Restaurant food supplier Sysco Western Minnesota drivers on strike at St. Cloud plant

ST. CLOUD – Sysco Western Minnesota workers are on strike at the company’s St. Cloud location near U.S. Highway 10.

Workers say Sysco Western Minnesota engaged in unfair labor practices, including withholding information about benefit plan offers, making unilateral changes to working conditions and offering substandard wages and benefits industry for unionized employees, according to a press release from Teamsters Local 120.

All of the roughly 50 drivers at the company’s St. Cloud location are on strike, said Sysco Western Minnesota driver Jeff Schreiner. The strike began Wednesday evening and around 20 people were striking at the scene Thursday morning and a police car was present.

Picketers hold signs Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, near an entrance to the Sysco Western Minnesota facility along U.S. Highway 10 in St. Cloud.

“We voted to bring in the Teamsters union this summer. And we’ve had contract negotiations since October,” Schreiner told the St. Cloud Times on Thursday. “They pretty much hit a wall a while ago. And that kind of got us to the point where we are today, where we’re actually hitting. We had three separate offers from the company which we rejected.”

Workers repeatedly requested information such as company benefits to make comparisons and did not receive it, Schreiner said.

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“Based on management’s own numbers, our compensation package is almost 50% lower than what Sysco offers at Mounds View. It’s offensive to be consistently treated as mediocre,” Schreiner said. “These are tough jobs. We don’t just drive a truck, we also unload entire trucks by hand every day. We just want the company to obey the law and treat us fairly.

Picketers hold signs near the main entrance to the Sysco Western Minnesota facility Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, along U.S. Highway 10 in St. Cloud.

Picketers hold signs near the main entrance to the Sysco Western Minnesota facility Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, along U.S. Highway 10 in St. Cloud.

“We’re just trying to be brought to something similar. So that’s kind of what gets us to this point where we hit them because we’re not being heard,” Schreiner said.

Teamsters Local 120 represents more than 11,500 members in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to its website.

“There will be a lot of restaurants, schools and movie theaters that won’t get their food delivery because Sysco Western Minnesota thinks they’re above the law,” said Teamsters Local sales agent Rich Fredrick. 120 and representative of the group in the press release. .

A St. Cloud Times request for comment was not immediately returned by Sysco Western Minnesota.

Strikers gather near an entrance to the Sysco Western Minnesota factory Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in St. Cloud.

Strikers gather near an entrance to the Sysco Western Minnesota factory Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in St. Cloud.

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“I can say this, we tried everything we could to avoid this. It’s the last thing we wanted to do, but unfortunately it’s the only thing they’re going to hopefully listen to,” Schreiner said.

Founded in 1935 as Appert’s Foodservice, Sysco purchased the St. Cloud facility in 2012. It serves as a regional hub for the greater central Minnesota area and distributes a variety of national and Sysco brands, according to the site. Company website. The facility has a retail store open to the public and a USDA inspected processing facility.

Picketers hold signs as a truck drives past the Sysco Western Minnesota plant Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, near U.S. Highway 10 in St. Cloud.

Picketers hold signs as a truck drives past the Sysco Western Minnesota plant Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, near U.S. Highway 10 in St. Cloud.

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Strike at restaurant food supplier Sysco Western MN St. Cloud facility

About Vivian J. Smith

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