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TPC Workers Reject Labor Agreement

ROCK ISLAND, IL - Employees at Thoms Proestler Co., represented by the Teamsters union have rejected a tentative labor agreement and could be locked out or on strike, by the end of the week, reported local news outlets.

The two sides had reached a tentative agreement on April 4 (ID Access web news April 6) but last week the 224 TPC warehouse workers and drivers represented by the Teamsters voted down the contract proposal. The existing contract was extended to midnight on Friday. Key issues are workplace policies and wages and benefits.

The 1995 ID GDO, owned by Performance Food Group of Richmond, VA, has not faced a strike in more than 30 years. While it is owned by PFG, it is managed by the Thoms family.

"We are disappointed that the membership turned down the tentative agreement that would have increased wages and benefits, while providing a more certain future for our associates," Tom Thoms, president of TPC, was quoted as saying.

"I knew there was a possibility that the tentative agreement would not be approved, but I thought it was a contract that I had to at least take to our members," noted Howard Spoon, president of Teamsters Local 371.

TPC, which has annual sales of more than $240 million and serves 3,500 accounts, could lock out unionized employees and hire replacement workers to prevent any disruptions of service. The distributorships concentrates on a territory that includes most of Illinois, the eastern half of Iowa, southern Wisconsin and western Indiana, as well as accounts in Missouri and Minnesota.

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