Latest News


Senate fast track push doesn't stop criticism of trade

The Teamsters have made it clear they are against fast track.

TEAMSTER NATION | The Senate will begin debate later today on a fast track trade bill that will serve as a vehicle to ram the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress. And despite the smiles and reassurances coming from supporters, new problems with the trade deal keep on popping up.

Take, for instance, the $700 million in Medicare cuts that were added to a package of trade bills bundled together to make fast track and the TPP seem more palatable. Those dollars cover trade adjustment assistance costs. GOP lawmakers insisted on the slashing of senior health care program to support workers who lose their jobs due to trade deals like the TPP, and some Democrats went along with it.

As the National Journal explained:

The Trade Adjustment Assistance reauthorization bill hasn't received as much attention as the fast-track trade authority bill, but Democrats see it as a priority: The program helps workers who have been put out of a job because of foreign trade with job-training and placement as well as health-insurance costs. The House and Senate are expected to move the bill in tandem with the fast-track trade measure, said an aide to Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who hashed out the trade deal with Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Paul Ryan, both Republicans.

But ... senior and provider groups started criticizing the proposal. They're unhappy because about $700 million of the $2.9 billion cost would be offset by increasing the cuts to Medicare authorized by the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration in fiscal year 2024 by 0.25 percent, according to a Congressional Budget Office score of the House bill.

"Apparently using Medicare as a piggy bank to pay for everything under the sun has become the new legislative norm for Congress," Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said in a statement to National Journal. "Rather than balancing priorities or considering a penny of new revenue, congressional leaders are proposing to once again funnel Medicare resources into unrelated programs and fixes—this time it's the trade adjustment assistance program."

Why should retirees, who worked hard all their lives to earn Medicare, be forced to pick up the tab in exchange for a trade deal that will boost profits for big business? How is that at all justifiable?

Meanwhile, bipartisan opposition to both fast track and the TPP continues to grow. In the Oklahoma House, two Republicans have introduced a resolution calling on that state's congressional delegation to oppose TPP.  The lawmakers say they are troubled that the Pacific Rim trade pact has been negotiated in secret and would allow foreign companies to seek to overturn U.S. law in international tribunals.

And Democrats and union workers in California held a demonstration during the second day of the state Democratic Convention in Anaheim to criticize the TPP and how it would place U.S. workers behind corporations.

Opposition to fast track and the TPP isn't going anywhere. If fast track does make it through the Senate, a bipartisan collection of lawmakers in the House is waiting to challenge it and raise all of its warts for public consumption. This is not a time for the Teamsters and all fair trade supporters to be timid -- it is a time to be strong. The voice of workers is being heard!

Back to top of page



Dependent Eligibility Verification Program ‐ deadline extended

Please be advised that the documentation due date for the Dependent Eligibility Verification Program, being conducted by HMS Employer Solutions, an independent firm, has been extended to June 4, 2015.

Download the flyerAs part of our commitment to control healthcare costs for our participating employers, local unions, participants and their dependents, the Trust works hard to preserve the benefits we offer under our healthcare plan(s). The Dependent Eligibility Verification Program will help us continue doing that by ensuring that all dependents enrolled in our medical and dental plan(s) meet eligibility guidelines so that only eligible dependents are covered. Covering dependents that are not eligible raises cost for benefits, which is reflected in the premiums paid by employers and participants. We are confident this process will ensure that we are covering eligible dependents in a fair and equitable manner.

On May 20, 2015, HMS will send a reminder and notice of the extension to participants who have not submitted a complete response by the original due date of May 15.

At this time, 55% of participants have provided complete responses. Please help pass the word to your members/employees to get their completed responses in to HMS by June 4, 2015 to avoid potential eligibility issues.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the Dependent Eligibility Verification Program by calling the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust at (800) 458‐3053.

Back to top of page



2015 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest Applications Due June 15, 2015

 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship

Separate from the annual scholarship for high school seniors, the 2015 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund Essay Contest will award one-time $1,000.00 scholarships annually to 200 students. All applicants must comply with the following eligibility criteria.

This year's essay topic is: "What impact would an increase in union membership have on the U.S. economy and the middle class?"

The application deadline for the  2015 Essay Contest is June 15, 2015.

Download the application and instructions here.

Back to top of page



Teamsters/AGC Construction Truck Driver Training Begins June 2015

Download this noticeThe Teamsters/AGC is currently accepting applications for Teamster Construction Truck Drivers in Washington State.

Applicants must be over 21, able to read and speak the English language, and be capable of obtaining a commercial drivers license.

The program consists of 2 weeks of classroom and 4 weeks of driver training that includes Commercial Drivers License preparation and testing. Graduates will participate in 3,000 hours of on the job training. Apprentices start at 70% of Journey scale progressing to 80% after only 1,000 hours with 100% of Journey benefits. Females and Minorities are encouraged to apply.

Download an application at http://teamsterstraining.org/.

Back to top of page



Local 690's Secretary-Treasurer Val Holstrom Appointed to Represent Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho as an Advisor to the Executive Board of Joint Council 28.

Val Holstrom

Secretary-Treasurer Val Holstrom was appointed by the Executive Board of Joint Council 28 to serve on the Advisory Board of Joint Council 28 on March 13, 2015. Secretary-Treasurer Val Holstrom accepted the position (along with the other Advisory Board Members) on March 13, 2015.

Secretary-Treasurer Val Holstrom thanked the Executive Board of Joint Council 28 for the appointment and said it will be an honor and a privilege to serve and represent the interests of the members of the Joint Council in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Local 690.

Back to top of page



Talking Sysco with IBT President Hoffa

IBT President Jim Hoffa with Local 690 Business Agent Larry kroetch

Teamsters Local 690's Business Agent Larry Kroetch met with James P. Hoffa (General President of International Brotherhood of Teamsters) and others to discuss the proposed Sysco/US Food merger.


2014 Christmas Party Photos

Check out the 2014 Christmas Party photos!

The photos from the 2014 Christmas Party are up! There are a LOT, so we broke it down into seven different photo galleries.

Back to top of page



February 2015 Local Union No. 690 Newsletter

Download the latest newsletter

Stories in this issue:

Back to top of page



2014 Christmas Party Photos

Check out the 2014 Christmas Party photos!

The photos from the 2014 Christmas Party are up! There are a LOT, so we broke it down into seven different photo galleries.

Back to top of page



At the Sysco Annual Shareholders Meeting


sysco-shareholders-meeting-1

Local 690's Secretary-Treasurer Val Holstrom sent Business Agent Larry Kroetch to Houston to join with Teamster Members and Representatives from across the country in support of the IBT's National campaign raising awareness by attending the Sysco Annual Shareholders Meeting and voiced our concerns about the proposed merger. Teamsters attending the meeting held the floor for approximately 75% of the time, asking pointed questions to the Board and demanding our concerns about protecting our member be heard and addressed.

During the meeting Teamsters held a 2 hour rally outside the meeting for public support and awareness. In one of the photos you can see one of the challenges we faced, as the Houston Police Department was in force at the rally.

Back to top of page



Roy Wheeler Receives 15-Year Pin

Roy Wheeler receiving 15-year pin from Val Holstrom

Congratulations to Construction member Roy Wheeler, who is shown above receiving his 15-year Teamster Pin from Local 690 Secretary-Treasurer Val Holstrom.

Back to top of page



FTC Considers Challenge to Food Merger

Source: Teamster.org (Originally published in the Wall Street Journal,September 22, 2014)

The Federal Trade Commission is considering a possible antitrust lawsuit to block the planned merger of Sysco Corp. and US Foods Inc., concerned that combining the nation's two biggest food suppliers to restaurants, WSJ Photo via teamster.orgschools and other institutions could threaten competition, according to people familiar with the matter.

The FTC, which has been investigating the merger for several months, is weighing other alternatives, such as requiring Sysco and US Foods to divest assets to competitors, these people said.

-- Read more here .

Back to top of page



CDL Skills Test Revisions Effective 9/1/14

This is to inform you of changes to the Commercial Driver License (CDL) Skills Test. Effective September 1, 2014 changes to Washington's CDL Pre-Trip Inspection, Basic Controls and Road Tests were implemented.

To see a summary of the primary changes to each of the Skills Test Sections and download the appropriate pdf documents, please click here.

Back to top of page



UPS National Master Agreement Available

The National Master UPS Agreement is now available on the Teamster website in the format in which it will be printed. Supplements, Riders and Addenda will be added as they are completed. You can access the final agreements by using the links provided.

You may view all regional supplements and Riders by visiting the Teamster UPS Agreements page.

Back to top of page



UPS Freight Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New National Contract

January 15, 2014
Ken Hall's letterFrom Ken Hall, Co-Chair, UPS Freight National Negotiating Committee UPS Freight members ratified the contract with 71% voting yes; almost 70% of the membership turned out to vote on the Agreement.

Congratulations to all of the Local Unions for making the process so successful. Because of your hard work, UPS Freight members will be able to receive the substantial pension improvements, wage increases and protections of the new Agreement.

-- View vote results here.

Back to top of page



2013 Christmas Party Highlights

Photo

See more photos from the December 14th Christmas Party here.

Business Representative Larry Kroetch announced the 2013 2nd Annual Big Buck Contest winners:

  • 1st  place winner:  Michael Smith, URM
  • 2nd place winner: Brian Torosian – FSA
  • 3rd place winner:  Jordan Howeton – Franz Bakery

Ben Carroll won the Quilt Raffle.

Back to top of page



West Region UPS Supplemental Agreement Passes by 75% "Yes" Vote

UPS package carTed Bunstine, UPS Division Director of Joint Council of Teamsters No. 28 reports, "I am pleased to report to you that the West Region UPS Supplemental Agreement has passed by a 75% "Yes" Vote. Every Local Union in Joint Council No. 28 passed the Agreement with all Locals increasing the number of ballots returned from the June 2013 vote.

"Joint Council President Rick Hicks and I would like to thank you all for your hard work and dedication to this process."

(You can see the official vote tally for local Riders and Supplements HERE.

Back to top of page



Public Defenders Have Strong Ally in Local 690


TEAMSTER MAGAZINE, Summer 2013
Carol Huneke wins back job, thanks to Local 690Public employees in Eastern Washington have a strong ally in Local 690, representing more than 350 public employees in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The Teamster local recently came to the defense of one of its members who works for the county as a public defender and won her reinstatement complete with back pay, benefits and sick leave.

"I was fired by the county, but thanks to the great representation from Local 690, I was reinstated in my job as a Spokane County Public Defender," said Carol Huneke. "Seven years ago we needed representation and turned to Local 690. I was the first person to join and now, due to the diligence of the Teamsters, I was reinstated to my job and can continue doing the work I love."

Huneke works as a public defender representing people who are accused of a crime and cannot afford an attorney, She enjoys the work, puts in long hours defending her clients and considers it a privilege to serve the community.

"The county denied our wrongful termination grievance so the local immediately filed for arbitration with the county and the local's legal team went to work preparing this very complicated case for arbitration," said Val Holstrom, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 690. "The process took 14 months and Carol's arbitration lasted seven days but we were up to the challenge. We fought for Carol and won. The arbitrator ordered the county to reinstate her with no loss of seniority and make her whole for all lost wages and benefits."

Back to top of page



Follow us on Facebook

Next Meeting

Spokane: 6 PM
Sept. 17, 2015
690 Teamster Hall


Current Newsletter

Download the latest newsletter


Local 690 is now accepting VISA, Mastercard & Discover cards!


Construction Out-of-Work Slips and Payments

Construction Out-of-Work slips and payments are due by the last business day of the month.

All Hire Hall payments need to be in no later than 5:00pm, Tuesday June 30, 2015 in order for them to be posted.


2015 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund Essay Contest

 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship


Download this flyer


Info for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

Download this flyer

Learn how CSA affects drivers and what you can do to comply with CSA here.