(CORONA, Calif.) – Yesterday, Teamsters who drive for US Foods in Corona began an unfair labor practice strike to protest allegations that the foodservice giant violated federal law that protects workers’ rights. Almost immediately, Corona workers extended their picket line to 10 other US Foods distribution centers and resident yards in Southern California and Phoenix, Ariz., where 750 Teamsters have ceased work to honor the picket lines. The picket line extensions are still up today.
In all, more than 800 Teamsters employed by US Foods are currently not working because of the strike and extensions. There are 92 drivers represented by Locals 848 and 542 currently on strike in Corona. Meanwhile, about 750 workers represented by Locals 87, 495, 542, 630, 848 and 986 in La Mirada, Calif.; Local 542 in Vista, Calif.; and Local 104 in Phoenix are honoring the picket line extensions. Additionally, warehouse workers in Corona, represented by Teamsters Local 63, have given notice of their intention to honor the picket line there—under their contract they must wait until Wednesday to do so.
The strike in Corona comes just days after 200 Maryland Teamsters began their own unfair labor practices strike at US Foods’ Severn, Md. facility for failing to bargain in good faith. In February, more than 200 Teamsters at the Phoenix facility went on a four-day unfair labor practice strike.
US Foods is the nation’s second-largest foodservice provider. It is owned by Wall Street private equity behemoths KKR and CD&R, which added nearly $5 billion of debt to US Foods’ books when they bought it. In January 2016, KKR and CD&R took nearly $670 million in cash out of the company to distribute to shareholders – half of it borrowed – even though it is already operating under a mountain of debt. Since its purchase by the two private equity firms nine years ago, US Foods has engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation against its workers, both union and non-union.
Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters’ Warehouse Division, said, “US Foods has a pattern of abusing its workers and being willing to destroy good jobs and local economies. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that the company has provoked three unfair labor practice strikes in recent months. I’m proud of our members who are standing up for their rights and of our brothers and sisters who are honoring their picket lines. Teamsters know that an injury to one is an injury to all.”
US Foods earned $23 billion in annual revenue in 2014. The company provides 350,000 products and services to 200,000 customers including restaurants, hospitals, schools, military bases and hotels. US Foods has 25,000 employees and 75 distribution facilities. The Teamsters represent 4,300 US Foods employees, with 44 contracts at 29 facilities.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.