With a unanimous yes vote, Woodland Park Zoo admissions workers join one hundred Teamsters at the zoo who are already represented by Teamsters 117.

On Wednesday, March 13, a group of 29 workers - ticketing and membership associates and guest services associates - in the admissions department at Woodland Park Zoo voted unanimously to join Teamsters 117.

The admissions workers join approximately one hundred Teamsters at the zoo already represented by Local 117, including animal keepers, educators, veterinary technicians, animal diet specialists, and warehousers.

“We are thrilled to welcome the zoo’s admissions workers to our Union,” said Paul Dascher, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. “With over one million visitors every year, the zoo is one of Seattle’s top attractions for local residents, tourists, and families. Our members work incredibly hard to make visits by the public memorable and educational. All workers at the zoo deserve the power and respect of a Teamsters contract.”     

For four months leading up to the vote, admissions workers attended weekly meetings to discuss plans for a successful union campaign. The admissions department is essential to guests’ experiences at the zoo. Whether it is for zoo members or visitors, workers answer questions and fulfill accessibility requests for the public every day.

“I see how hard we work to keep the zoo running with little to no acknowledgment,” said Rachael Schumacher, a ticketing and membership associate who started working at the zoo five years ago. “It’s time my coworkers and I received the recognition and compensation we have long deserved. We deserve representation, not only within our department, but within the entire zoo and our only chance of that is by unionizing.”

“We have such a wonderful team, and when I see temporary staff come back for another season, I’m proud of the environment and community we’ve built,” said Katie Savage, who has worked in the admissions department for two years. “We open the front gate every day and help every single person who enters the zoo. We should have a say in the decision-making in our department.”