US Foods warehouse workers in Corona, Calif., called on the company to recognize Teamsters Local Union 63, Los Angeles, as their bargaining representative and to proceed immediately to negotiations for a first contract. The workers are concerned about job security as Sysco attempts to acquire their employer.
While Sysco executives predict $600 million in savings from cost synergies at the warehouse and distribution level, the proposed acquisition is creating anxiety among employees who fear consolidation will mean job losses.
A majority of the 75 warehouse workers at US Foods' Corona, Calif., facility has voiced support for union representation by signing authorization cards, citing concerns as Sysco, the nation's largest industrial food service provider, seeks to acquire US Foods, the second-largest. The $3.5 billion transaction faces anti-trust review by the Federal Trade Commission, and has drawn scrutiny from state attorneys general and customers concerned about the effects on competition.
"Sysco's proposed acquisition of US Foods creates profound uncertainty for workers seeking job security, managers who desire the same, customers who rely on US Foods for uninterrupted service, and investors monitoring the transaction," said Randy Cammack, Teamsters Local 63 secretary-treasurer and international vice president, in a letter to the company. "It is imperative that we protect jobs that can sustain workers, their families and Southern California communities. By standing together to form a union at US Foods, that's exactly what these workers are doing."
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa issued his support for the Corona workers and Teamsters Local 63 in a letter to US Foods CEO and President John Lederer, calling on the company to abandon past anti-union practices and begin a dialogue to improve labor relations.
"On its own, US Foods' checkered National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) history signals the need for a new approach to union recognition and overall labor relations," Hoffa said. "The IBT is carefully watching events in Corona, California; stands in full support of Teamsters Local 63; and is prepared to discuss a free and fair union recognition process, and indeed, all issues surrounding Sysco's proposed merger with US Foods."