(WASHINGTON) – After more than six hours of talks, negotiations between the Teamsters and Sysco broke down Wednesday evening. As a result, more than 500 workers in Syracuse, N.Y., and Plympton, Mass., continue their strike against the company’s unfair labor practices.
“Sysco pushes its workers to the physical brink as if they were disposable robots. Our members work hard, but they must be compensated with a secure and quality retirement and affordable health care. No longer will we allow this company to churn workers and then throw them away,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President. “They are going to continue to stand up and fight for what they deserve. We have a saying on the strike line: one day longer, one day stronger.”
More than 230 workers represented by Local 317 went on strike at Sysco Syracuse last Wednesday after weeks of contentious contract negotiations with the company. Less than three days later, more than 300 workers at Local 653 took to the picket line at Sysco Boston.
The breakdown comes after a Sysco report showed nearly half of its employees have been in their job for less than a year. On a recent investor call, Sysco CEO Kevin P. Hourican attempted to calm investor concerns about the company’s inability to retain workers by saying he was committed to improving employee retention, training, and productivity.
“Kevin Hourican tells investors one thing and employees another. The company’s current offer is just another corporate bait and switch. What they say they are giving in wage increases, they are taking away in employee paid health care costs,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents hardworking men and women throughout the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org to learn more. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.