UNFI reaches labor accords with Teamsters in New York, California

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New Contracts for Drivers and the frontline workers (at four distribution Centers) have been finalized among UNFI (United Natural Foods Inc.) and Teamsters Union Locals (New York and California).

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 On Monday UNFI has mentioned that an agreement has been made for the provision of Competitive salaries and benefits along with the additional safety and support for the Pandemic. UNFI has also provided Operating flexibility to the distributors for better service.

The new agreements, sanctioned throughout the end of the week, apply to Teamsters Local 445 drivers at UNFI’s Hudson Valley dissemination focus in Montgomery, N.Y., and to Teamsters Local 495, 630, 848, and 439 specialists at the distributer’s circulation habitats in Commerce, Stockton and Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

COO of UNFI, Eric Dorne stated; “We’re pleased to fortify our distribution network and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain ahead of the busy holiday season and winter months. Our new long-term labor agreements in the Hudson Valley and southern California put us on a strong footing in the near-term and provide us with valuable flexibility to best serve our customers over the long-term, these are the foundational elements of the exceptional customer service we intend to deliver across the Pacific and Northeast regions in the years ahead. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our associates, partners, and customers throughout the country for their collaboration and confidence amidst the pandemic”.

Teamsters 445 (Rock Tavern N.Y.) have gone for a Strike as they have claimed that UNFI did not follow that CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and violated Labor Law. 

In particular, the neighborhood asserted that, at the Hudson Valley DC, UNFI wasn’t furnishing laborers with sufficient defensive hardware, including face veils; directing contact following of plausible COVID-19 patients; sanitizing and cleaning workspaces and prescreening representatives and guests prior to entering the office. Accordingly, the association stated, UNFI’s activities in Hudson Valley just as the Bronx and New Jersey could become “centers for spreading the infection all through the locale.”

There are 120 grocery delivery drivers who serve Amazon, Ahold Delhaize, Allegiance Retail Services, and many others under the Umbrella of Teamsters 445. In order to avoid a halt in work, UNFI has abruptly offered an improved contract to the  445 UNFI members which was acknowledged on 8th November.

Dan Maldonado, president of Teamsters Local 445 stated; “Our members stood together in solidarity and were able to win substantial pay increases over the life of the contract and a quicker rise to top pay. But you cannot put a price on health and safety, The Teamsters continue to demand that UNFI comply fully with state and CDC regulations on social distancing, provision of PPE, cleaning, and sanitization of equipment like our trucks after each shift. We hope we can sign a letter of agreement with the company that will bring them up to par.”

Provision, R.I.- based UNFI, the country’s biggest public staple merchant, revealed that it has now endorsed around 15 work settlements in the course of recent months. The organization’s clients incorporate characteristic item superstores, autonomous retailers, customary general store chains, internet business retailers, and foodservice suppliers.

Jill Sutton, chief legal officer and head of the labor relations said; “This agreed-upon and fully recommended contracts underscore the strong support UNFI is providing to its more than 21,000 associates. In addition to delivering market-competitive compensation, UNFI’s award-winning safety and risk management team is continuing to prioritize associates’ health and well-being. We’ve made the necessary investments at our 59 distribution centers to provide industry-leading pandemic safety support, including enhanced cleanings, hygiene supplies, temperature checks, ample protective gear, and regulation-compliant and socially distant workplaces. These procedures and protocols have repeatedly received high marks from our union associates and their leaders. UNFI will continue to take these types of proactive steps and enhance our protocols accordingly as CDC guidance evolves and We’ve complied with all governmental guidance throughout the pandemic’s entire life cycle and will remain vigilant to keep our associates safe as we deliver on our promise of keeping the supply chain flowing.”

Teamsters International Vice President stated; “During this time, nothing is more important to us than the safety of each one of our members, their families, and the general public If UNFI expects its frontline workers to perform hazardous jobs and keep our food supply chain running, the company must provide workers with a safe workplace.”

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