(PLYMPTON, Mass.) – In a major win for workers, 253 Sysco-Boston drivers voted overwhelmingly for Teamsters Local 653 representation at the company’s New England distribution center that serves customers in five states. Sysco [NYSE: SYY] is the nation’s largest broadline foodservice provider.
Trevor Ashley, a 20-year Sysco employee and father of two teens, said he voted yes for his family. He said rising insurance costs, dwindling paychecks and an indiscernible pay system drove workers to seek the security of a Teamster contract.
“My coworkers and I stood together to fight for the respect and dignity we deserve,” Ashley said. “I’m proud to be a member of Local 653. It feels good to be a Teamster.”
Brian McElhinney, Teamsters Local 653 Secretary-Treasurer, welcomed the drivers to the Teamster family.
“I’m extremely proud of these guys for sticking together to make their voices heard,” McElhinney said. “We want them to know Local 653 will always have their backs and we are prepped and ready for first contract negotiations.”
Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Warehouse Division Director, said the Sysco-Boston win is a major step in the national movement to bring justice to Sysco workers.
“These men and women are tired of the company’s disrespect for the workers who, through their back-breaking labor, have positioned this company at the top of the market,” Vairma said. “From coast to coast, workers are sending a clear message to Sysco management and corporate executives that they will stand together across the U.S. and Canada to protect workers’ rights and fight for justice for all.”
“This is a great victory for Sysco workers. It shows the power of what can be done when Teamsters work together,” said Sean O’Brien, International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 10. “It was a joint effort that began with the Sysco workers and ran through the staffs of Local 653 and Joint Council 10, International Organizer Chris Rosell and the Organizing Department as well as local unions around the country, including Local 120. Everyone chipped in to ensure that Massachusetts Sysco workers will have a voice at work. Now the work begins.”
Teamsters from throughout the country supported the campaign, including Joint Council 10 and Locals 25, 117, 120, 190, 202, 317, 455, 528, 683 and 769.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents nearly 10,000 Sysco workers.
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.