In a unanimous vote, Sysco warehouse workers who are members of Teamsters Local 822 in Norfolk, Virginia have ratified their first contract.
"Despite the massive challenges our Sysco warehouse members are dealing with right now, this contract and a separate furlough agreement provides them with multiple protections, including layoff and recall rights, seniority rights, a grievance procedure, just-cause language, and a disciplinary process with an arbitration procedure," said James Wright, Local 822 President. "The contract also preserves the workers' wages, and health and welfare benefits."
The furlough protections are especially important because some of the members are on layoff due to closures at restaurants, schools and the cruise-ship industry. The contract expires on July 15, 2021 and was ratified April 4.
"This contract provides us with protections for ourselves and for our families during this unprecedented crisis," said Derrick Scott, a Sysco worker. "As we work through these difficult times, we now have protections in a legally binding Teamster contract."
The furlough agreement provides workers with company-paid health care coverage at no cost to employees during the duration of the furlough and additional pay on top of any unemployment benefits they receive. Also, all employees, including those on furlough, working during the Covid-19 crisis will receive $25 per shift in additional pay.
The workers at the warehouse in Hampton Roads, Virginia voted to join the Teamsters in December 2019 by a vote of 49 to 17.