Hampton Roads, Va., – Sysco drivers voted overwhelmingly for Teamsters Local 822 representation on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.
This Teamsters win is the third IBT election success in three weeks at the nation’s largest broadline foodservice provider. Sysco South Florida workers in Miami won their election three weeks ago, and workers at Sysco-Sygma Kansas City won their election August 15. The latest group in Hampton Roads has 87 workers in the bargaining unit. They work as route drivers, shuttle drivers, van drivers and ship delivery drivers.
James Wright, President of Local 822 in Norfolk, Va., said workers remained united despite the company’s vicious anti-worker, anti-union campaign. “Sysco sent supervisors and union busters out to the routes to disrupt the drivers from making their deliveries as they preached the anti-union campaign, and they tried to spread lies about the union,” Wright said. “But despite this and other anti-union tactics, the workers focused on voting to form their union and to improve their lives.”
“We wanted change. We were tired of being walked on. We want a voice on the job,” said driver Joe Whitlock, a 12-year employee. “It feels fantastic being a Teamster.”
Sysco [NYSE: SYY] provides food and supplies to restaurants, schools, hospitals and government accounts across North America. The company is under federal investigation for violations of labor law in multiple states. National Labor Relations Board regions have found merit to charges including unlawful termination, surveillance and intimidation during union organizing campaigns.
“Once again, rather than making a serious change in labor relations, Sysco has chosen to employ anti-union tactics to try to deny these workers their lawful right to form their union,” said Steve Vairma, Teamsters Warehouse Division Director. “And once again, its employees have sent the company the message that these strategies will not work. Instead, the workers will continue to fight for justice.”
Teamsters represent more than 10,000 workers at 52 of 84 Sysco and Sysco-Sygma distribution centers nationwide.
*** Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million men and women.