FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Union members of Teamsters Local 414 are on strike. Members are picketing outside the SUPERVALU distribution center on Enterprise Drive.
Local 414’s collective bargaining agreement expired with UNFI Sept. 14. SUPERVALU is a subsidiary of UNFI.
In a press release, Teamsters Local 414 says 158 members are on the picket line. That includes drivers, warehouse, and maintenance workers.
Signs can be seen reading, “UNFI: UNFIT, UNFAIR. Unfair labor practice strike.”
Teamsters says this will affect customers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky.
“UNFI’s attacks on its Fort Wayne workers are a show of disrespect for the men and women who are the backbone of its operations and have been for decades,” said George Gerdes, Teamsters Local 414 Secretary-Treasurer. “The Teamsters Union does not condone abusive behavior by employers. Local 414 members will fight to ensure they are treated fairly and with respect.”
According to SUPERVALU’s website, the company supplies and distributes wholesale groceries to over 3,000 owned, franchised and affiliated stores across the country.
The brands SUPERVALU distributes include: Essential Everyday, Wild Harvest, Culinary Circle, Equaline, Arctic Shores, Baby Basic, Shoppers Value, Stockman & Dakota, Stone Ridge Creamery, Super Chill.
It’s unclear if any of these brands are delivered to local grocery stores from the Fort Wayne distribution center. But, Essential Everyday can be found at Fresh Market, Hill’s Market, and McConnell and Sons Authority in New Haven.
Wild Harvest products can be found at Fresh Market and Hill’s Market.
You can read the full press release here.
UNFI provided this statement to WANE 15 regarding the strike:
It is regrettable that Teamsters Local 414 decided to initiate an illegal strike after refusing for months to sit down with us and despite our efforts to bargain in good faith to reach a new contract agreement in Fort Wayne. Local 414 took this action before UNFI was even able to deliver a proposed wages and benefits package. While this decision is unnecessarily reckless, UNFI is implementing robust contingency plans to maintain business continuity and support our customers and local communities. Meeting customer needs is our top priority, and UNFI is dedicated to taking necessary actions toward this end despite this unlawful union activity. “Spokesperson, UNFI