Sysco Louisville Warehouse Votes Overwhelmingly to Join Teamsters Local 89
Posted On: Sep 272, 2023
September 29th, 2023 – Late on Friday night, workers at the Sysco Louisville Warehouse voted by an overwhelming 92% to join Teamsters Local 89. Polling concluded at 8:00pm, and within minutes of ballots being opened it was clear that workers had emphatically chosen to make their warehouse a proud union shop.
Earlier this year, Sysco Louisville Drivers held a highly publicized strike against their employer, resulting in a resounding victory and a powerful first contract. Local 89 had already been contacted by warehouse workers by then, but calls became much more frequent following the driver’s success.
“Warehouse workers saw firsthand what the drivers were able to win by becoming Teamsters, and it didn’t take long for them to realize they could do the same,” said Organizer David Thornsberry.
Organizer Bryan Trafford added, “We’re really excited to see them take the initiative to make their lives better, and we're ready to help them win a strong first contract.”
For Local 89 President Avral Thompson, this overwhelming victory was a cathartic experience. When Thompson first became a Business Agent for our union, one of his first tasks was working on an organizing drive at this very Sysco warehouse in the late 1990s. In that drive, Sysco management union busted and made many promises they never intended to keep, and sadly convinced those workers not to become Teamsters. As Thompson and other Local 89 staff left after the count, Sysco management used the warehouse PA system to announce they were “union free, and proud to be”.
“My whole career I’ve thought about that,” said Thompson. “I’ve always wondered how different those people’s lives would have been had they not bought into Sysco’s lies back then. But I don’t have to wonder anymore. As of today, the Sysco Louisville Warehouse is a Teamsters shop and we’re going to fight like hell to win them a contract that makes up for lost time.”
“We have an awesome organizing team at Local 89 with Bryan and David,” said Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Cooper. “But we want to thank everyone who helped these workers win tonight. We had a lot of our staff involved in this. We had support from the IBT Organizing Department, and even a small army of volunteers who helped to knock doors and tell workers about the Teamsters.”
From President Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer Cooper, and everyone at Teamsters Local 89 – congratulations to the Sysco Warehouse workers on their decisive victory, and welcome to our proud union family! We look forward to fighting side by side with you to win your first contract in the days to come.