The following is from Teamsters 117:
TUKWILA, Wash. (Dec. 9, 2013) — Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, have overwhelmingly ratified a new labor agreement that provides wage increases, health care protections, and retirement security for 220 workers and their families. The contract vote took place on Sunday, Dec. 8.
“Teamsters at Darigold showed tremendous solidarity and resiliency throughout the bargaining process,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “The strength of our members and our strong community partnerships made this deal possible.”
A number of proposed changes to working conditions became central issues during bargaining but were ultimately resolved when the Union and Darigold last met on Dec. 5. Bargaining between the union and Darigold began in April, and Teamsters at Darigold had been working without a contract since June.
In November, Teamsters formed a new coalition with the United Farm Workers, UFCW, and a number of community organizations — the Farm to Family Coalition — committed to fighting for food safety, fair labor standards, and sustainability across the food supply chain.
The Farm to Family Coalition participated in several consumer actions to raise community awareness about their concerns at Darigold. Workers engaged in handbilling actions at retail locations in California, Oregon, and Washington state. The Farm to Family Coalition will continue its work to promote health, safety, and workers’ rights across the food supply chain so that consumers are protected and our communities can prosper.
“I want to thank our many labor and community partners for their incredible support during contract negotiations with Darigold. In the end, it was the strength and solidarity of the Darigold workers that really mattered. These workers were willing to risk their livelihoods to achieve a fair contract, and they have succeeded in accomplishing that goal,” Thompson said.
Teamsters Local 117 represents 16,000 men and women at 200 employers across Washington state. Members of Local 117 cover almost every profession imaginable. Local 117 members are warehouse workers, truck drivers, law enforcement officers, waste water treatment professionals, office clerical workers, public sector professionals, and many more.