On August 24, 2019, drivers and warehouse workers of the UNFI/SuperValu warehouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin, voted to reject the company’s proposed contract and authorize a strike.
"This vote is a wake-up call to UNFI that we will not just roll over and accept a reduction in our health care benefits," said Craig Vandenheuvel, a 20-year UNFI/SuperValu employee and Chief Steward. "Our health care is very important to all of us and our families. We've given up wage increases over the years to keep our high-quality health care and there's no way we're going to let the company take it away."
The 150 workers set to go on strike are represented by Teamsters Local 662.
"UNFI prides itself on being a good neighbor and providing healthy, sustainable food to their customers, but they need to apply these same values to how they treat their own workers," said Teamsters Local 662 Business Agent Tom Strickland. "Attempting to replace quality health care is neither healthy, nor sustainable."
According to a press release, Green Bay joins a growing list of UNFI/SuperValu distribution centers engaged in labor disputes around the country. Unions at several UNFI/SuperValu locations have either authorized strike action or are locked in major legal battles with the distributor.
"UNFI/SuperValu is the second-largest wholesale grocery distributor in America, with net sales of over $10 billion last year and is the largest distributor for Amazon's Whole Foods. They can absolutely afford to provide family-sustaining jobs and quality health care to all of the people who work hard to make this company function," said Teamsters Warehouse Division Director Steve Vairma.
How will the strike play out? Deli Market News will continue to report the latest.