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Teamsters Stop United Natural Foods from Outsourcing Jobs in Florida

After a vigorous argument from the Teamsters, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled in favor of 80 drivers at United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) in Sarasota, Florida, refusing to accept the company’s plans to outsource jobs to notorious nonunion employer J.B. Hunt.

The decision by the NLRB protects jobs and safeguards the rights of UNFI workers seeking union representation with Teamsters Local 79 in Tampa, FL.

“UNFI’s attempt to outsource jobs was nothing more than a desperate, union-busting tactic to stop drivers from becoming Teamsters. The company’s actions were shameful and illegal and won’t be tolerated,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “UNFI continues to make bad decisions at the expense of its workers. The Teamsters will fight this anti-union employer in every avenue, at every level. This ruling reaffirms UNFI workers’ right to representation in the workplace without interference from management.”

Based on UNFI’s obstinate refusal to provide pertinent evidence that its drivers would actually be laid off, the NLRB ordered an election to be conducted on May 4th and 5th and the votes to be counted immediately.

“I was in tears when I got the news that we were going to be able to keep our jobs and move forward with our election. This was a huge win and a relief for all of us,” said Patricia Morris, a seven-year driver at UNFI in Sarasota. “As a former UPSer, I know the value of being a Teamster firsthand and how beneficial representation will be for us at UNFI. We’re already seeing results. Without the Teamsters, we could have lost our jobs.”

The NLRB is continuing to investigate whether UNFI also committed unfair labor practices (ULPs) when it subcontracted driving jobs to J.B. Hunt. The Teamsters have active organizing campaigns at UNFI facilities in Pompano Beach, Florida, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where the company is also attempting to outsource jobs to prevent drivers from organizing.

The Teamsters have filed ULPs and are currently in litigation for workers in both locations.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.

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