Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are mobilizing their forces in the wake of an unexpected attack by a notoriously anti-union warehousing company looking to undermine workers with back-room tactics in federal bankruptcy court.
Contract talks between Teamsters Local 117 and Fred Meyer were scheduled to resume Monday with a federal mediator.
The combined company will have increased leverage selling and distributing food goods from manufacturers to restaurants, hospitals, hotels, schools and other institutions. That middleman role already makes the companies important players in the service economy: Sysco alone has about 425,000 customers.
Sysco estimates the combined company will have about 25% of the U.S. food distribution market, up from about 18% now for Sysco alone.
Teamsters Local 118 has agreed to put its Wegmans Food Markets contract to another union vote, reports said Wednesday.
June 11, 2013: On June 2, Teamsters turned out in force to picket and demonstrate at the newly opened Sysco warehouse in Riverside California. But they weren't on strike – they were protesting a sweetheart deal which undermines other Southern California contracts with Sysco and other grocery companies.
May 24, 2013: Teamsters employed by Sysco in Southern California are standing up against a substandard deal negotiated for the new Sysco Riverside distribution center slated to open in June.
January 23, 2013: While under trusteeship and controlled by a Hoffa appointee, Local 630 signed a side-agreement that created a new job classification paying $10 per hour below the contract wage.
In federal mediation on January 8, Teamsters Local 117, the Union that represents 168 warehouse workers and drivers on strike at United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), encouraged the company to put its best foot forward and present workers with a reasonable contract proposal that would put an end to the month-long strike. UNFI committed to present a proposal the following day.
Supervalu is moving toward selling its two largest chains to Cerberus Capital Management after a deal for the entire company has stalled, Bloomberg News is reporting.
Friday was a historic day for labor organizing, as workers and their supporters at 1,000 Walmarts across the country protested on the superstore’s most profitable day. Unsurprisingly, Walmart told a different story, claiming that the Black Friday actions had little impact. But the hundreds of employees who walked out—despite threats of arrest and retaliation—showed that workers are willing to stand up to the nation’s largest employer.