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One hundred drivers who distribute food from United Natural Foods Inc.’s (UNFI) Montgomery, N.Y., facility to Whole Foods Market and other organic, natural and specialty food stores in the New York metropolitan area have voted to join Teamsters Local 445. The Montgomery facility opened in 2014 to support Whole Foods’ expansion in the Empire State.
“These workers came to the Teamsters to win a strong union contract, like those enjoyed by other Teamster UNFI drivers around the country,” noted Barry Russell, secretary-treasurer of Rock Tavern, N.Y.-based Local 445, which represents workers in the Hudson Valley counties of Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland, Putnam, and Westchester. The local’s membership encompasses construction workers, warehouse workers, school bus drivers, freight drivers, nurses and municipal workers.
Earlier this year, Teamster-represented UNFI drivers in Moreno Valley, Calif., negotiated their first labor contract with management. The union also represents workers at UNFI distribution centers in Dayville, Conn.; Edison, N.J.; Iowa City, Iowa; Auburn, Wash.; and Leicester, Mass.
Next, Teamsters Local 445 and UNFI drivers will enter contract negotiations with company management to reach a contract that protects drivers and provides a stable workforce so that UNFI can thrive in the Hudson Valley.