In a press release to publicize the rally, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters noted that NRA spends millions of dollars each year directly lobbying Congress on behalf of its member institutions, including allied member U.S. Foodservice, to stop the passage of legislation crucial to workers, including the Employee Free Choice Act, increasing the minimum wage and the Fair Pay Restoration Act.
The Teamsters Union, which represents 4,000 workers at 26 USF distribution centers, accused the distributor of escalating its anti-union and anti-worker activity nationwide, racking up hundreds of unfair labor practice charges. "We're here to tell management at U.S. Foodservice that we aren't letting them hide behind the National Restaurant Association's skirt anymore," said Jeff Farmer, Teamsters organizing director. "This association's lobbyists help to carry out schemes that hurt workers and their families, dirty the environment and compromise political ideals. This must stop now."
USF workers spoke to the crowd, sharing stories of management retaliation and intimidation and expressing their hope that the company will realize that every worker is a valuable part of a successful enterprise. "Since we started our effort to organize, all that we have been met with are threats and intimidation," said Ryan Procter, a five-year worker at U.S. Foodservice in Phoenix. "We're not asking for raises -- we just want to be treated fairly. An honest day's work for an honest day's pay -- that's all we want."
Following the rally, the workers and labor representatives delivered a letter calling on the NRA to end its anti-worker lobbying and informing U.S. Foodservice that its must cease violating worker rights.