SYSCO Foods strike is now spreading, worrying restaurants

What started as a SYSCO distribution center in Syracuse that suffered a stroke last week is now spreading across the northeast, according to the union that represents the workers.

Hospital restaurants and cafeterias, which depend on SYSCO for food supplies, are increasingly concerned as the strike drags on and now appears to be spreading. Employees of the industry’s largest food supplier just went on strike in Syracuse, which includes more than 200 Teamsters employees from Syracuse Local 317 who walked off the job to protest labor practices unfair last Tuesday. According to media reports, the work stoppage affects drivers and warehouse workers, which will have an immediate effect on restaurants, schools, colleges, hospitals and nursing homes. As of Wednesday, restaurants are already reporting that food deliveries have not arrived as expected, according to Syracuse.com.

Photo of the Teamsters on Facebook.

Photo of the Teamsters on Facebook.

Now the problem has spread to other SYSCO distribution sites in the Northeast, including Boston where more than 600 workers have now walked off the job.

Locally, SYSCO’s Syracuse Area Warehouse located on Warner’s Road in Onondaga supplies food to many restaurants and institutions in the Utica-Rome area.

Last Tuesday’s social media post: “SHOOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD: As of 9:21 p.m. ET, more than 200 Sysco Teamsters from Local 317 in Syracuse, NY walked off the job to protest the practices of unfair work.” – Facebook page of the Teamsters Union.

The union warned: “It could spread. Stay tuned,” on his Facebook page. As the prediction turns out to be true, the union says several SYSCO-branded sites are currently working without contracts or have contracts that are about to expire, according to the social media post.

SYSCO employees leave work in Syracuse on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Photo by Teamsters on Facebook.

SYSCO employees leave work in Syracuse on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Photo by Teamsters on Facebook.

Local 317 filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against SYSCO on Sept. 21, according to Syracuse.com.

“Sysco Syracuse distributes more than 10,000 items, including meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, dairy, frozen foods, beverages, dry and canned food items,” according to its website. The company’s history in New York dates back to 1933 with Bird’s Eye Company, which distributed frozen foods. The company later became Albany Frosted Foods and in 1970 merged with SYSCO.

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