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U.S. Foodservice and Teamsters negotiations continue

(June 17, 2010)—U.S. Foodservice and Teamsters Local 722 have yet to reach a contract agreement amid continuing negotiations.

According to a Teamsters spokesman, workers have been working without a contract since May 9 at the Streator company. Issues employees are negotiating include health insurance, wages, seniority, layoff and recall.

Steve Mongan, president of Teamsters Local 722 out of La Salle, said the Teamsters quarterly meeting in Chicago Wednesday would focus on the U.S. Foodservice negotiations.

"We are going to consider all of our possibilities to get a collective bargaining agreement, up to and including a strike," Mongan told The Times. "We're looking to do what we need to do to protect guys' jobs."

The last time the two sides met was June 1 and June 2. Mongan said there has been no movement in that time.

Mongan said the Teamsters latest offer is asking for a 75-cent increase in hourly wages per year and a three-year contract. He said U.S. Foodservice is asking for a four and a half-year contract.

Mongan said U.S. Foodservice has sought a decrease in wages, to be more in line with what other local industries are paying. Mongan said the Teamsters have sent three letters to U.S. Foodservice's attorney requesting supporting information to evaluate the necessity of concessions, but have not received a reply.

They're making good statements about the surrounding areas, and we'd like them to document that," Mongan said.

Christina Koliopoulos, company spokeswoman, said the company has provided requested information and continues to negotiate with the intention of reaching an agreement.

"The union's assertion that USF did not respond to information requests and contract proposals from Teamsters Local 722 is simply not true," Koliopoulos said in a statement. "The union requested information documenting the wage levels in areas surrounding Streator in a letter dated May 6, 2010. USF provided that information to the union in a letter dated May 13, 2010. USF also responded to the union's proposed wage increase during contract negotiations on May 14, 2010. As we have stated previously, we remain committed to reaching a fair agreement that will enable Streator to compete and succeed in a difficult market."

Koliopoulos said she is unable to provide specific details of the company's ongoing negotiations with the union as that information is part of the collective bargaining.

Mongan said additional negotiating sessions are scheduled for drivers, warehouse and mechanics workers on Thursday, June 24, and sanitation workers on Tuesday, June 29.

Read the Teamster's press release here

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