Fort Wayne, IN—Two weeks ago, Teamsters Local Union 414 began an unfair labor practice strike against UNFI at its Fort Wayne warehouse, according to a press release from Local 414.
The Union had been unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with UNFI over the course of more than 40 negotiating sessions, the press release says, which began in August 2019 and continued through the week prior to the strike. Local 414 had been working at UNFI without a contract for several months, including through COVID-19. The union also contends that UNFI unjustly fired a 35-year employee and Union Steward on June 29, 2020, and refused to reinstate the employee.
According to the Union’s Facebook page, UNFI called several members of Local 414 and told them the strike was illegal and demanding that the employees report to work; Local 414 filed an unfair labor practice charge regarding the phone calls.
The strike involved 160 Teamsters brothers and sisters, and received support from other local Teamsters unions.
On August 2, a new agreement was passed, and the strike ended.
In a press release from UNFI, Jill Sutton, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, commented: “We’re very pleased that Teamsters Local 414 has ratified a new long-term labor agreement for our distribution center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. UNFI’s four-year contract with Local 414 maintains competitive benefit and wage terms in line with other facilities in the Midwest. The contract also includes language updates that afford UNFI the flexibility it needs to operate and succeed as a competitive distribution business in today’s landscape. We believe this resolution is a positive development for UNFI, our valued associates in Fort Wayne and our customers.”