Press Releases

Costco Workers in Washington Join Teamsters


Drivers Unite for Union Voice in Wholesale Retailer’s Backyard

Press Contact: Daniel Moskowitz Phone: (770) 262-4971 Email:

(SUMNER, Wash.) – More than 150 Costco drivers in Sumner, Wash., voted overwhelmingly yesterday to join Teamsters Local 174, becoming the first-ever group of workers at a Costco Distribution Center to organize with the Teamsters. They are seeking strong representation to address years of workplace concerns under the backing of a Teamsters contract. Key issues include wages, retirement, and a lack of seniority and grievance procedure.

“Costco isn’t the company it once was. The culture has shifted dramatically the past few years. Management told us they heard our concerns, but they weren’t listening. We were tired of being ignored,” said Paul Lowrie, a three-year driver at Costco and new Teamster. “My fellow drivers and I knew that the only way to reclaim control of our future and make things better was by joining the Teamsters.”

Lowrie and his co-workers will now join more than 18,000 Costco Teamsters nationwide.

The win in Washington follows the Teamsters’ historic organizing victory at the wholesaler in December 2023, when 200 Costco workers in Norfolk, Va., became the first group to win union representation at the Seattle-based company in over two decades.

“Costco workers across the country are seeing the power that comes with being a Teamster. They want stronger protections, better retirement benefits, a strong grievance process, and a real voice on the job,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division and Teamsters Central Region International Vice President. “Workers know firsthand that Costco isn’t the same company it used to be, and they understand that the only way to prevent more backsliding is by becoming Teamsters.”

In October 2022, the Teamsters ratified the first-ever national master agreement for Costco workers. The national contract boosts wages and pension contributions by the employer and provides members with higher semi-annual bonuses and a more flexible attendance policy, among other workplace protections and improvements. Costco workers in Seattle and Norfolk cited the national contract and a changing corporate culture as the catalyst for organizing with the Teamsters. The national contract expires January 31, 2025.

“This historic vote means these drivers will be the first Costco distribution drivers in the country to be union members. The importance of this simply cannot be overstated, as it will encourage other Costco drivers to follow the path forged by these brave and strong new Teamsters,” said Rick Hicks, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 174 and Teamsters Western Region International Vice President. “We are proud of the tireless work done by the organizing committee, as they quite literally worked day and night to show Costco workers the value of being a Teamster. Local 174 welcomes our new members with open arms.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at