(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) – More than 50 delivery drivers at US Foods have voted to join Teamsters Local 71 in Charlotte, N.C. The workers are seeking better pay, affordable health insurance, an end to favoritism, seniority, job security and respect.
The US Foods drivers voted by mail over the past few weeks, and ballots were tabulated yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Workers voted to join the Teamsters by an overwhelming 3-1 margin.
“After we reached out to the Teamsters, the company went straight to work trying to keep the union out. First, they promised us the moon—saying things would get better if we voted against the union. When their empty promises didn’t work, they tried to scare us. But we knew better than to trust management after all these years. We knew the only way to improve our jobs was to get a contract in writing,” said Toby Robinson, an 18-year delivery driver at US Foods. “Today marks a new beginning. We are protected. We have a voice. And now the company has to listen to us.”
Robinson and his fellow US Foods drivers cover routes throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee.
“Favoritism was a major problem and a big reason why we wanted a union. Management refused to recognize our seniority and constantly changed the rules on us without giving any warning or reason. The lack of communication and disrespect needed to end too,” said Kwame Bernard, a 16-year driver at US Foods. “As Teamsters, we will make sure this company finally treats us with fairness.”
US Foods drivers stayed united throughout the organizing drive, overcoming the company’s anti-union campaign to gain Teamster representation.
“I want to thank General President Sean O’Brien and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman for making this organizing victory possible. They may have only taken office last week, but they ensured our momentum could continue at US Foods by providing us the staff and resources from the IBT Organizing Department and Joint Council 9 to see this campaign through. I also want to thank business agents and organizers at Local 71 for all their hard work to make this win happen,” said Willie Ford, President of Local 71 and Teamsters International Trustee. “I applaud this dedicated group of workers for standing firm. They fought hard to win this organizing campaign, and we will fight hard to get them a contract that addresses their concerns and brings them respect.”
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 12,000 members at Sysco and US Foods. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SyscoUSFworkers for more information on the Sysco/US Foods campaign.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 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.