Teamsters Strike At US Foods; Picket Lines Spread To Indiana, Minnesota, Washington
(WASHINGTON) – After striking US Foods workers extended picket lines from Streator, Ill. to St. Louis, Mo. and Buffalo, N.Y. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, the picket lines were extended again last night and early this morning to Fishers, Ind., Plymouth, Minn., and Fife, Wash.
More than 830 Teamster-represented warehouse workers and drivers have now honored the picket lines at the US Foods locations in Illinois, Missouri, New York, Indiana and Minnesota. In Fife, Wash., the union gave notice that it intends to honor the picket lines starting Friday morning.
On Sunday, maintenance workers in Streator struck US Foods in response to the company’s unfair labor practices, which include retaliating against employees for engaging in union activity. US Foods disciplined a Streator employee for being absent while he was in contract negotiations with the company as part of the bargaining committee for Teamsters Local 722.
Yesterday, one of the maintenance workers traveled to St. Louis, Mo. to extend the picket line to US Foods’ distribution center there. In Buffalo, N.Y., Teamsters Local 375 held a sympathy strike at the local US Foods facility, as did Teamsters Local 174 at the Fife, Wash. US Foods warehouse.
Last night, the striking member of Local 722 traveled to Fishers, Ind. to extend the picket line to US Foods’ local distribution center. In Plymouth, Minn., Teamsters Local 638 began a sympathy strike at the US Foods facility there early this morning.
US Foods, which distributes food and related products to restaurants, military bases and hospitals, is owned by private equity giants KKR and CD&R. KKR and CD&R purchased US Foods (then U.S. Foodservice) in 2007, then saddled US Foods with approximately $5 billion in debt.
“I’ve worked at US Foods for 28 years,” said striking US Foods worker Mike Vagasky. “I don’t want to strike, but these top 1 percent private equity companies have done nothing but harass and intimidate us. As a worker, I’m part of the 99 percent in America and I can’t stand by any more while our jobs are destroyed.”
The Teamsters represent approximately 4,000 employees at US Foods at 25 distribution centers throughout the nation.
For more information, visit www.USFoodsWorkers.org.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information.