History of Teamsters Local 690

View historic photosOn October 23 1917 Teamsters and Chauffeurs Local 690 received its charter to represent the Team Drivers and the Heavy Trades workers of the Spokane and the Inland Empire area, but the history of Local 690 can trace its beginnings back to 1898 when then Local 101 was organized with a membership in 1901 of 120 members. The initiation fee was $5.00, and dues were just .50 cents per month. The average daily wage was $2.00, based on an 8-hour workday, six days a week.

Local 101 disbanded in 1903, and in 1905 the General Teamsters Local 202 was organized, along with Local 373 Heavy Trades and Local 111 Team Owners and Drivers, who represented area members until October 1917 when Teamsters Local 690 was organized and chartered to represent these merged locals and their workers. By 1917 the membership had grown to over 400 members making an average of $2.75 per day.

In 1918 the Teamsters won the right to an 8-hour workday, a very progressive negotiated right for the times! The Spokane Employers Association tried to destroy the Local in 1919 but failed due to the resolve and commitment of the Locals members.

In time, other Locals merged with Local 690. Teamsters Local 105 merged in 1933, along with Grand Coulee Dam Drivers Local 57 in 1941, Spokane Warehousemen Local 334 in 1961, the Idaho Teamsters Local 551 in the 1980s, and last our great merger with Teamsters Local 582 in 2000.

The Teamsters started out representing Team Drivers. Men driving freight wagons pulled by horses. From the 1910’s through the 1930’s the crafts represented have grown to include; ice housemen, chauffeurs, warehousemen, bakery workers, cab drivers, fuel attendants, milkmen, laundrymen, construction craftsmen, etc. By 1936 the Local had grown to over 1000 members. The war years saw a large increase in the membership to over 5000 members represented. During World War II, Teamsters Local 690 represented drivers and craftsmen on the Hanford site near Richland for the development of the “Manhattan Project”, which would lead to the development of the Atomic Bomb that would be credited with stopping the war in the Pacific Theater, and ultimately the ending of World War II.

Historic collageIn June of 1941 the Spokane Teamsters decided to build a new Labor Temple. The cost of construction would be between $20,000 to $30,000 dollars. It was voted on to have a special assessment of $2.00 per member, per year for the next five years, to build the new Temple. In March of 1942 the new Spokane Teamsters Labor Temple would open to serve the Inland Empire Teamsters for the next 57 years. After World War II, the Local continued to expand the represented crafts to include construction workers, line haul drivers, grocery warehouse and drivers, sand and gravel drivers, food processors, clerical workers, salesmen, bus drivers, public sector employees, etc. The hard economic times of the late seventies and early eighties, along with deregulation of the trucking industry took its toll on the Teamsters membership, as it did in every other workplace around the country. Today Teamsters Local 690 has a membership of over 3200 working men and women under its jurisdiction. With a strong area economy, the Teamsters are a vital part of our community and our numbers continue to grow.

With the merger with Teamster Local 582 in 2000 the Inland Empire Teamsters have come full circle in their representation of hard working Teamsters members in the Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. With the start of a new century, generations of new Teamsters members will have a strong history to continue to build a strong future upon.

Local 690 Secretary-Treasurer

Start of Term

End of Term

Val Holstrom January 2010 Current
Justin “Buck” Holliday 1/1/1995 January 2010
David G. Favor 5/2/1994 12/31/1994
Robert N. Ross 1/1/1989 5/1/1994
Herman R. “Bob” Wahl 1/1/1983 12/31/1988
Robert D. “Rocky” Lattanzio 1/1/1980 12/31/1982
L.E. “Mike” Olds 1/1/1971 12/31/1979
Edwards G. Johnson Jan. 1965 12/31/1970
J.E. Whitney Jan. 1959 Jan. 1965
A.J. Ruhl 1932 Dec. 1958
A.B. Sullivan 1928 1931
Ted Holmes 1922 1927
A.I. Jones 1921 1925
W.W. Sullivan 1920
F.W. Fox 1918 1919
Ed McLaughlin 1918