Friday, March 1, 2013

This employer may think twice about provoking a strike

UNFI announced earlier this week that the 9-week Teamsters Local 117 strike it provoked cost it more than -- wait for it -- $4 million.

Perhaps the natural food distributor will think twice about trying to bust our great union.

Our brothers and sisters stood together in a very difficult struggle. The company fired 72 employees and permanently replaced them. The strike only ended after thousands of community members showed their solidarity with the warehouse workers and drivers.

On Feb. 7, UNFI Teamsters ratified a 5-year contract that increased wages and provided health and welfare protections. The company reinstated the 72 replaced workers.

Nineteen days later, UNFI (United Natural Foods, Inc.) revealed the cost of abusing workers in its Feb. 26 earnings report. According to Supermarket News
Shares of United Natural Foods Inc. fell about 4.8% Tuesday after the company trimmed its profit projections for the year in the wake of a recent labor strike. 
The natural-product specialist said the Teamsters strike at its Auburn, Wash., distribution facility added about $3.6 million to its costs in the recently ended second fiscal quarter, and another $600,000 to $1 million in costs are expected to occur in the third quarter. The strike ended earlier this month.
As Local 117 pointed out,
In the end, the strike cost UNFI over 4 million dollars – money that could have been spent to protect workers and their families.  Thanks to you, companies like UNFI will think twice before violating workers’ rights and putting profits over their hardworking employees.
Well said.