Teamsters Local 313 in Tacoma is growing, with a group of 30 local Safeway drivers choosing the union to represent them.

The drivers join nearly 70 fellow home delivery drivers already under the Teamsters banner. Those 70 became the first in the nation to organize with the Teamsters Union after voting to become members of Tukwila-based Local 174 in September.

The newest Teamster drivers, who are dispatched out of Safeway stores in Milton and Canyon Road, had a relatively quick road to unionization after Local 174 Director of Negotiations Patty Warren leveraged the ongoing negotiations with Local 174 to secure a card check neutrality agreement with Safeway. This agreement meant that the drivers were able to simply sign cards to join Local 313, rather than go through a lengthy process and secret ballot election.

Now that the drivers have joined Local 313, the two Teamster locals have come together at the bargaining table to jointly negotiate a first contract with Safeway.

“We are proud to stand united with our brothers and sisters at Local 313 to get a great first contract for these drivers,” said Rick Hicks, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 174. “Safeway has already seen firsthand that we will fight together to get what is best for all Teamsters, and they will continue to see that as these negotiations continue.”

Joint negotiations between Safeway and Teamsters Locals 174 and 313 began January 4 and will continue until a satisfactory agreement is reached between all the parties. Local 174 had previously been negotiating with Safeway for several months.