November 19, 2014: Teamsters spoke out at the annual shareholders meeting of Sysco to defend Teamster jobs and contracts in the face of the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods.
Last December, Sysco announced it would buy its competitor US Foods for $8.2 billion. Both companies sell food products to restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and schools.
More than 7,600 Teamsters work at Sysco and another 4,000 Teamsters work as US Foods.
The proposed deal threatens as many as 2,500 Teamster jobs. Sysco management says it will save $600 million over the next four years. The threat is those savings will come at the expense of Teamster job loss as the company consolidates its operations.
Sysco has not agreed to honor Teamster contracts if the deal goes through.
The Federal Trade Commission has not approved the purchase. Sysco has twice announced delays in closing the deal since it was announced in December 2013.
A merged Sysco-US Foods would control 25 percent of the market. The danger for customers is if there are few other options, Sysco will be able to raise prices.
In other news, Teamsters Local 848 is threatening Sysco Foods with strike action and launching a customer outreach campaign. The company is demanding healthcare cuts and to put half of all drivers on four ten-hour schedules.