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UNFI Drivers In California Choose Teamsters Local 853

| January 23, 2018


Drivers with the largest natural and organic food supplier in the United States, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), have chosen representation by Teamsters Local 853 in Oakland.

The 31 drivers based out of Gilroy, Calif., transport supplies for UNFI to major clients like Whole Foods, Amazon, Genentech, Sprouts and Google

The drivers are reported to be seeking fair scheduling and compensation for excess hours, seniority for overtime, improvements to safety and a shorter wage progression, among other gains.

“We’re excited to welcome UNFI drivers to the Teamsters. There is a trend across the country of UNFI workers joining together and seeking Teamster representation,” said Dennis Hart, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 853. “As companies become increasingly interconnected, as with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, it’s important that unions strategically organize and workers unite to better their working conditions.”

“UNFI is the sixth largest grocery wholesaler in the U.S, and first in the organic and natural sector. The perseverance and commitment exhibited by UNFI workers is an example to all workers on what can be achieved by sticking together. We’re looking forward to continuing to represent and organize more workers in this sector,” Vairma said.

The Gilroy drivers’ development comes in the wake of a growing string of advances for workers at UNFI all over the country who are building Teamster power.

The office personnel at the company’s Moreno Valley distribution center recently ratified their first union contract.¬†They are members of Teamsters Local 63, which also represents drivers at the center. The drivers led a long fight to organize and ratified their first Teamster contract in May 2016, resulting in substantial improvements.

Warehouse workers at the same Moreno Valley distribution center also voted to join the Teamsters, becoming members of Local 166 in May 2017. They are currently bargaining with the company for their first contract.

In July 2017, New York drivers at UNFI’s new Hudson Valley distribution center ratified their first contract, increasing wages, and winning overtime pay as members of Teamsters Local 445.

Category: General Update, News

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