Yesterday, drivers at Nash Finch, a wholesale food distributor, voted to become members of Teamsters Local 822 in Norfolk, Va. The vote was 64 to 41 and there are 109 drivers in the bargaining unit.
“It feels great to finally have an opportunity to make improvements here and have a voice on the job,” said Arthur Padmore, a 10-year driver with Nash Finch who was a leading member on the drivers’ organizing committee.
“This is a huge win and we look forward to negotiating a new contract for these drivers,” said James Wright, President of Local 822. “I know the workers are excited and I’m excited for them.”
“We congratulate the Nash Finch drivers for their success at winning Teamster representation,” said John A. Williams, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “The Warehouse Division looks forward to assisting Local 822 and these drivers to achieve a comprehensive first agreement with Nash Finch that raises standards for drivers.”
Williams added that the victory shows it is possible to organize even after unsuccessful attempts in the past. The drivers previously tried to organize with the Teamsters back in 2010.
“The company fought against us with meetings and everything but we were able to win,” said Padmore. “We’re really glad to have an organization like the Teamsters by our side to help us get better benefits for the work that we do.”
The Minneapolis-based Nash Finch is the second largest publicly traded food distributor in the U.S.
The drivers in Norfolk will join 430 other Nash Finch Teamsters at nine other facilities throughout Ohio and Indiana.