workers, on average, earn higher wages and get more benefits than workers who don’t have a voice on the job with a Union. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Union members’ average weekly pay is 27% higher than non-union workers. In almost every case, these improvements in pay and benefits more than offset the cost of Union dues.
Being a Teamster is an incredible blessing. Stick around for a while and you will see for yourself!