What is the Sysco food strike and why is this happening

The 1969 Texas-based food services distributor company, Systems and Services Company or Sysco, happens to be facing a food strike and picket lines that began a few days ago. Currently, based on the Sysco website, they support customers from 90 different countries. This includes different institutions, too. However, two days ago, a Sysco food strike started in Syracuse, and here’s why it is happening.

What is the Sysco food strike?

On Thursday last week, Sysco Syracuse from Local 317 drivers and warehouse workers set up picket lines at the Sysco distribution center on Warners Road. More than 250 workers joined the strike against the large food distributor.

  • This move from Local 317 may have influenced others as well, just like Local 653 in Sysco Boston. More than 300 workers from the Teamsters Union stopped working and took the lead in the strike on Saturday. Sysco is one of the largest food services distributors in New England and after more than 300 drivers started the strike, this caused delays in deliveries.
What is Sysco food strike SYRACUSE
Workers strike outside Sysco on Warners Road in Onondaga. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])

Management took their abhorrent anti-worker treatment to new lows, giving a take-it-or-leave-it final offer that strips their essential workers of high-quality union health insurance, denies members of a secure retirement with a union pension, and offers meager wage increases amid drastically rising inflation

  • About 250 Teamsters workers from Arizona have started their strike as well.

Why is this happening?

All the Sysco workers and drivers on strike have the same sentiments against the food services distributor: unfair labor practices, and seeking better pay and benefits.

  • In the Boston case, the Sysco warehouse in Plympton, south of Boston still runs 24/7 with “third-party” drivers, according to the company. Aside from the restaurants and sporting venues, nursing homes have been affected by the delivery delays.
  • According to the website, around 13,000 products are stored in the warehouse. Although, Sysco released a statement that the Massachusetts drivers “make about $110,000 annually on average and that it has offered a wage increase of 25% over the life of the contract,” according to a Boston Herald report.
What is Sysco food strike BOSTON
Image Courtesy of Teamsters Joint Council 10 via Facebook
  • On the other hand, in the Syracuse case, the accusations about an alleged forcing of union members to work overtime and against their will happened. Non-union workers were added to the workforce just when Local 317’s contract expired last August 20th. Local 317 filed unfair labor practices against Sysco with the National Labor Relations Board on September 21st.
  • According to the union and these workers, both cases are not heard by the company that’s why they’re taking it on picket lines. Mark May, principal executive officer of Local 317, mentions “Sysco not stepping up and listening to their concerns” in a Boston Herald interview.
  • However, in a statement last September 28th, Sysco said, “Sysco Syracuse offered wage increases that would place our associates at or above market, along with a $2,500 signing bonus, comprehensive health, and welfare benefits, and paid time off.”

Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to reach an agreement and the union has declared a work stoppage at Sysco Syracuse.” – Sysco

  • May talks about the workers feeling terrible for causing delays and much impact, but they have to stand their ground.

This is not what we want, but Sysco has the ability to talk with us and work it out.” – Mark May

  • The cases are yet to be resolved from all affected Sysco franchises. The Teamsters represent around 10,000 workers nationwide with separate contracts followed. The customers affected by this strike would be restaurants, colleges, schools, hospitals, and other large institutions.

Here’s all we have about this, readers. Thoughts?

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Fond of writing poetry and reading. Zeane keeps herself sane through Kpop, and a bit of purchasing the albums too. She enjoys taking photos, most of the time the moon and sunsets. Zeane casually plays CoDM, rhythm games, or just whatever she finds interesting in the application stores, just a piece of gaming info right there.