Louisville Drivers Choose Representation with Teamsters Local 89
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – More than 100 drivers at Sysco Louisville have voted overwhelmingly, by a nearly 3-1 margin, to join Teamsters Local 89 in Louisville, Ky. Workers are seeking increased pay, better benefits, improved safety, and fair work rules.
“Local 89 put a lot of work into helping the drivers win this election, and we’re happy as can be to represent these folks,” said Avral Thompson, President of Local 89. “Now it’s time to get to work and help them win the best contract possible.”
Once the election is certified, Thompson said Local 89 will kick off proposal meetings and begin the bargaining process.
“This was a very long, drawn-out process, but we were determined to win union representation. It was eye-opening to see the company spend millions of dollars trying to keep the union out. Their response made it even more apparent that they [management] knew we were worth more,” said Cory Browning, a driver who has worked at Sysco for over seven years. “We talked to other Sysco workers around the country through social media and started hearing how drivers were doing better at other locations around the country – and the only difference was that they were union. It became all the clearer that we needed to organize with the Teamsters.”
Browning noted that the company launched a vicious anti-union campaign during the organizing drive by bringing in outside union busters who attempted to intimidate drivers from voting to join Teamsters Local 89. Workers stood together throughout the unionization effort despite months of delays at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) due to understaffing.
“Sysco held nothing back trying to stop these guys from unionizing,” said David Thornsberry, Local 89 Organizer. “It was one of the most aggressive displays we’ve seen. Thankfully, the drivers weren’t interested in hearing their lies.”
“Organizing Sysco is a priority for the Teamsters. This win is a testament to the dedication of these drivers and shows what we can accomplish when everyone is working together with one goal in mind,” said Fred Zuckerman, General Secretary-Treasurer. “The International will continue to stand with Sysco drivers in negotiations to ensure they have all the resources at their disposal.”
Sysco [NYSE: SYY] is North America’s largest broadline foodservice company, providing food and supplies to restaurants, schools, hospitals, and government accounts.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 10,000 Sysco workers nationwide.
“Drivers in Louisville knew that the only way to stand up to this company was to fight back and win a union voice,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “Louisville is just the beginning. We are starting to see an explosion of union organizing all across the country. Workers throughout the industry are standing up, standing together, and demanding their fair share. They are hungry for a union voice.”
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.