Southern Cal Warehouse Teamsters Fight Sweetheart Deal at Sysco

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.

"We are not going to accept this. We want to be involved. We deserve to be involved in these negotiations," said Ralph Sistos, a Sysco driver in Los Angeles. Members are organizing for a no vote to get the bad deal renegotiated.

The whole situation with the new warehouse smells bad. San Diego, 100 miles away, mysteriously got the Teamsters jurisdiction and promptly signed a substandard contract without any workers yet at the facility.

Last September, Joint Council 42 awarded the jurisdiction to Local 63, which covers Riverside and is headed by Joint Council president Randy Cammack. For unexplained reasons Cammack turned it over to Local 683 principal officer Todd Mendez, who cut the substandard deal.

Teamsters from the L.A. (Walnut) Sysco warehouse and from the San Diego warehouse will be transferring there. The L.A. Teamsters are organizing for a contract rejection, and they will be the majority of the workforce.

They have filed NLRB charges against the deal, are organizing among themselves and reaching out to brothers and sisters in San Diego.

The company wants to button up a deal quickly. The San Diego contract expires in November, and the last thing management wants is common expiration dates.

The contract is inferior to the L.A. contract on an epic scale: it gives away lots of union jobs to nonunion (office, clerical, checkers, produce repack, routers, dispatchers, inventory control, check-in, janitorial); it gives away job protections and working conditions; and provides for lower wages and pension contributions. It is very similar to the substandard contract in San Diego. L.A.'s contract should be template, not San Diego's.

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