Press Releases

US Foods Teamsters in Illinois are Latest to Honor Picket Lines from Maryland


(STREATOR, Illinois) – Some 40 Teamsters working at US Foods’ distribution facility here tonight refused to cross the picket line in solidarity with Teamsters in Severn, Md., who began an unfair labor practice strike on April 27.

The members of Local 722, of which there are 87 at the facility, are just the latest group of US Food workers to honor a picket line supporting the striking Maryland workers. Yesterday, picket lines were extended to a US Foods location in Wixom, Mich., where unloaders and drivers, members of Local 337, are currently honoring the Maryland strike. The Seven workers, members of Locals 355 and 570, are on strike to protest allegations that US Foods violated federal law that protects workers’ rights.

Meanwhile, on May 6, Local 264 Teamsters who work for US Foods in Buffalo, N.Y. walked off the job, following a similar move by Local 507 members in Twinsburg, Ohio, which took action two days earlier. US Foods workers in Twinsburg have been fighting for four years to negotiate a first contract with the company.

Similar actions also took place across Southern California and in Phoenix earlier this month. In all, more than 1,000 Teamsters employed by US Foods have honored workers’ picket lines at some point during the last two weeks.

The current labor disputes are not new to US Foods. In February, more than 200 Teamsters at the Phoenix facility went on a four-day unfair labor practice strike. In 2011, an unfair labor practice strike by maintenance employees in Streator was extended to more than 10 US foods facilities across America. More than 2,000 Teamsters honored extended picket lines during the 2011 strike.

Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters’ Warehouse Division, said, “We have seen a pattern of abusive behavior by US Foods for years. It’s no surprise that their workers have no choice but to go on unfair labor practice strikes to protest how they are being treated. US Foods is willing to destroy good jobs and local economies so that its private equity owners KKR and CD&R can wring every last penny out of the company before they try to sell it. 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 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 2007. US Foods announced its IPO in February, trying to raise $1 billion from investors so KKR and CD&R can get rid of the company.

In January 2016, KKR and CD&R took nearly $670 million in cash out of the company to distribute to its two owners – 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.

The company earned $23 billion in annual revenue in 2014. US Foods 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 for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at