Sysco Boston drivers strike enters third day

PLYMPTON – Hundreds of drivers are on strike at Sysco’s headquarters in Massachusetts. Three hundred food service workers walked off the job on Saturday when the strike officially began at 12:01 a.m.

Traffic was at a standstill Monday along a stretch of Spring Street in Plympton as the strike continued for a third day.

“We are going to be here as long as it takes – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Teamsters Local 653 business agent Brian Voci said.

Workers used megaphones to sound air sirens at tractor-trailer drivers trying to leave the facility.

“These people sacrifice a lot to provide essential goods and services to the general public,” Voci said.

According to Voci, who represents the union drivers at Sysco, the union is focused on higher pay, pensions and health care benefits among other issues.

Sysco said the company’s offer to Local 653 included wage increases of 25% over the life of the contract and more health care options at lower costs compared to associates’ current plan.

Sysco says drivers are on track to earn $110,000 this year.  

“All the other companies in this area are 7 to 8 dollars more an hour than we are,” said Sysco driver Trevor Ashley.

After nearly 25 years with the company, Ashley doesn’t want to start over elsewhere just to get the same pay.

“I don’t want to start working midnights again or bad shifts,” Ashley said.

So, he was outside Sysco Boston in Plympton, watching other drivers do his job.

“The drivers that they brought in for scabs are awful,” Ashley said. 

The company said their negotiation team advised the union they’re “available” to bargain.

In that statement, Sysco Boston called the work stoppage “unnecessary,” saying union leaders have taken that action with “little regard” it will cause to their associates and customers. 

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