(HOUSTON) – Teamster members and a workers’ rights expert addressed executives and stakeholders today during the Sysco [NYSE: SYY] shareholder meeting in the company’s hometown, Houston, Texas. Their message: Stakeholders could pay a deep price for the company’s systemic violation of federal laws that protect workers.
Cornell University professor and internationally-renowned labor rights expert Kate Bronfenbrenner outlined the potential costs of the company’s attacks on workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain throughout the company’s broad line foodservice operations. Bronfenbrenner is author of “SYSCO Shareholder Liability and Persistent, Pervasive, Hallmark Law Violations.”
“With more than 79 hallmark violations upheld by the ALJ [administrative law judge] at Grand Rapids, and large numbers of similar charges filed in Kansas City, KS; Atlanta, GA; and Harrisburg, PA, Sysco truly is an aberrant and outlaw employer,” Bronfenbrenner wrote.
Early Thursday morning, Sysco Teamsters near Kansas City, Missouri, established an unfair labor practice picket line based on allegations of labor law and other violations. Sysco drivers and warehouse workers in St. Paul, Minnesota honored the picket line extension later in the day. Sysco faces multiple federal investigations of unlawful company surveillance, threats, discrimination and terminations in Missouri, Florida, California, South Carolina, Michigan and Washington.
“Sysco recently reported record revenue and profitability to shareholders and their financial position is strong, yet they continue to mistreat workers and abuse workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain contracts,” said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “We are demanding that Sysco cease its attacks on our members. If it doesn’t, we are prepared to defend our members’ rights.”
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 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.