March 10, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Upholding 79 unfair-labor-practice charges filed by Teamsters Local 406, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge on March 2 ordered the Sysco food-supply company to begin negotiating a contract with the union.
Local 406 had lost a May 2015 election at Sysco’s facilities in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by 11 votes, but the judge ruled that the company’s intimidation practices “were sufficiently severe so as to erode the majority support that the union had acquired.” Local 406’s charges included that Sysco had threatened to close the plant if the union won, fired one union supporter, and reduced others’ hours. “This is great news for the Sysco workers who had to endure an unbelievable onslaught of threats and intimidation for exercising their federally protected right to organize,” Local 406 Secretary-Treasurer Ellis Wood said in a statement. The judge also ordered the company to reinstate the fired worker and give him more than $200,000 in back pay and benefits, the union said. The Teamsters represent more than 12,000 workers at Sysco and US Foods, the nation’s largest distributors of food-service products. Read more