Sysco Teamsters Prevail Afters Two Weeks On Strike

Coordinated strike action by Teamsters at Sysco has won contract victories in Louisville and Indianapolis. 

Sysco Teamsters in Louisville Local 89 went on strike at the same time as Teamsters in Indianapolis Local 135 and stayed out for two weeks.

To strengthen the strikes, the International Union coordinated extending picket lines to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. More than 1,000 Sysco Teamsters honored the picket lines during the strike.

It was the latest example of a push for national strike coordination from the International Union. Last fall, more than 800 Sysco Teamsters won contract victories after striking facilities in Syracuse, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; and Brockton, Massachusetts.

Coordinated Strike Action Gets the Goods

On Saturday, Local 89 Sysco drivers voted by 98% to ratify their first contract. The five-year agreement delivers substantial pay increases as well as a reduction of employee contributions to health insurance premiums from 50% to 20%.

The new contract also requires Sysco Louisville to hire more drivers to address staffing shortages.

“I’m just really proud of how all of us stood together for these last two weeks,” said Sysco Louisville Driver Michael Bonner. “Sysco told us we’d never be able to do it, but we proved them wrong."

In Indianapolis Local 135, 160 drivers and warehouse workers voted by 90 percent today to ratify a new contract. Drivers will now start at $30.00/hour, with wages topping out at $34.25 at the end of the contract.

Warehouse workers also saw significant wage increases, moving to $28.30/hr upon ratification.

In addition to big wins on wages, members won a reduction of employee contributions to health insurance premiums, secured a 6th week of vacation, and added MLK Day as an additional paid holiday.

Solidarity Pays Off

"It was incredible to see everyone coming together, from drivers to warehouse workers, to create the unity we needed to win," said shop steward Marcus Irvin. "Before the strike, younger workers might have only known they were union members, but now they know what being a union member is all about: it's about becoming a family that fights for each other."

“We got tons of support from workers in other industries," said Local 135 shop steward Mike Diefenbaugh "I told the younger members, ‘there’s going to come a time when the brothers and sisters that came out to our picket lines are going to need our support, and we are going to show up for them like they showed up for us.’”


 Striking Forges Union Family Bonds

 "It was incredible to see everyone coming together, from drivers to warehouse workers, to create the unity we needed to win."

 "Before the strike, younger workers might have only known they were union members, but now they know what being a union member is all about: it's about becoming a family that fights for each other."

 Marcus Irvin 
Steward, Local 135,
Sysco

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