As Potential Merger With US Foods Looms, City Drivers Vote For Teamster Representation
(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) - On Friday, Oct. 31, Sysco drivers voted to join Teamsters Local 41 in Kansas City, Mo. There are 43 drivers in the bargaining unit and the vote count announced today was 25-14.
Concerned about job security and the effects of Sysco’s possible acquisition of US Foods, city drivers banded together to organize with the Teamsters. Although their employer predicts $600 million in savings from cost synergies at the warehouse and distribution level, workers are worried about possible job losses resulting from the consolidation.
Ahead of Friday’s election, a majority of the drivers voiced support for union representation by signing authorization cards, as Sysco, the nation’s largest industrial food service provider, seeks to acquire US Foods, the second-largest. The $3.5 billion transaction faces antitrust review by the Federal Trade Commission, and has drawn scrutiny from state attorneys general.
“Like thousands of warehouse workers and drivers across the country, these drivers are rightly concerned about the merger and have joined the movement to get organized in defense of their jobs,” said Victor Terranella, President of Teamsters Local 41. “Drivers in Kansas City voted for Teamster representation to have a voice and job security at Sysco. We look forward to beginning bargaining for a strong contract that addresses drivers’ concerns.”
“This organizing victory comes on the heels of US Foods workers in California who recently joined the Teamsters," said Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “Other Sysco and US Foods workers will be following suit in the coming months to protect and improve their jobs.”
In addition to workers’ concerns about job security, customers who rely on Sysco’s food distribution services have also voiced concerns about its proposed acquisition of US Foods, citing its effects on competition in the industry.
The Teamsters represent more than 11,600 members at Sysco and US Foods. “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SyscoUSFworkers for more information on the Sysco/US Foods campaign.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in 1903 and represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.