TUKWILA, Wash., July 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A group of over 300 Teamsters Local 174 members working at Columbia Distributing came together this morning to ratify an industry-leading contract. The five-year agreement includes record-setting wage and pension increases, along with outstanding medical benefits. This contract settlement comes on the heels of a unanimous strike vote that left workers on the brink of a work stoppage. This new contract averts a strike, and makes these hardworking drivers and warehouse workers among the highest paid in the beverage industry.
"This was a long and complicated negotiation," said Shop Steward and veteran rank-and-file Bargaining Committee member Chris Martin. "Our members have been working nonstop since the pandemic started 15 months ago, and our membership wanted to be rewarded for that. The Bargaining Committee and membership would like to thank the company for rewarding that hard work."
The contract includes provisions that will allow members to choose different types of jobs and routes based on seniority, improved safety protections, and expanded sick leave time.
"It was a difficult challenge to get to this contract, but we are proud that we were able to deliver such a strong contract for our members at Columbia Distributing," said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. "The solidarity and determination of these members was consistently on display. Day shift, night shift, warehouse workers, and drivers all stood proudly together to vote unanimously in favor of a strike, and that was the wake-up call Columbia management needed to motivate them to do right by these workers. They stepped up, and our members will now be working under one of the strongest union contracts in the beverage industry."
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle and the surrounding areas. "Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.
Jamie Fleming, (425) 281-0166
SOURCE Teamsters Local 174