Sysco delivery drivers threaten strike, reject company contract offer

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Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:15 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A union representing delivery drivers for food distributor Sysco said workers recently rejected the employers’ “last, best and final” offer.

The release from Teamsters Local 89 stated 88% of workers turned down the company contract offer based on concerns of safety, wages, quality of life and benefits.

Drivers unionized in 2022 to address concerns about physical labor that they said is physically and mentally exhausting.

According to the union, Sysco works drivers for 12 or more hours a shift, forcing them to unload and deliver hundreds to thousands of pounds of food supplies.

Teamsters Local 89 said these long hours put drivers at risk when they are behind the wheel and takes time away from families at home.

The company’s wages and benefits are also said to be lower than other comparable CDL jobs.

“We want the company to come back to the negotiating table and take our concerns seriously,” Cory Browning, a driver at Sysco said in a release. “We deserve a better work-life balance, and there’s serious safety concerns that have been brushed off.”

Teamsters Local 89 President Avral Thompson said a strike could be imminent if Sysco does not act.

“The ball is in Sysco’s court now, but we’re going to do whatever we have to do to support our members,” Thompson said. “If that means there’s a strike, that’s on Sysco for not doing the right thing when they had the chance.”

Sysco supplies food to hundreds of customers in Louisville and across Kentucky. One of Sysco’s largest accounts is with Jefferson County Public Schools.

According to the union, Sysco has begun warning customers of a potential work stoppage.