Discussions continue for better pay and benefits for Salem US Foods employees

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) -“We want a company to work for that we can be proud of again,” said Kenny Chapman, a relay driver for US Foods Inc. in Salem.

Better wages and benefits. That’s what more than 100 Salem US Foods drivers are calling on their company to deliver.

“We have fought a long time for this. Many restless, sleepless nights,” said Chapman.

The frustration of not having these benefits is what led to the drivers joining the Teamsters Local Union 171 in June 2021.

“They came to us and said hey we need help, the company won’t listen to us, can you help us make the company listen? And we said absolutely,” said, Todd Robertson, the president of Teamsters Local Union 171.

Robertson said including Friday’s meeting, they have met with US Foods representatives more than a dozen times since December. But the discussion continue to stall, which might lead to a walk-out.

“Honestly if we don’t get a deal done here, the companies have already been put on notice, the employees will be forced to walk out. It’s unfortunate, but it will happen,” said Robertson.

A US Foods spokesperson issued a statement to WDBJ7 Friday afternoon which said:

“Negotiations are ongoing and we continue to make progress toward a mutually beneficial agreement that provides competitive wages and benefits and recognizes the contributions of our hard-working associates. We have a strong record of good-faith bargaining with unions and look forward to returning to the bargaining table soon.”

Teamsters chapters based out of Pennsylvania joined the US Foods drivers, which they appreciated. The are keeping a positive mindset that a deal will get done.

“Once a deal does get done, I think we will be very satisfied, business as usual, let’s make money for the company, go on about our day, get home safe to our families, that’s all we want,” said Chapman.

As of Friday, a deal has not been reached and WDBJ7 will continue to update viewers as the story develops.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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