INDIANAPOLIS — Teamsters Local Union No. 135 has begun a strike against Sysco Indianapolis in the midst of what the group calls “unfair labor practices”.

The decision by the union to strike was made on Sunday night, according to a release from President Dustin Roach. The release stated that approximately 160 Teamsters are employed Sysco at its Indianapolis distribution center on W. 62nd Street.

As previously reported, a union vote was held on March 12 in response to failed negotiations over new terms for a contract between the global food distribution company and warehouse workers and drivers in Indianapolis.

That vote, which passed unanimously, authorized the union to follow certain measures, including the possibility of hosting a strike. As of Sunday, the workers’ strike became official.

Sysco Indianapolis’ contract with Teamsters Local Union 135 expired on March 3 and no agreement could be reached on terms for a new contract. The union is advocating for higher wages and benefits.

“Our members went out on strike to protest Sysco’s illegal and disrespectful bargaining tactics,” Roach said in a release. “Our members are not going to accept a contract offer until Sysco gets serious and starts bargaining in good faith to address their legitimate and reasonable concerns.”

Sysco released the following statement on Monday regarding the strike:

“We regret the union has chosen to walk out on our customers instead of working in good faith to reach an agreement at the table. Sysco Indianapolis is committed to our driver and warehouse colleagues and to the negotiation process. Our offer to Teamsters Local 135 committee reflects that commitment and includes top-of-market wages, lower healthcare costs and more vacation. Sysco Indianapolis has implemented its contingency plans to quickly ramp up operations to serve our customers despite the Teamsters leadership’s actions to disrupt deliveries to hospitals, nursing homes, schools and local small businesses.  Sysco Indianapolis has also filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board contesting Local 135’s bad faith bargaining actions.”

Sysco Spokesperson