USF has been struggling with labor issues for months and the Teamsters have become increasingly aggressive about calling attention to the distributor’s alleged anti-union activities.
Owned by private equity firms Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and Clayton Dubilier & Rice Inc. (CD&R), USF supplies food to the DLA, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 2008, USF provided food supplies for America's servicemen and women to the tune of $204 million, according to the Teamsters’ release. The organization alleges that U.S. Foodservice habitually breaks labor law, threatening, harassing and intimidating employees who want to form unions.
"I am deeply troubled by the military's practice of entering into contracts with employers who have a history of serious labor law violations," Murphy wrote. "[The] DLA has an obligation to lead by example in being a model employer by working only with responsible, scrupulous companies."
According to the Teamsters, “For the past year, workers at U.S. Foodservice in Phoenix have tried to organize a union with the Teamsters. Their organizing efforts were met with a brutal anti-union campaign that led the National Labor Relations Board to file 177 complaints against the company. The incident was not isolated. In Philadelphia, Teamsters Local 628 has met resistance while trying to enter into contract negotiations with U.S. Foodservice. In an effort to intimidate employees, U.S. Foodservice took out one-page advertisements in area newspapers calling for replacement employees due to the possibility of a strike with Local 628.”