Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Sysco.
- Unions in Indianapolis and Louisville are moving forward with five-year contracts that cover Sysco truck drivers and warehouse workers, according to a news release from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
- Wages with Local 89 in Louisville will increase more than 20% in the first year, while wages with Local 135 in Indianapolis would average a 23% increase over the five-year contract, the labor organization said.
- The two local unions engaged in strikes earlier this year, following a wave of disruptions last year that affected the company’s bottom line in Q2. Over 1,000 workers engaged in strikes nationwide.
Union workers in Indianapolis and Louisville held strikes this year, holding picket lines. Delivery drivers in Louisville first organized in August, adding 100 people to the ranks of Teamsters representing over 10,000 Sysco workers.
Issues stemmed from pay to working conditions. Brian Thomas of Local 135 said workers were seriously concerned about benefits, workplace safety and work-life balance. Workers reported difficulties with 16-hour shifts and the desire to have six weeks of vacation, among other concerns, according to posts from the local unions.
While the Local 89 contract was secured over the Easter holiday weekend, drivers and warehouse workers at Local 135 have only voted in favor of the agreement as of Monday, according to the Teamsters.
“Teamsters are united and emboldened at Sysco,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement, adding that workers sent a powerful message to major U.S. corporations.
Strikes last quarter at three sites required Sysco to use third-party resources, ultimately impacting Q2 results by $26 million, executives said in January on an earnings call. The strikes, which took place in Arizona, Massachusetts and New York, lasted for nearly three weeks.
But executives noted that that expense is in the rearview mirror. “It is behind us, and that will not be repeated in the second half of the [fiscal] year,” CEO and President Kevin Hourican told analysts.
A Sysco spokesperson said in a statement that the company is “proud to have new contracts in place that provide our colleagues the top-of-market pay and benefits they deserve while positioning the business for continued growth and success.”
The company thanked employees, customers and communities for their support during the strike. “We look forward to getting back to business as usual and returning our full focus to servicing our customers and community,” the statement said.