Right when I was about to grab the cane pole and go fishing, the alarm on my browser went off and a notice of a proposed work stoppage by Teamster Local 171 was the topic. For those that don’t know, Local 171 is the Salem, Va., Teamster union that is in negotiations with the US Foods corporation. The talks started about 3 weeks ago, and according to the update, outlooks have gotten grim.
Teamsters are in negotiations with US Foods about driver contracts at facilities along the East Coast. The Salem facility, in particular, is looking to be the most heated, with now over 18 meetings without compromise. Local union bosses and national representatives have now issued a statement, saying “work stoppages are imminent” after claiming the US Food negotiators were “bargaining in bad faith.”
“US Foods executives seem more interested in how they can violate the rights of their essential employees than they do in offering them a fair return on their work. My members have patiently tried to work in good faith to negotiate an agreement, but they’ve had enough,”Todd Robertson, president of Teamsters Local 171 in a statement to CBS7
These two organizations have not been the most friendly
These two organizations have had a rough history with strikes in California, Maryland and Minnesota. The chances of rolling strikes through the US Foods facilities nationwide seems to be likely. It is the strategy Teamsters have used in the past to get results. Nine states were a part of the 2016 Minnesota-led unfair labor practice (ULP) strike.
Sean M. O’Brian, the Teamster’s new general president, released this statement: “We aren’t going to be afraid to strike. If the members at those locations choose to stand up for their rights and withhold their labor, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will have their backs.”
Tom Erickson, Teamsters International vice president and director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division, also commented: “Unfair labor practices and unsettled contracts are not the way to thank your essential workers. Local leaders across the country have told me their members have had it with the way US Foods treats them.”
I will be monitoring the situation closely and will report if any changes develop. We can only wait and see if calmer heads prevail and a new contract can be reached.