July 21, 2016
By Tara Jessup
Washington, DC – Teamsters who work at US Foods distribution facilities in Buffalo New York and Streator Illinois refused to cross picket lines extended by Teamsters from Severn Maryland – who began an unfair labor practice strike against the company in April.
These were just the latest groups of US Foods workers to honor picket lines in support of the striking Maryland workers. They joined US Foods workers in New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado, Michigan, Washington, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota who took similar action over the last two months. The Maryland workers are on strike to protest US Foods' violations of federal law that protects workers' rights.
US Foods workers also are distributing handbills to attendees of Major League Baseball games in San Diego. Outside Petco Park, Teamster members are educating fans that US Foods' worker abuses are hurting many veterans who work at the company, even though the company profits from billions in federal contracts. US Foods supplies food to some of the vendors at Petco Park.
US Foods Teamsters also went on strike and extended picket lines across Southern California and in Phoenix in May. In all, more than 3,500 Teamsters employed by US Foods have either gone out on strike or honored workers' picket lines at some point since late April.
US Foods is the nation's second-largest foodservice provider. It is owned by Wall Street private equity firms KKR and CD&R. Since its purchase by the two private equity firms nine years ago, US Foods has engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation against its workers, both union and non-union.
"US Foods has established a pattern of anti-union and anti-worker behavior," said Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters' Warehouse Division. "US Foods management signs off on wage and hiring freezes across the company while extracting hundreds of millions of dollars out of the coffers for ownership. We will not let the company's private equity vultures get rich on the backs of Teamster employees and families. Our members at US Foods across the country will continue to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from the Severn facility in their fight for justice."