A strike by Teamsters members at a Sysco facility in Louisville, Kentucky, ended over the weekend with the signing of the first-ever contract between the members of Local 89 and the food distribution giant.
Workers, most of them drivers, had voted in favor of Teamsters recognition in August but had not been able to reach agreement on a contract. In a coordinated move, workers at Sysco in Louisville and in Indianapolis, where a contract had expired at the beginning of March, simultaneously went on strike March 27.
It was not immediately clear whether the Indianapolis strike is continuing. The website for Teamsters Local 135, which represents the workers, did not report an end to the strike, and representatives from Sysco and the Teamsters had not commented by publication time.
“Sysco Louisville is pleased that our drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 89, have voted to ratify a new labor contract,” a Sysco spokeswoman said in an email to FreightWaves. “We’re proud to have a new contract in place that provides our delivery partners the top-of-market pay and benefits they deserve while positioning Sysco Louisville for continued growth and success.”
Local 89 provided more details on the contract on its website.
The union said delivery drivers will see an immediate increase in their pay of $4.35. (That is presumably per hour, but that was not spelled out in the web post.) It said shuttle drivers’ pay would be increased by $5.35 to “catch up” with the delivery drivers. Both groups would then see another increase of $3.50 per hour by the end of the contract, which the union said would last five years.
The total would average a “staggering” 34.5% increase in pay over the life of the contract, the union said. Additionally, under the former health plan, drivers paid 50% of the insurance premiums; that rate drops to 20% under the new contract, the union said.
According to the union, there is “an exhaustive amount of other positive changes to things like sick days, additional equipment and safety language.”
The union also said drivers “routinely” worked 16-hour shifts and that is targeted to be eased by the hiring of nine new drivers. Minimum staffing at Sysco Louisville will be 96. If the number drops below that, according to the union, Sysco will pay double time for any hours worked in excess of 13 hours per day.
“This double time penalty will ensure that Sysco Louisville will be hard at work trying to keep their staffing high, which in turn will provide drivers with much needed overtime relief and allow them to spend more time at home with their loved ones,” the union said on its website.
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