Frontline Workers Unite for Respect and Improved Working Conditions
(ALLENTOWN, Penn.) – US Foods drivers in Allentown, Pennsylvania, won their union organizing campaign to become members of Teamsters Local 773. Drivers are seeking improvements to health care and other benefits, an end to unfair work policies, and most importantly, winning a voice on the job.
The Allentown location employs close to 120 drivers who are not only frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic but have been fighting for years to gain respect and dignity on the job.
“Our local welcomes and congratulates the delivery drivers at US Foods in Allentown. They fought hard to win this organizing campaign, and we will fight hard to get them a contract with better benefits, wages, and working conditions,” Teamsters Local 773 President Dennis Hower said.
Richard Rich, a 26-year driver, said, “The drivers at US Foods are so pleased to be joining our Teamster brothers and sisters across the country. US Foods used to be a good place to work, but over the years they took advantage of us and didn’t respect or listen to us. Now they can’t ignore us. We’ve made it resoundingly clear through our vote that we are Teamster Strong and we are going to stand united and push through for a solid contract!”
For years, employees suffered through frequent policy changes, changes in management and numerous false promises. They recognized that they kept losing things every year, and their cost of benefits continued to increase.
“This was a long haul, and the company hasn’t treated us the same as union drivers for years,” said Mike Kester, a driver for over 20 years. “Union shops surround us, and it was about time we joined them. This was an emotional process, but it is clear that my coworkers and I agree that we have more strength when we stand in solidarity and have a strong union behind us. US Foods will not freely give us what we deserve, so now we get to negotiate for it.”
“Our collective vote conquered fear and insecurity and restored value to our individual voices that can no longer be silenced or ignored. This was a great victory for all of us indeed,” said 18-year employee Michael Wittland.
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 up on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.