Teamsters to US Foods, Sysco: Restore Labor Relations, Customer Confidence
Following the recent announcement that Sysco terminated its merger agreement with US Foods, the Teamsters Union cited the decision as a critical step toward restoring labor relations and renewing customer confidence at the two companies.
Teamsters represent 8,000 Sysco and 4,000 US Foods members under approximately 100 collective bargaining agreements. The union represents thousands more workers at competitors including Reinhart, Food Services of America, and Performance Foods Group, the proposed divestiture buyer poised to pick up 11 US Foods facilities had the deal been consummated.
“As Sysco and US Foods move forward, we remain committed to a meaningful dialogue about the future health and prosperity of these companies,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “We believe they’ll now see the value in that conversation.”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit to block the deal in February, saying a merger between the top two companies in the industry would raise prices for consumers who eat meals away from home.
“Our members understood from day one that workers, customers and everyday consumers would pay a heavy price if the top two companies in the industry merged,” Hoffa said. “We believe the Federal Trade Commission and the DC Federal District Court got this right.”
Sysco claimed a merger with US Foods would create $600 million in savings in the first three to four years through consolidation of its distribution systems, creating widespread concern about job security and building solidarity among Sysco and US Foods workers. Teamsters Warehouse Division Director Steve Vairma cautioned members that despite the failed merger, there will be challenges ahead as the companies refine their plans.
“The deal between Sysco and US Foods is severed,” Vairma said, “But the bond it created between men and women who work in this industry can’t be broken.”